Der Crash der Concorde war kein gewöhnlicher Flugzeugabsturz. Der für unmöglich gehaltene Unfall des elegantesten, teuersten und. Der Absturz einer Concorde beim Start in Paris vor 15 Jahren hat das Kapitel ziviler Überschallflug beendet. Menschen verloren bei der. Der Concorde-Absturz vor 20 Jahren war eine der schwersten Katastrophen der Luftfahrtgeschichte. Fast alle der Opfer waren Deutsche.
Concord Absturz Die abfliegende Concorde ist eine der beeindruckendsten Erscheinungen der Luftfahrt.
Air France stellte nach dem Unfall den Flugbetrieb der Concorde ein, die britische Zivilluftfahrtbehörde CAA erließ eine Lufttüchtigkeitsanweisung für den. Der Concorde-Absturz vor 20 Jahren war eine der schwersten Katastrophen der Luftfahrtgeschichte. Fast alle der Opfer waren Deutsche. Der Crash der Concorde war kein gewöhnlicher Flugzeugabsturz. Der für unmöglich gehaltene Unfall des elegantesten, teuersten und. Dennoch traf der Concorde-Absturz am Juli Mönchengladbach ins Mark: Von den Todesopfern stammten 13 aus der Stadt. Der Absturz einer Concorde beim Start in Paris vor 15 Jahren hat das Kapitel ziviler Überschallflug beendet. Menschen verloren bei der. Die Concorde wenige Sekunden vor dem Absturz. (Foto: Reuters). Zehn Jahre danach ist die. Concorde liess die Welt schrumpfen. Das Mach 2 schnelle Flugzeug bedeutete eine Revolution für die zivile Aviatik. Ein Überschalltrip.
Der Concorde-Absturz vor 20 Jahren war eine der schwersten Katastrophen der Luftfahrtgeschichte. Fast alle der Opfer waren Deutsche. Die Concorde wenige Sekunden vor dem Absturz. (Foto: Reuters). Zehn Jahre danach ist die. Der Absturz einer Concorde beim Start in Paris vor 15 Jahren hat das Kapitel ziviler Überschallflug beendet. Menschen verloren bei der.
Concord Absturz Charterflug einer deutschen Reederei VideoConcorde Flug AF 4590 Protokoll einer Katastrophe Doku Deutsch #HD
Download der Audiodatei. Hinweis: Falls die Audiodatei beim Klicken nicht automatisch gespeichert wird, können Sie mit der rechten Maustaste klicken und "Ziel speichern unter Löscharbeiten nach dem Concorde-Absturz.
Ogg Vorbis. Über dieses Thema berichtete Inforadio am Juli um Uhr. Mehr Ausland. Top 5. Weitere Meldungen aus dem Archiv vom Dieser Artikel wurde ausgedruckt unter der Adresse: www.
Überblick über die tagesschau. Ende Juli hatte die Maschine bereits Um Pilot Christian Marty bewegte die Schubhebel nach vorn. Für den schwerbeladenen Flug waren die Tanks mit 95 Tonnen, etwa Als die Concorde knapp eine Minute später die Abhebegeschwindigkeit erreicht hatte, platzte am linken Hauptfahrwerk der vordere linke Reifen.
Das Flugzeug hatte ein schmales, von einer zuvor gestarteten DC verlorenes Triebwerksteil aus Titan überrollt. Auf der linken Seite zog die Maschine - für die Insassen nicht sichtbar - einen etwa 15 Meter langen Flammenschweif hinter sich her.
Gleichzeitig kam sie zunehmend von der Mittellinie der Rollbahn ab. Das Triebwerk Nummer zwei links innen war ausgefallen. Der Flugingenieur schaltete den Motor zwei ab.
Die Concorde flog zu diesem Zeitpunkt mit einer Geschwindigkeit von nur Kilometern pro Stunde, wären notwendig.
Wieder meldete sich der Fluglotse: ", Sie haben starke Flammen hinter sich. Noch immer war die Maschine langsamer als Kilometer pro Stunde, nicht höher als 45 Meter und inzwischen bereits seit 89 Sekunden in der Luft.
Die Gesprächsfetzen aus dem Cockpit drehten sich um den Versuch, auf dem nahe gelegenen Flughafen Le Bourget notzulanden. Alle Menschen an Bord starben ebenso vier der Hotelangestellten.
Der Crash der Concorde war kein gewöhnlicher Flugzeugabsturz. Der für unmöglich gehaltene Unfall des elegantesten, teuersten und schnellsten Passagierflugzeugs der Welt löste eine Schockwelle aus, die manche mit der Reaktion auf den Untergang der "Titanic" vergleichen.
Eine Ikone, ein Symbol für die technische Machbarkeit menschlicher Träume hatte nach knapp einem Vierteljahrhundert plötzlich seine Unschuld verloren.
Ungewöhnlich ist, dass sich ein mehr als anderthalb Meter langes Gummistück der Lauffläche gelöst hatte. Bald stand fest: Der geplatzte Reifen ist die Hauptursache des Unfalls.
Doch es gab weitere Ungereimtheiten. Die Maschine soll überladen gewesen sein, auch im Triebwerk Nummer eins hatte es einen Leistungsabfall gegeben, gleichzeitig liefen durch den vergessenen Einbau eines Abstandsrings im linken Fahrwerk die Räder nicht symmetrisch.
Die britische und französische Zivilluftfahrtbehörde verkündeten am August , dass sie der Concorde aufgrund der Ermittlungsergebnisse die Musterzulassung entziehen werden.
Noch wollte niemand eingestehen, dass das Ende des Concorde-Mythos gleichzeitig auch das Ende dieses fliegenden Anachronismus bedeutete.
Briten und Franzosen setzten auf ein millionenschweres Umbauprogramm, bei dem die Tanks mit Kevlar-Gummi-Auskleidungen versehen wurden, um eine Wiederholung des Unfallgeschehens unmöglich zu machen.
September statt. Als die Maschine landete, stürzte in New York die bisher bekannte Weltordnung zusammen. In der Geschichte der Concorde war es schon mehrfach zu schwerwiegenden Problemen mit den Reifen gekommen.
Als Lösung der Reifenprobleme wurden eine deutliche Verstärkung der Reifen bzw. Mehrere Zeugen hatten während des Prozesses ausgesagt, dass der Reifen bei dem Unfall schon vor dem Überfahren des fraglichen Metallteils geplatzt sei.
Beobachter kritisierten, dass diese Zeugenaussagen bei der Urteilsfindung keine ausreichende Berücksichtigung gefunden hätten.
Unabhängig von dem Metallteil auf der Startbahn als alleinige Unfallursache sprachen mehrere Faktoren gegen eine sichere Flugdurchführung.
Vier Tage vor dem Unfall wurde bei einer Wartung ein Distanzring sogenannter Spacer nicht wieder am linken Hauptfahrwerk eingebaut.
Dieser Distanzring wird benötigt, um die Lager des Fahrwerkes an der richtigen Position zu halten; verrutschen sie, wird das gesamte Hauptfahrwerk nicht mehr korrekt geführt.
Dies belastete die bereits am Limit arbeitenden Reifen mehr als ohnehin schon und sorgte dafür, dass die Maschine von der Mittellinie der Startbahn an den Rand geriet, wo der Streifen aus Titanblech lag, der die Reifen beschädigte.
Dies bedingte eine höhere Abhebegeschwindigkeit, auch dies belastete die Reifen noch weiter. Am November sprach ein französisches Berufungsgericht in Versailles die mittlerweile zu United Continental fusionierte US-amerikanische Fluggesellschaft von der strafrechtlichen Verantwortung am Absturz frei.
Erst nach zahlreichen Konstruktionsänderungen erlangte die Concorde wieder die Verkehrszulassung. Niemand an Bord überlebte.
