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Concorde is the world’s only supersonic passenger aircraft. This aircraft flies at more than two times the speed of sound. In 1962, the British and French governments signed an agreement to develop a supersonic transport aircraft (SST) and the plane was built jointly by British Aerospace (Bae) and Aerspatiale. The first flight took place in 1969 and began passenger service in 1976.The Concorde holds many records, including fastest crossing of the Atlantic from New York to London in 2 hours 54 minutes and45 seconds as opposed to about 8 hours for a subsonic flight. A total of 20 Concordes were made, of which 13 are still in service. British Airways and Air France fly the planes. Each Concorde is young in "aeroplane years" having completed about the same number of take-offs and landings as a 3-4 year old 737 and the same number of hours as a 4-5 year old 747. This paper includes the special features of the Concorde from the ordinary airplane, which enables supersonic flight.
. Because the Concorde travels faster than the speed of sound and almost twice as high as other commercial jets. it has several features that set it apart from other aircraft: • • • • Streamlined design Needle-like fuselage Swept-back delta wing Moveable nose Vertical tail design Engine design Engines built into the wing Afterburners Main and auxiliary fuel tanks High-reflectivity paint Streamlined Design As any aircraft approaches the speed of sound (1100 ft/s. Other Passenger Jets The Concorde flies faster and higher than most commercial jets.Concorde's first supersonic flight was on 1st October 1969. or Mach 0.300 m). development and manufacture of a supersonic airliner in 1962. nicknamed the "Konkordski.The first prototype was rolled out at Toulouse in 1967. called the Tupolev Tu -144.84) at an altitude of 35. For example.000 ft (10. 343 m/s). First flight of Concorde 001 was from Toulouse France on 9th March 1969.000 ft (18. the Concorde cruises at 1.350 mph (2.The Russians built an SST similar in design to the Concorde.HISTORY Supersonic airline research in Europe began in 1956 and resulted in the British and French Governments signing an international treaty for the joint design. a Boeing 747 aircraft cruises at about 560 mph (901 kph.675 m)." The Concorde vs. In contrast. or Mach 2) at an altitude of 60.172 kph.
planes must be streamlined. and a low aspect ratio. Its stability is such that Concorde is the only commercial aircraft that requires no stabilizing rudders. a 747 is 20 ft (6. The long. Thin wings reduce drag and help delay the formation of shock waves.7 m).7 m) wide (for comparison. the following designs have been implented: • • • • Needle-like fuselage Swept-back delta wing Moveable nose Vertical tail design Fuselage The fuselage (body) of the Concorde is only 9.the air pressure builds up in front of the aircraft. takeoff and landing. just slightly shorter than a 747. To punch through that wall of air. which requires a combination of sufficient length and sweep. even with a full load of 186 tons.5 ft (2. The Concorde's wings are thin and swept back at an angle. minimum relative thickness. But wings can be made only so thin. The designers of Concorde had to elongate the aircraft's silhouette. To streamline the Concorde. forming a "wall" of air. This design meets these requirements as well as those of subsonic flight. narrow shape of the Concorde reduces the drag on the plane as it moves through the air. assuring it maximum atmospheric penetration.1 m) wide). Delta wing A delta shape is the most appropriate for supersonic flight. which . The length of the Concorde is about 202 ft (61. The angling back of the wings. while offering sufficient structural rigidity and an extremely solid system of aerodynamic lift.
spoilers or leading edge flaps/slats. speed brakes. A Concorde in flight (Wide. grouped in three pairs. for pitch and roll. but the elevons droop on takeoff and for landing to create increased wing camber. triangular wing structure and lack of horizontal tail) A Boeing 747 in flight (Thin. makes them act as if they are thinner in the air stream.further reduces drag. rectangular wing structure and horizontal stabilizer on the tail) Nose . The big ogival wing is unique as is the fact that Concorde has no ailerons. Concorde has six elevons. Concorde also has no trailing edge flaps. The six elevons are hydraulically powered and electrically controlled.
Visor up) Subsonic cruising (Nose up . and can be tilted down upon takeoff and landing (13 degrees) so that the pilots can see the runway. (Delta-winged aircraft have a steeper angle of attack during takeoff and landing than other types of aircraft.) Also.Visor down) . needle-shaped nose compared to most commercial jets. the Concorde's nose has a visor to protect the windshield when flying at supersonic speeds and which maintains the aerodynamic profile of the aircraft in flight. The nose helps penetrate the air.The Concorde has a longer. Position of Nose at different stages of flight Takeoff and subsonic cruising (Nose at 5° .Visor down) Supersonic flight (Nose up .
