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Concorde Landing Priority  
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6793 times:

hi guys and gals

i heard from a mate of mine who is reliable at this sorta stuff that when concorde was approaching either JFK or LHR that it was always given landing priority because it could only just carry enough fuel to reach to the destination + taxining fuel.

is this true or is my mate chatting $hit
many thanks
james


You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBBJII From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 850 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6767 times:

I don't know if the reason is true, but it did happen.

I heard from an old ATC friend og mine it was due to noise regulations.

If they put it the normal holding pattens, people complained like hell on both sides on the pond.

So it was easier to "bring her straight in".



Remember: The Bird Hit You, You Didn't Hit The Bird.....
User currently offlineEGTESkyGod From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1712 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6700 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Probably not a true reason, but if you have paid £1200+ for a ticket to get to London/JFK quicker than anyone else, you don't want to have to be stuck in a holding pattern for an hour!


I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13115 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6673 times:

I recall that a few times when delays at JFK, Concordes would be diverted to EWR. Of course they would have to make the jump run to JFK to pick up pax for the next flight to CDG/LHR.

User currently offlineScott0305 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6637 times:

I recently bought an ATC operating procedure manual for Concorde off ebay. In there it says that Concorde certainly has the capability to hold for a limited period of time but that if a prolonged hold is foreseen then the aircraft should absorb the delay en-route or be diverted to its alternate. It says:

"Concorde will, when necessary hold by the conventional holding pattern method. The procedure of laddering down the holding stack is acceptable providing that lengthy periods are not spent at uneconomic levels.

Terminal holding procedures carried out at speeds normally used by subsonic jet aircraft would impose an excessive fuel penalty, therefore Concorde holding will be based on the following: Above FL140 - Speed: 280kts, bank angle: 30, outbound time: 1.25 minutes. Below FL150 - Speed: 250kts, bank angle: 30, outbound time: 1 minute.

Caution:
If Concorde is holding at 280kt, unit instructions should be consulted concerning the effect of the higher speed and increased turning radius on separation from adjacent traffic patterns and routes.

On occasions when terminal delays of excess of 30 minutes are expected it would be preferable, from the fuel economy perspective, for Concorde to absorb such delays en-route by descending early and cruising at reduced speed and lower cruising level (generally subsonic) to destination rather than joining a holding pattern"

So basically what I take from that is that yes, it is possible for Concorde to hold but controllers who do not have the foresight to plan and have the bird absorb the delay en-route will not be thought of kindly by the airline.

I assume that controllers would prioritise Concorde for reasons of economics and for knowing that the people on-board have paid a hell of a lot of money to get somewhere quickly.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6602 times:

Another myth, it may have happened on occasion, bad weather diverts etc, but it wasn't the norm.
I heard incoming BA Concordes holding on the HF a few times, but it's true that these were not that common, it did drink fuel at low speeds/altitudes.

If it was that marginal generally in service, I doubt it would have been certified.

Though it's true AF in particular had some restrictions in the early years, (CDG was further from the US East Coast than LHR), but both fleets went through a mod programme at the manufacturers in the 1979-81 period, which did improve performance, these included thinning of the intake lips and the trailing edges of the flight controls.
These did really have a positive effect on loads out of SIN in the 1979-80 period for BA.

As ever, rumour and poor, lazy reporting had it that these early restrictions was the case way beyond the early 80's.
The one incident I think maybe being alluded to, in 1987, was a crew management issue.

Think about it, if there were such restrictions on routes to IAD and JFK, how did BA ever do non stop to BGI after 1989?

These did have an initial 88 pax restriction (but BGI pax generally had a lot more luggage, being a vacation rather than business destination), however, if the crew were happy on the day, with weight/fuel uplift calculations etc, BGI Concordes did exceed this rough 88 pax figure, I remember us departing full BA273 or BA1273's in the winters of 1997/8, 1998/9.

After the 2001/2 tank liner mods, an 80 pax restriction on BGI was more often adhered to, with few and minor exceptions, but operating in the depressed post Sept 11th environment (which made a good few regular pax switch to biz jets), it's hard to say if max loads of around 80 on the BGI (still very profitable per flight), were really what the market could sustain, rather than any result of restrictions.

Certainly in the last two BGI seasons 60-80 pax were the norm, indeed, the traditional extra holiday season BGIs, around Christmas/new year, did not happen, just the normal one per week, I know a couple of tentatively planned extra ones in 2001/2, were never operated due lack of demand.