Weiterhin starben vier Angestellte des Hotels, auf das die Concorde stürzte zwei Polinnen, eine französisch-algerische Doppelstaatsbürgerin sowie eine Staatsangehörige von Mauritius indischer Herkunft , sechs weitere wurden leicht verletzt.
Air-France-Flug Dezember , abgerufen am 5. November englisch. BBC News, The real story of flight The Observer, Memento vom 4.
Engine failure causes problems on conventional subsonic aircraft ; not only does the aircraft lose thrust on that side but the engine creates drag, causing the aircraft to yaw and bank in the direction of the failed engine.
If this had happened to Concorde at supersonic speeds, it theoretically could have caused a catastrophic failure of the airframe.
Although computer simulations predicted considerable problems, in practice Concorde could shut down both engines on the same side of the aircraft at Mach 2 without the predicted difficulties.
So, on Concorde, engine failure was countered by the opening of the auxiliary spill door and the full extension of the ramps, which deflected the air downwards past the engine, gaining lift and minimising drag.
Concorde pilots were routinely trained to handle double engine failure. It was the world's first use of a digital processor to be given full authority control of an essential system in a passenger aircraft.
It was developed by the Electronics and Space Systems ESS division of the British Aircraft Corporation after it became clear that the analogue AICUs fitted to the prototype aircraft and developed by Ultra Electronics were found to be insufficiently accurate for the tasks in hand.
Concorde's thrust-by-wire engine control system was developed by Ultra Electronics. Air compression on the outer surfaces caused the cabin to heat up during flight.
Every surface, such as windows and panels, was warm to the touch by the end of the flight. The engineers used Hiduminium R. The reverse happened when descending and slowing down.
This had to be factored into the metallurgical and fatigue modelling. A test rig was built that repeatedly heated up a full-size section of the wing, and then cooled it, and periodically samples of metal were taken for testing.
The most obvious manifestation of this was a gap that opened up on the flight deck between the flight engineer 's console and the bulkhead.
On some aircraft that conducted a retiring supersonic flight, the flight engineers placed their caps in this expanded gap, wedging the cap when it shrank again.
During supersonic flight the surfaces forward from the cockpit became heated, and a visor was used to deflect much of this heat from directly reaching the cockpit.
Concorde had livery restrictions; the majority of the surface had to be covered with a highly reflective white paint to avoid overheating the aluminium structure due to heating effects from supersonic flight at Mach 2.
F-BTSD was used because it was not scheduled for any long flights that required extended Mach 2 operations. Due to its high speeds, large forces were applied to the aircraft during banks and turns, and caused twisting and distortion of the aircraft's structure.
In addition there were concerns over maintaining precise control at supersonic speeds. Both of these issues were resolved by active ratio changes between the inboard and outboard elevons , varying at differing speeds including supersonic.
Only the innermost elevons, which are attached to the stiffest area of the wings, were active at high speed. When any aircraft passes the critical mach of that particular airframe, the centre of pressure shifts rearwards.
This causes a pitch down moment on the aircraft if the centre of gravity remains where it was. This could have been countered by the use of trim controls , but at such high speeds this would have dramatically increased drag.
Instead, the distribution of fuel along the aircraft was shifted during acceleration and deceleration to move the centre of gravity, effectively acting as an auxiliary trim control.
To fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, Concorde required the greatest supersonic range of any aircraft. This also required carrying only a modest payload and a high fuel capacity, and the aircraft was trimmed with precision to avoid unnecessary drag.
Nevertheless, soon after Concorde began flying, a Concorde "B" model was designed with slightly larger fuel capacity and slightly larger wings with leading edge slats to improve aerodynamic performance at all speeds, with the objective of expanding the range to reach markets in new regions.
This was cancelled due in part to poor sales of Concorde, but also to the rising cost of aviation fuel in the s.
Concorde's high cruising altitude meant passengers received almost twice the flux of extraterrestrial ionising radiation as those travelling on a conventional long-haul flight.
A sudden reduction in cabin pressure is hazardous to all passengers and crew. Concorde was equipped with smaller windows to reduce the rate of loss in the event of a breach,  a reserve air supply system to augment cabin air pressure, and a rapid descent procedure to bring the aircraft to a safe altitude.
The FAA enforces minimum emergency descent rates for aircraft and noting Concorde's higher operating altitude, concluded that the best response to pressure loss would be a rapid descent.
While subsonic commercial jets took eight hours to fly from New York to Paris, the average supersonic flight time on the transatlantic routes was just under 3.
Due to the significantly less variable nature of high altitude winds compared to those at standard cruising altitudes, these dedicated SST tracks had fixed co-ordinates, unlike the standard routes at lower altitudes, whose co-ordinates are replotted twice daily based on forecast weather patterns jetstreams.
The delta-shaped wings required Concorde to adopt a higher angle of attack at low speeds than conventional aircraft, but it allowed the formation of large low pressure vortices over the entire upper wing surface, maintaining lift.
The only thing that tells you that you're moving is that occasionally when you're flying over the subsonic aeroplanes you can see all these s 20, feet below you almost appearing to go backwards, I mean you are going miles an hour or thereabouts faster than they are.
The aeroplane was an absolute delight to fly, it handled beautifully. I think it's absolutely amazing and here we are, now in the 21st century, and it remains unique.
Because of the way Concorde's delta-wing generated lift, the undercarriage had to be unusually strong and tall to allow for the angle of attack at low speed.
At rotation , Concorde would rise to a high angle of attack, about 18 degrees. Prior to rotation the wing generated almost no lift, unlike typical aircraft wings.
Combined with the high airspeed at rotation knots or kilometres per hour or miles per hour indicated airspeed , this increased the stresses on the main undercarriage in a way that was initially unexpected during the development and required a major redesign.
The main undercarriage units swing towards each other to be stowed but due to their great height also need to contract in length telescopically before swinging to clear each other when stowed.
The port nose wheel carries speed generators for the anti-skid braking system which prevents brake activation until nose and main wheels rotate at the same rate.
The brakes, developed by Dunlop , were the first carbon-based brakes used on an airliner. Wheel sensors include brake overload, brake temperature, and tyre deflation.
Concorde's drooping nose, developed by Marshall's of Cambridge at Cambridge Airport ,  enabled the aircraft to switch between being streamlined to reduce drag and achieve optimal aerodynamic efficiency without obstructing the pilot's view during taxi, take-off, and landing operations.
Due to the high angle of attack, the long pointed nose obstructed the view and necessitated the capability to droop. The droop nose was accompanied by a moving visor that retracted into the nose prior to being lowered.
When the nose was raised to horizontal, the visor would rise in front of the cockpit windscreen for aerodynamic streamlining.
Following take-off and after clearing the airport, the nose and visor were raised. Prior to landing, the visor was again retracted and the nose lowered to The US Federal Aviation Administration had objected to the restrictive visibility of the visor used on the first two prototype Concordes, which had been designed before a suitable high-temperature window glass had become available, and thus requiring alteration before the FAA would permit Concorde to serve US airports.
This led to the redesigned visor used on the production and the four pre-production aircraft , , , and Concorde was modified with rooftop portholes for use on the Solar Eclipse mission and equipped with observation instruments.
It performed the longest observation of a solar eclipse to date, about 74 minutes. Scheduled flights began on 21 January on the London— Bahrain and Paris— Rio de Janeiro via Dakar routes,  with BA flights using the Speedbird Concorde call sign to notify air traffic control of the aircraft's unique abilities and restrictions, but the French using their normal call signs.
The US Congress had just banned Concorde landings in the US, mainly due to citizen protest over sonic booms , preventing launch on the coveted North Atlantic routes.
The ban came to an end on 17 October when the Supreme Court of the United States declined to overturn a lower court's ruling rejecting efforts by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a grass-roots campaign led by Carol Berman to continue the ban.
Kennedy Airport began on 22 November A dispute with India prevented Concorde from reaching supersonic speeds in Indian airspace, so the route was eventually declared not viable and discontinued in Periodically Concorde visited the region on similar chartered flights to Mexico City and Acapulco.