Together.Visor down) Engines The engines on the Concorde provide the thrust necessary for takeoff. The Concorde has four Rolls Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 turbo jet engines. Each engine generates 18.Approach. cruising and landing. The location and type of engines on the Concorde's are different from on other .629 liters) of fuel per hour.7 tons (180 kN) of thrust.771 gallons (25. the four engines burn 6. landing and taxiing (Nose Down .
TURBO JET ENGINE . At supersonic speeds. engine struts would be overstressed and likely to break. This design reduces air turbulence and makes for a more stable engine.Concorde in flight (The engines are attached directly underneath the wing without struts) Airbus 320 in-flight (The engines are attached underneath the wing with struts) The Concorde's engines are attached directly to the underside of the wing without engine struts.
After adiabatic compression the high pressure air supports combustion in the combustion chamber which occur at constant pressure in the ideal cycle. The air is supplied in three streams.Combustion chamber 4.Compressor 3. the remaining quantity of air (about 55%)known a tertiary air is used to dilute the high fuel-air ratio mixture and lowering down its temperature to safe limits for the turbine. Turbine 5. which is about 15% of the total. About 30% of air (secondary air) is introduced to complete the combustion. Inlet diffuser 2.(a) primary air.The main components of a turbo jet engine are 1. initiates the combustion of atomized fuel entering the combustion chamber. The fuel-air mixture is ignited by means of a high voltage device at the time of starting the engine.Tail pipe The compressor through an inlet diffuser sucks ambient air and the pressure of air is raised by the compressor besides a small rise through the diffuser. .
AFTER BURNER Exhaust gases from the last turbine stage have a large quantity of oxygen. turbine etc. The centre of gravity will thus move back at the same time as the center of pressure. This is provided with a convergent type exhaust or propelling nozzle where the gases expand further to the ambient pressure.2 a rearward shift of two meters in the center of aerodynamic pressure occurs. one in the front and the other in the back. Reheating can also be used for a short time to obtain increased thrust. The kerosene fuel is primarily contained in the wings. as an aircraft accelerates. Expanded gases from turbine enter the exhaust pipe (tail pipe). This process is known as reheating. but two supplementary tanks are located in the fuselage. The velocity at exit is very high corresponding to high values of pressure ratio across the nozzle. They contain approximately a third of the fuel. which is done by an After Burner. It is well known that. On a lot of subsonic aircraft the tendency of the plane to pitch down is corrected by trimming the elevators. which can support the combustion chamber of additional fuel. . If the thrust of the engine is desired to be increased without changing the physical dimension of the compressor.The hot gases from combustion chamber at designed pressure and temperature expand adiabatically through one or more turbine stages. In the climb and acceleration. additional quantity can be burnt in a section of the jet pipe to increase the velocity of jet. but there is an aerodynamic drag penalty associated with this gain in stability For Concorde at Mach 2. fuel is pumped rearward into the tanks of the wing and tail. its aerodynamic center of pressure moves backwards. STABILITY In common with any aircraft the Concorde design has to ensure the stability of the aircraft over the complete speed range.
In subsonic equilibrium (1) In supersonic flight the aircraft "TENDS TO PIQUER" as the centre of gravity moves back (2) Classic solution is to rebalance the aircraft using the elevons but this increases the drag (3) .
moves back(4) and. when the center of gravity moves forward again (5). to move at the same time the centre of gravity (6) . which makes it possible to readjust the centre of gravity of the aircraft to match the aerodynamic center of pressure both during acceleration when the c.On Concorde the rebalancing is achieved by a system of fuel transfer.g. during deceleration.