Here is some BGI's in 1999, no pax loads I'm afraid, but if you saw extra BA1273's or BA273's on a Sunday as well as Saturday, that meant the regular Saturday BA273s had been filled months before.
All times LHR local, the rest of the flying programme showed for comparison;

Saturday 18th December 1999;
0750 - BA1273 - LHR-BGI - G-BOAB
0930 - BA272 - LHR-BGI - G-BOAG
1030 - BA001 - LHR-JFK - G-BOAA
1345 - BA002 - JFK-LHR - G-BOAF
1445 - BA1272 - BGI-LHR - G-BOAB
1515 - BA9010C - LHR-LHR - G-BOAC ('Round the bay' supersonic 90 min flt)
1545 - BA272 - BGI-LHR - G-BOAG

Sunday 19th December 1999;
0755 - BA9032C - LHR-RVN - G-BOAF ('Santa charter')
0840 - BA273 - LHR-BGI - G-BOAC
1030 - BA001 - LHR-JFK - G-BOAB
1345 - BA002 - JFK-LHR - G-BOAA
1545 - BA272 - BGI-LHR - G-BOAC
1900 - BA9033C - RVN-LHR - G-BOAF

From 2002 season, now the depressed post 11 Sept market meant the always less full Saturday JFK services, were substituted rather than supplemented by the BGI, but pax loads included;

Saturday 14th December 2002;
0930 - BA273 - LHR-BGI - G-BOAF - 64 PAX
1545 - BA272 - BGI-LHR - G-BOAF - 78 PAX

Saturday 21st December 2002;
0930 - BA273 - LHR-BGI - G-BOAF - 71 PAX
1545 - BA272 - BGI-LHR - G-BOAF - 52 PAX


User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 583 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 6544 times:

Jamesbuk

...i heard from a mate of mine who is reliable at this sorta stuff...

Not on this occasion.


...it could only just carry enough fuel to reach to the destination + taxining fuel....

Not correct, Concorde took off carrying:
  • Trip Fuel
  • Contingency Fuel
  • Diversion Fuel
  • Reserve Fuel
  • Taxy fuel

just like any other BA aircraft.

It is true to say that she had a limited ability to carry a lot extra holding fuel, when compared to a B777 or B747. When delays were forecast, generally about 15-30 minutes extra holding fuel was all that could be loaded.


...when concorde was approaching either JFK or LHR that it was always given landing priority...

No it wasn't.

Firstly, there would never have been any diversions had this been the case.

Secondly, do you think the other airlines would have accepted this?

There was a limited ability to "swap places" with another BA aircraft that was also holding, but with more holding fuel available, if it might avoid a diversion, but only with the consent of that aircraft's Captain and only if it did not cause ATC any undue problems in re-sequencing the aircraft.


...is this true or is my mate chatting $hit...

You decide!


Regards

Bellerophon


User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 6503 times:

If it was anything like the SR-71, it would leak fuel at low speeds.

A old friend of mine told me he worked on the SR-71's wing cameras while in the Air Force. He said the plane needed re-fueling just prior to takeoff (at the runway threshold) since the tanks were designed to expand at higher speeds sealing the leaks (higher temps due to friction). Apparently, according to him, the fuel would literally pour from the tanks until it reached mach+ speeds.


Now before anyone calls me crazy (as usual LOL), please read the link below which I just now looked up. I guess he was telling me the truth afterall....

from http://www.sr-71.org/blackbird/sr-71/

In order for the SR-71 to fly the worldwide missions, it has a special fleet of modified KC-135Q tankers for refueling. SR-71s run on JP-7 fuel, that fills the six large tanks in the fuselage. The component parts of the Blackbird fit very loosely together to allow for expansion at high temperatures. At rest on the ground, fuel leaks out constantly, since the tanks in the fuselage and wings only seal at operating temperatures. There is little danger of fire since the JP-7 fuel is very stable with an extremely high flash point.


EDIT: Just for fun....check out this video!!! I mean, who wouldn't want one of these? I'm saving my coins already

http://www.aviationexplorer.com/remo...ol_rc_concorde_turbine_engines.htm

[Edited 2005-10-29 16:14:49]

User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3708 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6313 times:

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 2):
Probably not a true reason, but if you have paid £1200+ for a ticket to get to London/JFK quicker than anyone else, you don't want to have to be stuck in a holding pattern for an hour!

1200 GBP.....if only! Concorde tickets were closer to 8200 GBP return.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineTheSorcerer From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 1048 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6289 times:

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 2):
£1200+ for a ticket to get to London/JFK quicker than anyone else, you don't want to have to be stuck in a holding pattern for an hour!

Why would ATC care how much someone pays for their ticket?



ALITALIA,All Landings In Torino, All Luggage In Athens ;)
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6269 times:

MD80fanatic, I certainly have heard stories about fuel seepage due to expansion/contraction of the fuselage.
You could see it on operational SR-71's on static display at airshows in the 1980's.

We had similar but much lesser in severity, issues on Concorde.
Fuel leaks were rated by position and drips per minute (DPM).
As always, when and how this would be fixed was guided by the manual, procedures etc.