In its early years, the British Airways Concorde service had a greater number of "no shows" passengers who booked a flight and then failed to appear at the gate for boarding than any other aircraft in the fleet.
Following the launch of British Airways Concorde services, Britain's other major airline, British Caledonian BCal , set up a task force headed by Gordon Davidson, BA's former Concorde director, to investigate the possibility of their own Concorde operations.
One important reason for BCal's interest in Concorde was that the British Government's aviation policy review had opened the possibility of BA setting up supersonic services in competition with BCal's established sphere of influence.
To counteract this potential threat, BCal considered their own independent Concorde plans, as well as a partnership with BA.
BCal entered into a bid to acquire at least one Concorde. BCal's envisaged two-Concorde fleet would have required a high level of aircraft usage to be cost-effective; therefore, BCal had decided to operate the second aircraft on a supersonic service between Gatwick and Atlanta, with a stopover at either Gander or Halifax.
By around in the UK, the future for Concorde looked bleak. The British government had lost money operating Concorde every year, and moves were afoot to cancel the service entirely.
A cost projection came back with greatly reduced metallurgical testing costs because the test rig for the wings had built up enough data to last for 30 years and could be shut down.
Despite this, the government was not keen to continue. Asked by Robb if it was the worst deal ever negotiated by a government minister, he replied "That is probably right.
But if you have your hands tied behind your back and no cards and a very skillful negotiator on the other side of the table I defy you to do any [better].
Research revealed that passengers thought that the fare was higher than it actually was, so the airline raised ticket prices to match these perceptions.
From to British Airways flew a Saturday morning Concorde service to Grantley Adams International Airport , Barbados , during the summer and winter holiday season.
Prior to the Air France Paris crash , several UK and French tour operators operated charter flights to European destinations on a regular basis;   the charter business was viewed as lucrative by British Airways and Air France.
In , British Airways held a promotional contest to mark the 10th anniversary of the airline's move into the private sector. On 11 April , Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson announced that the company was interested in purchasing British Airways' Concorde fleet "for the same price that they were given them for — one pound".
It has been suggested that Concorde was not withdrawn for the reasons usually given but that it became apparent during the grounding of Concorde that the airlines could make more profit carrying first-class passengers subsonically.
Other reasons why the attempted revival of Concorde never happened relate to the fact that the narrow fuselage did not allow for "luxury" features of subsonic air travel such as moving space, reclining seats and overall comfort.
An auction of Concorde parts and memorabilia for Air France was held at Christie's in Paris on 15 November ; 1, people attended, and several lots exceeded their predicted values.
For instance, the famous "droop nose" can still be lowered and raised. This led to rumours that they could be prepared for future flights for special occasions.
It is on display at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport. British Airways conducted a North American farewell tour in October Kennedy International Airport.
Each day the aircraft made a return flight out and back into Heathrow to the cities, often overflying them at low altitude. On 23 October , the Queen consented to the illumination of Windsor Castle , an honour reserved for state events and visiting dignitaries, as Concorde's last west-bound commercial flight departed London.
British Airways retired its Concorde fleet on 24 October The three aircraft then circled over London, having received special permission to fly at low altitude, before landing in sequence at Heathrow.
The plane was piloted by Mike Bannister and Les Broadie, who claimed a flight time of three hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds, a record between the two cities.
All of BA's Concorde fleet have been grounded, drained of hydraulic fluid and their airworthiness certificates withdrawn.
It was retired in and then only used for spares. It was dismantled and transported by road from Filton to the Brooklands Museum in Surrey where it was restored from essentially a shell.
In February , it was announced that the museum and a group of volunteer Air France technicians intend to restore F-BTSD so it can taxi under its own power.
Kennedy International Airport in New York City, killing all passengers and nine crew members on board as well as four people on the ground.
It was the only fatal accident involving Concorde. This fragment punctured a tyre on Concorde's left main wheel bogie during take-off.
The tyre exploded, and a piece of rubber hit the fuel tank, which caused a fuel leak and led to a fire. The crew shut down engine number 2 in response to a fire warning, and with engine number 1 surging and producing little power, the aircraft was unable to gain altitude or speed.
The claim that a metallic strip caused the crash was disputed during the trial both by witnesses including the pilot of then French President Jacques Chirac 's aircraft that had just landed on an adjacent runway when Flight caught fire and by an independent French TV investigation that found a wheel spacer had not been installed in the left-side main gear and that the plane caught fire some 1, feet from where the metallic strip lay.
They came to the conclusion that the Concorde veered off course on the runway, which reduced takeoff speed below the crucial minimum.
John Hutchinson, who had served as a Concorde captain for 15 years with British Airways, said "the fire on its own should have been 'eminently survivable; the pilot should have been able to fly his way out of trouble'", had it not been for a "lethal combination of operational error and 'negligence' by the maintenance department of Air France" that "nobody wants to talk about".
On 6 December , Continental Airlines and John Taylor, a mechanic who installed the metal strip, were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter;  however, on 30 November , a French court overturned the conviction, saying mistakes by Continental and Taylor did not make them criminally responsible.
Before the accident, Concorde had been arguably the safest operational passenger airliner in the world with zero passenger deaths-per-kilometres travelled; but there had been two prior non-fatal accidents and a rate of tyre damage some 30 times higher than subsonic airliners from to During the 3-hour minute flight over the mid-Atlantic towards Iceland, Bannister attained Mach 2.
The test flight, intended to resemble the London—New York route, was declared a success and was watched on live TV, and by crowds on the ground at both locations.
The first flight with passengers after the accident took place on 11 September , landing shortly before the World Trade Center attacks in the US.
This was not a commercial flight: all the passengers were BA employees. Of the 20 aircraft built,  18 remain in good condition.
The only supersonic airliner in direct competition with Concorde was the Soviet Tupolev Tu , nicknamed "Concordski" by Western European journalists for its outward similarity to Concorde.
The Tu S had a significantly shorter range than Concorde. Jean Rech, Sud Aviation, attributed this to two things,  a very heavy powerplant with an intake twice as long as that on Concorde, and low-bypass turbofan engines with too-high a bypass ratio which needed afterburning for cruise.
The aircraft had poor control at low speeds because of a simpler supersonic wing design; in addition the Tu required braking parachutes to land while Concorde used anti-lock brakes.
Later production Tu versions were more refined and competitive. They had retractable canards for better low-speed control, turbojet engines providing nearly the fuel efficiency and range of Concorde  and a top speed of Mach 2.
Passenger service commenced in November , but after the crash the aircraft was taken out of passenger service after only 55 flights, which carried an average of 58 passengers.
The aircraft had an inherently unsafe structural design as a consequence of an automated production method chosen to simplify and speed up manufacturing.
These were to have been larger, with seating for up to people. The only other large supersonic aircraft comparable to Concorde are strategic bombers , principally the Russian Tu , TuM , M experimental , T-4 experimental , Tu and the American XB experimental and B Before Concorde's flight trials, developments in the civil aviation industry were largely accepted by governments and their respective electorates.
Opposition to Concorde's noise, particularly on the east coast of the United States,   forged a new political agenda on both sides of the Atlantic, with scientists and technology experts across a multitude of industries beginning to take the environmental and social impact more seriously.
Kennedy Airport, many found that Concorde was quieter than expected,  partly due to the pilots temporarily throttling back their engines to reduce noise during overflight of residential areas.
Concorde produced nitrogen oxides in its exhaust, which, despite complicated interactions with other ozone-depleting chemicals, are understood to result in degradation to the ozone layer at the stratospheric altitudes it cruised.
The small fleet meant overall ozone-layer degradation caused by Concorde was negligible. Each 1 percent drop in ozone is estimated to increase the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer worldwide by 2 percent.