The Concorde also has three auxiliary or trim fuel tanks (two in front and one in the tail). This shift drives the nose of the aircraft downward. Fuel Tanks The Concorde has 17 fuel tanks that can hold a total of 31. The main tanks are located in each wing (five on each side) and fuselage (four). The redistribution of fuel balances the aircraft by making its center of gravity match the center of lift. the Concorde uses fuel not only for the engines.8 cm) in flight. the Concorde is made of a special aluminum alloy (AU2GN) that is lightweight and more heat-tolerant than titanium. To minimize the stress on the aircraft. the air pressure and friction (collision with air molecules) really heat up the plane.500 liters) of kerosene fuel. its aerodynamic center of lift shifts backward. High-reflectivity Paint Because the Concorde moves faster than sound.Other Special Components There are several components that enable and support the speed and power achieved by the Concorde. When the plane slows down. The walls of the cabin are warm to the touch. but also for aerodynamic stability. To maintain balance. unlike other jets. the center of lift shifts forward. Fuel is then pumped forward into the trim tanks to compensate So. the Concorde has a high-reflectivity white paint that is about twice as reflective as the white paint on other jets. . To help reflect and radiate this heat.569 gallons (119. The heat encountered by the Concorde causes the airframe to expand 7 inches (17. The temperature of the aircraft's skin varies from 261 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius) at the nose to 196 F (91 C) at the tail. Here is what the trim tanks are used for: • • • • • • As the Concorde reaches supersonic speeds. fuel is pumped backward into the trim tanks.
The red feature represents the limit of the noise .NOISE Concorde is not as noisy as that (in normal use). Curve showing the level of noise produced by various jets at the moment of takeoff and approach It will be noticed that concordes it less noisy than some subsonic aircraft.
employ lot of ingenuity in order to overcome the difficulties of a supersonic flight. the estimate of weight is185 tons. friction will heat the point of the nose with 356° F. rapid (Mach 2. Approximately 50% of the mass will be devoted to the fuel. Indeed. A Mach 2. It is seen that the remainder will have to be very light.Even comparison measured in approach. Concorde grows of 9. the leading edge with 311°F. HEAT BARRIER CONCORDE.19 meters . On this point. with an area of 3856 sq ft. the . the engineers count on material chosen for the structure and the coating: a refractory aluminium alloy named AU2GN.61 feet). to 1852 meters of the runway entry. the surface of the meters being deducted. CONCORDE is large (62.02) transports approximately a hundred and twenty people .2. It has only one defect: that to age a little quickly. But it fights much better the ' heat barrier '.202. this involves the deformations of structure and the rises in consequent temperatures. 127° =260°F | 91° =196°F To 11 miles of altitude and 1364 miles/hours.44 inch For a plane of 202 feet length and 84 feet scale.
it would be necessary to employ titanium. and strengthening the wiring in the undercarriage Several plans are going on research to improve the Concorde in terms of safety and comfort. other supersonic planes are currently under design. In the absence of AU2GN. Taking into account the ambient cold at high altitude (122°F/ -131°F). It is used already for the paddles of engines at considerable motor mechanics. the temperature of surface will be about 257°F/ 266°F. high for traditional alloys. to prevent them from rupturing in the event that the wing is punctured. but this metal is heavier and also more difficult to work. President Ronald Reagan called for a program to develop a hyperspace transport or National Aerospace Plane capable of going from New York to Tokyo in two hours. FUTURE SSTs The Concordes are undergoing modifications. The AU2GN is not a ' prototype ' alloy.fuselage and the trailing edge of the aircraft between 284°F and 302°F. In addition to the Concorde. These modifications include installing Kevlar linings to the fuel tanks. New seats and cabin lighting are being installed to improve the passenger's experience onboard the plane. One concept of the National Aerospace Plane .
They would have to develop the air-breathing rocket engines necessary to achieve the appropriate speeds and deal with the intense heat of re-entry.800 mph) had to be destroyed in flight due to erratic comportment After more than five years of testing in wind tunnel. As for hypersonic planes. launched from a B 52 bomber above Pacific ocean and was supposed to haul X 43 in high altitude for an historic flight at Mach 7 (4. this real test should have checked overall performances in flight of the first scramjet.Another concept of the National Aerospace Plane .X 43 is the result of 20 years of research in the technology called scramjet (Supersonic Combustible Ramjet) based on the principle of propelling by a supersonic combustion ramjet engine . US say they are not working anymore on that project. heating…) must be multiplied by X. much like the space shuttle. a revolutionary engine able to propel X 43 at speeds up to Mach 10 (6. they still belong to science fiction.875 mph). French government has initiated in May 2001 a second call for supersonic studies but sums allocated are far from what they should be. All the points (noise. First test of experimental plane without pilot X 43 has failed on 2nd June 2001. CONCLUSION Concorde will retire in 2005/2010/2015 (hard to say) but what we know is that her successor will not be there to take place. Rocket Pegasus XL. fuel consumption.