Dr Fahey said if these particles are produced by highly oxidised sulphur in the fuel, as he believed, then removing sulphur in the fuel will reduce the ozone-destroying impact of supersonic transport.
Concorde's technical leap forward boosted the public's understanding of conflicts between technology and the environment as well as awareness of the complex decision analysis processes that surround such conflicts.
Concorde was normally perceived as a privilege of the rich, but special circular or one-way with return by other flight or ship charter flights were arranged to bring a trip within the means of moderately well-off enthusiasts.
The aircraft was usually referred to by the British as simply "Concorde". As a symbol of national pride, an example from the BA fleet made occasional flypasts at selected Royal events, major air shows and other special occasions, sometimes in formation with the Red Arrows.
Significant numbers of people attended the final landings; the event received widespread media coverage. The heads of France and the United Kingdom flew Concorde many times.
Concorde sometimes made special flights for demonstrations, air shows such as the Farnborough , Paris-LeBourget , Oshkosh AirVenture and MAKS air shows as well as parades and celebrations for example, of Zurich Airport's anniversary in The aircraft were also used for private charters including by the President of Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko on multiple occasions ,  for advertising companies including for the firm OKI , for Olympic torch relays Winter Olympics in Albertville and for observing solar eclipses , including the solar eclipse of June 30,    and again for the total solar eclipse on August 11, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Concorde disambiguation. British-French supersonic airliner. The nozzle consists of tilting cups.
Concorde's intake ramp system schematics. External view of Concorde's fuselage. British Airways Concorde interior. The narrow fuselage permitted only a 4-abreast seating with limited headroom.
Main article: Droop nose aeronautics. See also: Concorde aircraft histories. Main article: Concorde aircraft histories. Further information: Supersonic transport.
France portal United Kingdom portal Aviation portal. Jones' work at NACA demonstrated this in depth. She flies!
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CAL's Concorde plan". Not a critical circumstance in itself perhaps, but the failure of the tyre and the rupture of the tank was.
The resultant fire doomed the aircraft, crew and passengers. It is beyond belief to talk of surviving if this action or that had been done instead of what was.
Having already shut down engine 2, engine 1 was also shut down which further increased the yawing motion of the aircraft because of power imbalance and the drag induced by the fire then raging inboard of the left engines.
Even if sufficient flying speed could have been attained, exerting control for a survivable landing at this weight and aft C of G must have been an impossible task even if the fire did not bring about catastrophic structural failure before doing so.
If it had carried on the ground it would have collided with a waiting …. Dear Mr. Smith, Terrific story, very revealing and, though clear, filled with relevant detail.
I am currently writing an article about the Concorde one of the designs featured in my book Elegant Solutions for the Smithsonian website, and would very much appreciate your impressions of the aircraft unrelated to the disaster in France.
Drop a note if you can, or give me a call in California at The point is exactly the opposite. This Concorde may well have retired without a single loss of life had the people maintaining and operating had followed procedures.
The Concorde was a failure. It was intended to be a commercial success. But it was a total failure as no airlines would buy any.
When the time came they were glad to get rid of them. Even after a large infusion of public cash into the USA SST program it was canceled when it was realized that it would not be a profitable venture.
I was reading through some old posts, just for fun, when I spotted an error that I missed the first time through.
A tonne is kilograms, or about 1. It therefore would have been more accurate to say that the plane was at least 6.
Sehr guter Post! Ich schaue mir sehr gerne Filme im Internet an. Vorallem liebe ich Amazon Prime Video. For decades the principal airport of Paris, today it is general aviation and business airport.
The cases cited as examples are all of instances where the Concorde loses ONE engine. On the crashed flight, TWO engines — on the same side of the plane — were shut down.
That moves the thrustline a LOT farther off-center than just losing one engine. If it had been only one engine lost, or two engines lost on opposite sides of the plane, that would be a different story.
Valuable information. Fortunate me I discovered your site unintentionally, and I am stunned why this coincidence did not came about earlier!
This strip of metal…hmmm its got me a bit intrigued, Could it really puncture a tyre? A reinforced one at that as used on Concorde.?
So it falls on the runway, conveniently edge up, and then a tyre with 20 tonnes of weight riding on it hits this strip of metal.
To me 2 things would be more likely. One, that the metal strip would instantly be deflected away much like stones from car tyres, or two, the strip of metal would be crushed and flattened with over 20 tonnes of weight bearing down on it and thus rendering it into an unpuncturable shape.
I get that it was made of titanium but geesh , the ant that tripped up the elephant. Metal strip 1, Concorde 0. I think the tyre disintegrated itself, strip or no strip, I see no evidence that metal strip was run over at all.
Fourth — the strip was initially seen as being so marginal to the investigation that someone actually dropped it in a waste bin, from where it was later fished out.
The film says that the water deflector in front of the wheels shattered, and it was a part of this component that hit the wing, causing the fuel tank to burst.
The film says that, less than a week after the crash, Aeroports de Paris owners of CDG re-surfaced that runway. Man… I have punctured many tyres with a tiny screwdriver… You should try it yourself.
Whether the aeroplane even struck the piece of metal remains entirely speculative but that it was well and truly on fire before it reached that distance along the runway, is not.
The consequential scrubbing as the tires tracked to the left destroyed at least one of them, stripped its treads and caused much of it to be flung against the underside of the wing with sufficient force to penetrate it — and the fuel tank within.
The afterburners, of course, provided the ignition. As the consequence of its port undercarriage running over runway lights, one of the engines ingested foreign matter and was substantially damaged.
A cut in the tread of the tire that fragmented matches the shape of the metal patch piece. The fuel leak was from the wing ahead of the engine intakes.
It is visible in a photograph taken by a Japanese businessman who was aboard the waiting Having heard John Hutchinson speak and in a such an authoritative yet not as a Headmaster manor was probably the best I have heard when John spoke through a very heavy cold at a lunch of what were engineers admittedly not flight engineers but with an appreciation of the immense technological requirements needed to be Concord crew.
I would wish to extend an invite to John to lunch with some like minded people some who have flown as commercial pilots one of whom wife was also a senior Concord stewardess and military and still flying along with other who are of a marine back ground, we a small but intensively private group formed in and still once month for an informal lunch in London.
The show gives the findings of the investigations into each accident. RIP the passengers, and prayers to the families. God nah sleep!!! WRT comments about the flames not causing structural damage, being aft of the craft or likely to burn out soon… There was major structural damage discovered on the port wing.
It was found to be disintegrating especially at the rear control surfaces note this is prior to impact and subsequent fire as the scorch marks align with the wing components in their flight configuration rather then where they ended up after impact.
Sadly, flight dropped a burnt armrest over a service station it pased over, on the outskirts of the town in crashed into.
Perhaps they would have been unconscious already from fumes. Seems more likely, and I certainly hope it was the case.
I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This article posted at this web page is genuinely pleasant. Also the Challenger shuttle disaster 86?
What should be of more concern to us all is that, if we were mislead by the powers that be over this, a non- political matter, what lies are we being told about things that really matter!
I completely agree with you about the weight and the safety precautions. Well, in most of these cases, when you have literally seconds to make decisions, most all of us do the very best we can.
Should of, Could of, Would of does nothing to bring these poor souls back or honor their memories. Sadly, there was much to learn from this tragedy and in the end the fleet was grounded.
I always wanted to fly aboard one of these grand birds and see the curve of the earth and the blue sky turn dark. But that is not happening now.
In 27 years 1 accident is too many when precious lives are lost, but I think it is unfair to criticize when I know in my heart of hearts, those in the cockpit were not wanting to die that day anymore than anyone else aboard that plane.
So to criticize…so easy when watching, not so easy if put in their place. Again, not trying to be disagreeable, because many mistakes were made….
Thank you! I believe I watched this on You-tube a couple of years after the accident. I have been able to find the documentary, but over-dubbed in the Russian language, and I was sad enough to watch it in its entirety to confirm it was exactly the same.
One wonders how any person or entity can be powerful enough to suppress such a film, and I have to say its version of events seems far more plausible, to me, than the official BEA Accident Report.
Accident investigations are rarely as transparent and impartial as the authorities would have us believe, in my opinion.
Take for example AF I believe that a truly independent entity to take over these investigations would be a major contribution to flight safety.
I too, have searched for it for years. No luck. Also found it in Russian — and, here it is in Spanish:. Great article and awesome responses.
I worked as a security screener and ground crew at S. A for 15 years. I once saw a experience what looked like a flame out at what must have been very close to v1.
The plane managed to stop well before the end of the runway and all passengers were disembarked. As I was the one to let them back in the building I was told by passengers that they were told the reason for the abort was tire failure.
Why do airlines always lie? It seems like the truth is better. Anyhow they re-boarded the flight about 3 hours later and on they went.
Also, Henri Perrier Chief of Concorde Flight Test and layer Airbus from well before the first flight of was also accused and sentenced, but sadly died last year aged 83 after 10 years of bravely borne stress.
A disgraceful end to a highly distinguished career. Thank you for an excellent article and comments. I have never seen an undercarriage on an aircraft where the forward bogey could swivel; it is always the rear bogey which is supposed to trail naturally.
I would like to see a picture of a forward swinging bogey but until then I am a sceptic as to it being a factor. It is likely the fire would have got worse rather than go out giving them time to bring the aircraft in for a landing with two engines at their heavy weight, especially considering the high drag characteristics of the delta at low slow speed which has been mentioned.
I always enjoyed seeing the Concord on the ground and in the air and I am saddened by its demise. Good to read officially what happened to Concorde.
Captains like John Hutchinson and Chris Orlebar have been saying for years what has now been proved. I flew as a Cabin Service Director on Concorde for 6 years and will never forget my experience.
One wonders if DeCook George is American as we all knew that they were jealous that Europe was the instigator of Concorde but it was good to see so many Americans using Concorde so regularly.
It might have been non profitable but it brought so much satisfaction to both charter and regular airline passengers and it was a great experience to fly on it.
As we learned at Safety School in the Navy, every accident has many links in the chain of events which are all contributing factors.
If you remove one link, the chain is broken, and most likely you do not have a catastrophic result. Politics should not have a place in the investigative process so that the truth can be known and we learn from our mistakes and do not repeat them.
Your article is textbook and makes the point beautifully. There was then much discussion within the aviation industry with reference to improving the fuel tank integrity to prevent such punctures, but that was going to be very expensive and never took place.
Had a fuel tank modification been made following the BA Incident, then the French accident would most probably not have happened.
The other puzzle that I seem to have heard as per comment Number 58 is that the ATC called the aircraft to inform them of the engine fire several hundred metres BEFORE they hit the metal strip on the runway.
Was that true?? So, if it was, then what caused the fire in the first place — rumour has it the flight was delayed whilst one of the reverse thrusts on one of the engines was being checked or worked on.
The apparent reason I heard for the downwind take-off was they were running late and had to keep to their slot time or face a much longer delay still.
I guess your comment ties in with what I was told about tyre bursts which had occurred prior to the Paris accident and the lack of effective action to prevent another incident of the same kind.
If it was uneconomic to modify the aircraft properly prior to Paris, then that consideration must have featured in the risk analysis.
As I understand it, there were numerous tyre bursts so there was plenty of data. Did national prestige affect the decision not to modify the wings because in so doing it may have dealt a terminal blow to the commercial viability of what was already a loss maker.
I hope that today, politics do not interfere with objective safety decisions. National pride ….. Very interesting for me to see that this is becoming a live issue once again; I have been banging on about it for years.
One significant point I should like to make. When the tyre blew and threw debris onto the underside of the wing by tank number 5 it did NOT penetrate the tank.
So at the time of tyre burst tank 5 was FULL with no airspace in it. When the debris impacted the wing it caused a shockwave in that tank and there was nowhere for the energy in that shockwave to go.
That resulted in a burst of fuel out of the tank and the evidence is in the BEA accident report.
The metal at point of burst is all petalled outwards not inwards. I regard this as the defining error amongst many other errors on that terrible day.
Seems the tire broke up due to left main gear slewing and creating drag and swing towards the waiting AF B see photograph. Very informative article.
I was privileged, using frequent flyer miles, to fly 4 times on this aircraft since I could never have afforded to do so using real money.
Each flight was an experience to remember. No wonder it was a commercial flop. Sadly Concord died in a tragic accident, whereas the real blame for commercial its demise lies elsewhere.
If Concorde was the commercial failure that Decook George claims, why was it kept in service for over 25 years? The real tragedy was the failure to build on the expertise that was so expensively acquired.
The really difficult part of the Concorde project was getting to work at all especially in the pre-digital computer era. Concorde as a scheduled passenger aircraft never made any money compared to the investment that was made; and the fact that ONLY the two major countries that invested in it actually bought it shows that it was a money loser in the eyes of other airlines in the rest of the world.
The USSR tried jealousy? The USA aircraft industry saw no profit in it and declined to make their own or even buy a single one. Pride funded by the tax payer kept it flying for 25years — pride for a technological feat was fully justified; pride for an economic and profit-making solution never was.
To prove it, no country in the world including the two Concorde investors never were able to produce a new follow-on commercially-viable supersonic design for scheduled passenger flights; in fact after the last Concorde production aircraft the losses were so great that not a single Concorde was ever produced again.
While I belief Concorde was a great technological undertaking, its real longterm benefit lies in the fact that it proved to Europe that they could overcome political and national differences and set the stage for one of the greatest international industrial cooperations ever achieved: Airbus!
Concorde did make a profit, for BA. They flew it for a profit from the point they actually put the fairs up to charge those execs what they thought they were paying.
Then BA ran it at a profit until the crash and grounding. They made substantial investment in Concorde a lot more than AF did and then the french pulled the rug out from under them.
They made heavy profits in the final months with almost all the flights fully booked. Much to the irritation of the french.
On Concorde for least drag following an engine failure at V1, the instruction is to fly with zero side slip. On every simulator check the pilot must cope with an engine failure at V1.
On a twin engined airliner V1 is usually at Vr. Here a simultaneous application of rudder and elevator is required. On Concorde the runway cannot be seen once 13 degrees of pitch is achieved.
Without visual reference the side slip indicator becomes the reference. The bank angle to the right cannot be applied on the ground, so AF veered to the left.
Some smoke emission may have been seen prior to AF encountering the metal strip. Could this have been a trail of fuel venting from the orifice under the fin on the port side of Concorde.
Mick, first, normally, incidents occour before an accident happens. The reasons for the many tire bursts were because they continuously used re-tread tyres.
As far as I know, a new tyre never bursted. Why did they not stop using re-tread tyres? Right after the first incident! This, I could not understand!
With the use of new tyres, the problem would have been solved immediately.. Stupid people in regulators positions!
An other thing, which I could not understand, was the decision to reinforce the rubber tanks. They said then the holes would be smaller, if a tyre would burst!
And not so much fuel would flow out! Again: What a poor solution. And on top,also reenforce the rubber tank skin. A journalist usually looks for the sensationalism in any event in order to sell the paper.
Instant sale. An an ex-BA cabin crew member, we have to put our trust in the boys at the sharp end but they are rarely wrong. Also European pilots generally are well-educated and articulate and not inclined to panic, either by nature or purely by good training.
Read the full report of the AF Concorde accident. It was caused by Continental leaving its rubbish on the ground and the sooner the Americans stop their incessant, anti-French ranting and raving, the better for all concerned.
Why has an independent agency not been involved to uncover the truth with out any thing to loose or gain from the outcome of this investigation???
Perhaps a UN of typed needs to be established to look into this and all future accidents so NO one can slant any findings or cover anything up so as NOT to loose face or to be involved in any way politically, economically or have anything to loose in any way???
All of us on the site , during our presentations all over the world, cover the crash in great detail, with high quality slides and videos. The emotive responses of people on the various Facebook sites, really is not helpful, yet I do understand the feelings of emotion that are, in some cases, running high.
Leaving emotion aside, which I find difficult, after reading the accident report, specially those inane comments by members of the investigating group, under the Mayor of Gonesse, let me consider another slant.
CRM Human Factors is a damned good tool for getting crew members to work together. Good too, for the likes of pilots of my age, some of whom, have been poor in this area.
Then the shit should hit the fan and procedures introduced to ensure such things do not happen again. As an aside, did it happen within Air France?
I have to assume that it did not, nor did they consider any investigation of their training procedures, so they lost AF over the South Atlantic and damned near lost another Concorde in , with a severe unnoticed fuel leak.
The AF Board are responsible for the safe operation of their airline, they have to accept responsibility for this and should be judged accordingly.
I am utterly disgusted by the whole thing and feel that justice has not been done for those poor families of the crew, passengers and the four in the hotel, who have to live with this stuff forever.
The Tu was quite different to teh Concorde in one way, and that way was what led to the Paris Crash.
Interestingly the difference also partly led to the Concorde crash too. Conical Vortex lift. Concorde at very slow speed has masive drag, and this reduces as speed increase.
Thus, lifting off below Vr was suicidal. Agreeing that uncommanded engine shut downs are a no-no. You do not mention the failure of the gear to retract — possibly due to damage.
Could Concorde fly away with one thrust failure AND no gear retraction? I was waiting for someone to mention the failure of the gear to retract as noted from the CVR transcript I always vividly remember the incredible drag an unretracted landing gear produced when practising engine out landings — quite scary.
So here we have the Concorde with two engines shut down, gear hanging down, and an aft CG, it seems that the only chance of survival would have been to have at least three engines at max thrust regardless of the flames behind.
In any case the fire did not seem to be causing structural damage, it was simply like a man using a flame thrower — the fuel from the flame thrower is actually alight AFTER it leaves the nozzle and is not burning the man or gun, likewise thw Concorde fuel leak, though spectacular was actually slightly behind the wing.
There are a couple of things that are not directly stated in the piece that trouble me. Firstly, the question as to whether the pilot might not have heard the wind direction message from ATC.
Also, in a wind shift situation it is ATC that directs a change in departure runways. Just thinking about it….
Great result by the French Court to overturn the previous verdict, I along with a lot of other flying people knew all this information many years ago, I was amazed that this did not come out sooner,.
Great article, Patrick! Once again we learn accidents are caused by several factors, instead of just one major event! On the later model Boeing jets almost all visual and aural warnings are inhibited until reaching this safe altitude for a good reason.
Majority of engine fire warnings are caused by a leaky hot air valve, duct or a source. Almost all gone on the , thank you! Even if the engine is fully inflamed, it is still producing power, when you need it the most.
A cooked engine is far better than loosing the entire aircraft! The Concorde Captain could have gained enough airspeed to control his crippled aircraft even after his over grossed early rotation in a tail wind situation with a dragging wheel, had the Engineer not shut the engine down so quick and perhaps without his command!
We modified our memory items to include this phrase on the top, when we were in the Sim with him. How do you know this would be likely? Concorde had at least one undiscovered in-wing fire due to fuel tank leakage into the wing.
Moreover, the report notes that Concorde was designed with allowable fuel leaks and seepages specific to tank location, up to 14 drops-per-minute for some areas without immediate repair.
Agreed with your assertion of the possibility of survivors had the pilots made Le Bourget or de Gaulle.
The outcomes at Tenerife, Heathrow British Airtours Flight 28M , and other accidents in which people escaped despite hull loss, support that.
Presumably they ran the scenario in the simulator, the aircraft taking off with a CG slightly aft of the limit and rotating 11 knots too early, was it really uncontrollable then??
To Josse: Growing up in the U. What a magnificent achievement to be able to outrun almost all military aircraft with pax in comfort across the Atlantic.
As with many other complex accidents there are multiple causal factors and these have been debated at length regarding the AF Concorde. Regardless of the cause of the tyre burst I recall reading that there were many previous tyre bursts some of which caused lower wing skin damage.
Indeed one ex-BA Captain who I once flew with told me that he had one which caused a fuel tank leak and he thought there had been others.
Was the action taken to mitigate the risk sufficient. Did the Airline Safety System function well enough? Did the regulators discharge their duties correctly?
Post accident modifications were too late. Concorde was repaired and modified to fly again. It is often mentioned that Concorde had a supposidely bad impact on the ozone layer.
Nobody mentions those people who acted to ground Concorde for good. This was the first accident of Concorde but not the first in aviation history.
Concorde was a beatiful unique airplane. I deeply regret that it does no fly anymore. I am French and I apologize in advance for my non-perfect English.
I further comment on French Justice shortcommings regarding aviation crashes. Dead 99 Injured 9. Both flight data and voice recorders stolen from the site —video and photos show man walking away with -were tampered.
Compared with photos while boxes were stolen, the large white safety cello bands were misplaced on both tampered boxes before their delivery to BEA.
To me the accident report is very thorough, shows a very detailed analysis of the accident, considering all posibilites and comes to the right conclusions.
There is clear criticism of Air France in several area as well as criticism of the oversight and regulation of Concorde operations. There is also criticism by the UK AAIB of the French judicial enquiry hampering them doing their part of the investigation as well as a couple of area of technical disagreement.
However they do agree with the general findings and agree that the missing spacer on the landing gear was not significant.
Having attended a 2 week aircraft accident investigation course in the UK, I was amazed and very impressed by the quality of the investigators and the job that they do.
I guess its a lot easier to read this article, which seems thorough and full of facts and assume it is correct, rather than take the time to read the full report.
But the accident report clearly shows loss of power in two engines due to surges between V1 and VR. The accident report mentions similator exercises with similar double engine surges resulting in the aircraft drifiting to the left, only after several attempts and knowing what was going to happen were the crews able to keep the aircraft straight.
The article suggests the flight engineer shut down engine 2 without the captains knowledge and too early, whereas the accident report shows that the Capt was involved in the decision and that the engine fire warning was only silenced momentarily after shutting down the engine, probably by the fire extinguishers cooling the area near to the fire detector briefly.
The report shows that Air France had contradicting policies one was not to action the checklist until ft, the other in a different manual was to action any red warning immediately.
With hindsight as we know that there was no engine fire, it would have been better to not have shut the engine down, but the crew didnt know that, there was a clear fire warning and the fire was burning throughout the brief flight.
They never made it to ft. However with both engines surging maybe it wouldnt have made much difference.
A table in the report shows the minimum speed to achieve any rate of climb with two engines and the gear down was in excess of kt and kt when on 3 engines.
Again a sad day for aviation, but good that the inappropriate judicial action was finally thrown out. Much appreciation for the great and masterful article.
I do not wish to be classified as a conspiracy theorist but sometimes the tools of that theorist are useful. Whenever you have many competing interests and politics, the potential for misdirection in the media and other official sources of information exists.
Misdirection is an art. You must creates layers of truth. One as an initial statement for the press and reporters, the next as what will be discovered later by investigators, and another to be discovered by the analysts and experts.
Now use the above and explore what happens when you remove information that you consider to be factual. What if there was no metal strip on the end of the runway?
How would you explain this whole incident if that one piece of information was gone? Remove other pieces of information you consider to be factual and ask yourself the same question.
With that piece of information fact missing, how do I now explain this incident. It may cost a lot to retrofit wing tanks but what if the alternative is to admit that the landing gear failed?
The problem with being an expert is that we trust our experience, logic, and analysis, and those feeding us information know that. Concorde was a very different aircraft to operate in comparison to a subsonic aeroplane.
Crews were always operating at the edge of the envelope. This included performance — range — weight and centre of gravity. Sadly the flight data recorder on Air France was an old model, compared to British Airways, and its sampling was limited.
The aircraft was overweight because the time needed to transfer and burn fuel was too short. There was a constant need for fuel to keep the operation legal but also with Concorde you could take too much taxi fuel if ATC suddenly offered you a quick departure.
This would have been easily covered if you knew exactly what the ATC delays for each departure would be. JFK would hold us on 31L for 20 minutes if landings were on 04 but not always.
What was essential was for him to shut those valves prior to take off. As we used 90 tons per hour on Take off, space in the tanks became rapidly available provided the valves were shut, otherwise fuel from tank 11 kept pouring in allowing no air space in the fuel tank.
Huge impact forces during the crash event itself. Concorde fuel is a subject on its own and far too involved to mention the full implications here.
To be honest, the design was a marvel of British not French engineering. The taxi part of the flight was very short and during all the preparatory checks for departure considerable , the following events also took place.
For those of us that flew the , we realised how a hydraulic system should be built but it was a much later design and weight was not the same problem.
Whilst taxying one of the two split rudders dropped its signalling mode from green to blue and a check list item had to be performed. It took off in blue — not a problem.
Meanwhile take off checks were being performed and from the voice recorder transcript it has to be said that the flight deck was performing normally but the crew were very busy.
During the Take off run the Captain did two things that need some explaining but are still a mystery. Why did he use only 20 degrees of rudder max 30 and why did he rotate early?
He was relatively inexperienced on the Concorde — after hours I was still learning — having been on the plane about a year.
I do remember that on my first simulator check the call was made V1 — followed by engine failure — and I started to rotate only to realise very quickly my mistake.
I had spent 8 years in shorthaul and the call was always V1 — engine failure — rotate. Is this what went through his mind under stress?
Likewise did he actually think he had applied full rudder because he had not done a full flying control check from his chair?
I am told that AF flying control checks were done by their ground crews but I cannot vouch for this. Forgive me if I am wrong.
We in BA always did our own flying control checks and these were done by the pilot flying thus ensuring full and free. By the way, the checks were something that took over a minute by an experienced crew member.
The wheel space bearing is another issue that did not come out of the initial investigation and may have been added through UK pressure.
It was a BA engineering team that saw the first implications of this discovery at the Crash Hangar.
Personally, doing a high speed taxi is not the same as doing several take offs and landings which require retracting the landing gear. More needs to be worked on this field, I feel.
A shortcoming of the fuel tanks had previously been exposed at KIAD when a tire blew and the aircraft was nearly lost. With so few departures and this knowledge it seems to me that the prudent thing to do would have been to do a runway sweep before a Concorde take off.
The lost part would have been spotted and tragedy averted. The aircraft wasnt overweight when the take-off calculations were done by the crew if I read the full article correctly What had changed was the surface wind, such that if the calculations had been done again it may have been six tonnes overweight.
However, we dont know if this is really true as we dont know how the calculations work. In my current aircraft type the computer calculation uses half the entered headwind, or double the entered tailwind, to give margin for wind changes, thus if the calc was done for the two cases of no wind of 8kt tailwind, the Max Take-off weight might be six tonnes different, but it would actually be taking into account 16kts tailwind.
Even if this is the case, it might not have any effect on the aircraft taking off, the limiting factor may well be stopping the aircraft within the available runway after an engine failure just before V1.
This is quite often the limiting case. This isnt saying that the Capt was correct to take-off with this discrepancy, just that it may well have had nothing to do with the crash.
This is a well written report, but it also contains quite a lot of speculation, even if it is based on knowledgeable sources.
Maybe reading the full BEA report would shed light onto some of this. Much of the work to get the Concorde back into service after this event was about strengthening the tanks against tyre bust, so it would seem that at least the manufacturers, operators and certification authorites thought that the rupturing of the tank due to tyre debris was a major cause of the crash.
The spacer seems significant in that it caused loss of control on the runway, but the aircraft did get airborne and start climbing away, even if at too slow a speed.
The slow speed probably was significant, together with the aft CG going further aft due to fuel escaping from the tank.
But they would have had power for a few more seconds. The CG at take-off was obviously marginal, but its not clear if the crew knew about these other bags.
I seemed to remember BA aircraft sometimes waiting at the end of the runway to burn off that unused taxi fuel in the tail tank before take-off presumably to help wtih the CG, or reduce below max take-off weight.
The article seems to be trying to say that the tyre bust didnt cause the crash, but these other mistakes did.
Certainly a sad day for aviation. Good that the court action was thrown out, this type of court case is always bad for aviation safety.
Whether running over that bit of DC10 was the cause of the accident or not. That in itself was just an accident.
This criminal case should never have been brought. It was pilot error, mechanical error, maintenance error, a communications breakdown, and just plain bad luck.
Plenty of times, no. If you look at the ten worst crashes of all time for example, only three of them were attributed to crew error. A beautiful piece of writing describing a complex set of events, and very compelling evidence that politics was at play in the official enquiry.
As a private pilot myself I know that the captain is the final authority on ehwthewr the plane flies or not. Unfortunately, too many other issues can cause a pilot to make an unwise decision.
Think flight schedules, late departures, loss of revenue because of delays, reputation of the carries, ATC experience, etc. So sad. If blame had been properly placed, the Concorde fleet might have continued in service and we might now be in the supersonic age.
Boeing provided the numbers for TWA But the CIA needed to discredit the scores of eyewitnesses who saw a rising missile. So the CIA hypothesized a noseless B climbing from 13, feet to 17, feet trailing flames.
Supposedly, the eyewitnesses mistook a crippled B for a missile. Never mind that eyewitnesses saw the red streak rising from near sea level, not a point two and a half miles in the sky.
The zoom-climb was aerodynamically impossible, but this is what happens when politics gets into accident investigation. First, from a non-pilot, thanks for an excellent presentation.
However, knowledgable friends to whom I copied your article have suggested that there was another, probably extremely significant, contributory factor not mentioned.
Can you comment? Any one link can prevent the accident, but if left unchecked or handled incorrectly, will result in total destruction.
Even if you have a left or right yaw you are taught on takeoff to have positive foot pressure on the rudders to overcome this yaw. Most jets can use an active runway with up to 10 knows tailwind depending on the aircraft runway needs and runway conditions and this depends on the WAT weight, altitude, temperature limit.
Sounds like a pilot with a Tenerife, Canary Island mentality. As a retired airline pilot I have encountered the overweight takeoff problem many times.
The choice is always between leaving payload passengers or freight or fuel behind necessitating a fuel stop. Always there are many people involved in the decision.
Too many for one person to be able to dictate an overweight takeoff or in some cases an over weight landing. That is a quick way to lose a job.
In thirty years of flying for scheduled airlines I have never taken off overweight. There have been serious discussions and arguments about payload or fuel but never considerations of overweight take offs.
Allowing that would border on criminality. The Capt. There are other choices, a different configuration of flap, a different possibly longer runway, offloading baggage or fuel or both.
Thank you for posting this article. I have read it before although the alternate view always makes interesting reading.
My biggest concern with the story is how it impacts the credibility of the French BEA. An accident investigation is meant to establish what went wrong, so that a repeat can be avoided.
As is often the case, that explanation is likely to be embarrassing to at least some of the parties involved from the operator, AMO, manufacturer to the regulators.
If the BEA has chosen not to look at the explanation given in the story, what other omissions are there? What other lessons have we missed.
On another side of this story, I have always felt that the Concord accident was dealt with very unfairly by the regulators.
With only 13 aircraft in service it was clearly not an aviation workhorse. Has anyone got what it takes to suspend the type certificate of the current commercial fleet, especially three weeks after the accident?
Final point, the last I saw of the Concord was it taking off from Johannesburg about 18 years back. We all stood along a fence along the side of the runway watching and listening.
The local noise regulations were not too strict then and the crew could use full re-heat for a lot longer than at almost any other airport!
The memory is seared into my brain. Fascinating commentary, Patrick. But it again begs the question, why are governments so quick to lay blame rather than waiting for evidence?
Seems like rarely is the first impression correct. I am reminded also of the all-too-quick arrest of the 2 American pilots whose private plane collided with a Brazilian airliner over the rainforest.
Its all about CYA. In this case one govt agency covering for the other. Get a scape goat early because the public demands it, then later, dont confuse them with facts because they can not redetermine something which they set in stone.
Afterall these agencies are not mortal they are God like. And God does not make mistakes. Never was a truer word spoken, Eugene. It is just so much more expedient to find culprits than solutions — especially when those solutions entail that which should have been done anyway.
Who would then be revealed as the real culprits, i wonder? It rarely turns out to be someone in the wreckage. I must be missing something.
While Taylor was cleared, what about the mechanic who failed to install the spacer when the axle was replaced? Did the French court never hear this version of events?
In I was visiting a friend in Bristol, England where the British Concorde prototype was being built in cooperation with the French.
My friend was acquainted with an aeronautical engineer who was working on the project and he offered to take us to the hangar where the Concorde was being assembled.
What a spectacle it was. How something so beautiful could be so airworthy at Mach 2. The British were in charge of the engines Rolls Royce while the French designed and developed the complicated nose gear which pointed downward during takeoff then straightened out during flight.
Rumor had it that no sooner were the blueprints finished for these complicated mechanisms they magically appeared in the USSR where the Tu was being developed.
The resulting Russian version, to my untrained eye, looked identical to the Concorde. Perhaps if the Russians had not been so eager to have their own hurry up version of SST, the Paris Air Show crash of could have likely been avoided.
As I understand it, the Tu broke apart during a violent maneuver to avoid colliding with another plane. Yes, indeed, the TU pilot executed a violent manoeuvre to avoid a Mirage which was shadowing the TU in the broken cloud cover.
The pilot pointed the nose towards the ground to get the airspeed needed to restart the engines in the air. As the engines came back to life, the pilot realized he was too low and tried to pull the airplane out of its dive to avoid hitting the ground.
That is the manouevre which caused the wings to break off. It was British,subcontacted to Marshall of Cambridge. It built on the experience gained by Fairey on the Fairey Delta 2.
As a result the TU had considerably more drag, requiring afterburner USA or reheat in supersonic cruise. It has been speculated that Aerospatiale in anticipation of espionage left fake plans where they could readily be stolen.
This, if true, could explain the much greater fuel consumption of the TU The inferior wings appear to be the reason for the small wings ahead of the main wings to compensate for the greater CG shift toward the rear of the plane at supersonic speed.
Also for wings to break off at the low speeds of an airshow seems strange at the late date. Another effect of possible fake plans? Patrick- Can you give some insight into the thought process that resulted in the Captain flouting the rules which could ultimately have saved his aircraft?
Is it possible that he was fully aware of both the tailwind and the overweight situation and decided to go ahead with the departure regardless, either because of schedule pressures ie the 45 minute delay or simply due to the confidence he had in Concorde?
We see time and again that a chain of small events can coumpound themselves and lead to a crash. It is painfully obvious here that had Captain Marty simply taxied to the other end of the runway he would have eliminated 2 huge risk factors by burning extra fuel and eliminating the performance restrictions brought on by the tailwind.
People DO make mistakes, and in some cases, these, coupled with other circumstances accumulate to produce a disaster waiting not very long to happen.
This is simply wrong. ATC will choose an operating runway and generally a pilot will use the runway offered, but it is solely the responsibility of the pilot to decide which runway they will use.
It may be that the choice of a different runway will lead to a delay or even, as might have been the case here, a need to load more fuel to allow for the extra taxying time, but this is a safety issue and as such is entirely up to the pilot.
More important is the light this throws on the French approach to the investigation of air accidents. It has been evident for a long time that the judicial process not just in France is slow and cumbersome and may inhibit witnesses from speaking out at an early stage, thus compromising the investigation and, most importantly, the prompt dissemination of safety information.
This would be bad enough if the conclusions eventually reached were justified but it is clear that in this case that the conclusions reached by the court were faulty.
We can have little confidence that this has not been so in other French air accident investigations. Most of the time we are saved from downwind operations by good sipervision and luck.
It is a real thrill to make the mistake of landing or taking off with only a few knots of wind. Makes one whale of a difference!
I had read this article when you first put it up a few years ago, but it always makes for a gripping read. It just confirms what a sea of BS we live in.
Thanks as always for the straight skinny. Awesome; you could FEEL the speed. And the plane stretched over a foot in flight, due to the extreme heat; the windows were warm to the touch.
We have one Alpha Echo in a museum here at Barbados, since we were only one of 3 scheduled destinations it flew to. BTW, the captain shoved his cap into a space between a bulkheads on the last flight; now the cap is stuck there forever for all to see, caught immovably after the bulkheads locked back together as the plane cooled….
Hence, on the last supersonic flight of each Concorde, the Flight Engineer insrted his hat into the gap that opened up between his instrument panel and the bulkhead….
Thank you for this informative article. I had always heard and just assumed that the metal strip from the Continental flight had punctured the fuel tank, causing a catastrophic emergency that simply could not be fixed.
I did not know how much more to the story there was and appreciate you covering it. I remember reading in Flight International magazine, in the early days of Concorde, that a wealthy older woman booked a Concorde trip, curious what all the fuss surrounding this exotic new plane was about.
As she boarded her flight, the British captain was inside the door greeting passengers. In the late s I rented a Cessna kept at Dulles airport, tied down at the center of the field in the space between the main runways.
My route to boarding the van went right through their hangar, and on one occasion the Concorde was there. Nobody else was in the hangar and the portable staircase was in position, so I was tempted to have a look inside.
I agree. My one dream in life was to fly on the Concorde and that dream was destroyed when they were retired. I still get chills looking at the Concorde and still tear up realizing that is one dream I never experienced.
Thank you for this informative piece. The Concorde was an amazing plane and I regret its passing. Given that all other parameters would have been within the operational limits CG, landing gear, operational procedures etc.
And what would be the best way to deal with it? Given all the things that were not right, would the plane even have been able to take off and fly without the fuel tank fire?
TOW beyond limits, CG beyond limits, tailwind, landing gear out of order, obviously something wrong with the airport operations hence the close encounter with the ; this all sounds like the perfect mixture for a disaster to me.
The fuel tank fire was visually spectacular and terrifying , but experts say its direct effects on the actual crash were minimal, aside from damage caused to the number 2 engine, and it likely would have burned itself out in a matter of a few minutes.
Without the fire at all, but with the other factors still present two failed or failing engines, the weight issue, etc.
Sir, without prejudice As you can see on the picture the fuel is burning, BURNING, not exploding With gaining speed the fire will have extinguished itself Just like you, blowing on a match between kts kts IAS or way before the fuel being burnt or lost at a high rate.
The Flight engineer should not have shut down the engine as he did without the captain order command which would have been by SOP at feet above ground not before The flight engineer is the reason of the catastrophe Poor training at Air france??
I hope all is well in your world. Do you still have the Citroen SM? All the best! Pete Moffat Vancouver BC. The car could then have sold for a more reasonable price.
However the DS machinery on which the SM was based was to be discontinued at the end of the model year, so I suppose that Peugeot would have put it to death anyway.
There is a word in the Aviation World that is slowly being forgotten call Airmanship! It is something not taught,but gained by Experience. I find the main premise of the story hard to believe.
The nose wheel forces become overwhelmed by the rudder at speeds above V1 the commitment point to take off instead of abort.
The flight was doomed the moment the captain attempted a tail wind takeoff. Blog Archives Follow Us! Subscribe to our mailing list Subscribe. Author's Featured Photo.
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