I certainly remember aircraft returning, leaks detected and rated, leading to the aircraft being withdrawn for rectification.
We seemed to get a spate on individual aircraft for a length of time, OAE had a lot of this in 1997, OAG was if anything, worse in 1999.
But once the leaks were fixed, back in service.

All this of course was expected before the aircraft entered service, just a feature of sustained supersonic flight operations.

BA were always working to devise better methods of sealing.
From the limited experience we got after the 2001 relaunch, (fewer aircraft, a reduced service), the seepage was greatly reduced.
Not from the actual fitment of the tanks liners themselves, but I suspect EADS got some newer, better sealant, with their assistance in the initial tank liner aircraft, and it found it's way into the BA stores system.


User currently offlineDogfighter2111 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1968 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6165 times:

Quoting TheSorcerer (Reply 9):

They don't, but BA, AF and the customers did. The reason they weren't in a holding pattern was so that all of the business men weren't delayed.

Thanks
Mike


User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6063 times:

so the majority of us think they do have some sort of priority landing


You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineWillyj From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 468 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5660 times:

I remember reading something on BA's website that said Concorde was the only commercial aircraft that was routinely granted landing permission before taking off. so unless something unexpected happened at jfk or LHR, concorde should not have had to hold for long, if at all.

User currently offlineBa97 From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5655 times:

As a regular to LHR, I would find it humourous to be doing my regular figure "8"s in holding looking out at a Concorde. If I were sitting in a Concorde I would be mighty cheesed at being held up. I can see ATC can not give priority - in some places that would be a recipe for a law suit. I can also understand the ability to play with the arrival speed/time to avoid a temporary log jam and long term "8"s or negotiate with other company planes ahead of time. Were the arrival times of Concorde at points where delays were less likely? I think of certain times of the day that I know I am pooched long before entering one of those holding areas coming into LHR due to a combination of weather and traffic.


there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5558 times:

Thanks GDB  Smile

I had always wondered how Concorde managed the fuel drip situation, very informative.


User currently offlineScotland1979 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 548 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3919 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Wow, no one has forgotten about Concorde yet... must have missed her very much. Me too, I will never forget her ever...

I still miss her very much  ouch   banghead 

http://myaviation.net/?pid=00060285



Jesus said "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" - John 14:6
User currently offlineSFOerik From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3802 times:

I flew Concorde once and the best part about it was fast boarding process, quick taxi and same thing on the arrival end. I heard that it has landing prority - but I am not sure if that is a hard and fast rule. Perhaps when the traffic allows for it to go to the head of the line?

It was a true once in a life time experience for me and I have a picture with the crew and myself which is my favorite picture. Most of the FA's had flown for 20 years or more on Concorde and they were top notch!

els



I will no longer stress about upgrades!
User currently offlineHalophila From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 646 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

Quoting SFOerik (Reply 17):
It was a true once in a life time experience for me and I have a picture with the crew and myself which is my favorite picture.

My how I wish my mother had accepted the offer for us to be bumped from a BA 742 IAD/LHR flight one evening in '93 and taken the concorde the next day!



Flown on 707, 717, 727, 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87
User currently offline1F From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 7):
EDIT: Just for fun....check out this video!!! I mean, who wouldn't want one of these? I'm saving my coins already
http://www.aviationexplorer.com/remo...s.htm

Well I hope you’re happy with yourself ‘md80fanatic’

My 14 yo son was surfing some of my posts & saw your RC Concorde. He promptly tore up his current Christmas wish list & started all over with that as the single item. Has been bad enough keeping him in flight lessons & hauling him off the jump seat of our company jet & making him sleep on long trips as it is.

That was truly a delight to see & I would like to thank you for the link. Ross will most definitely not be getting the gear for such an advanced RC model but it sure made his day.

Regarding Concorde experiences: I made 37 JFK/LHR crossing over the years. Most often they were day trips or one night business meetings. Despite the incredibly high tariff it was an addiction that saved so many days out of my life & even with some drawbacks I miss it every time I need to make those same day trips.

I was fortunate to make 3 crossings after BA returned Speedbird1 to service after the AF disaster & despite all BA’s protestations to the contrary I never flew when it wasn’t nearly maxed out.

I checked my electronic BA ticketing & found only 4 of 37 crossings being more than 20 minutes delayed at arrivals on either side of Atlantic. I did have 2 outright cancellations.

I traded in every mileage point I had that fed BA/OneWorld & sent all three of my children on a flight booked the day we were informed before public disclosure of Concorde being terminated.

You may want to search the NBAA site (www.nbaa.com) & find the two companies currently proposing proof of concept SST designs for corporate travel.

Once again many many thanks for such wonderfully entertaining link.

Regards - McQ


User currently offlineWAH64D From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 966 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2539 times:

A common misperception is that Concorde flights were given priority into heathrow. This is not the case. Concorde would often land on the departure runway at heathrow, not due to favouritism but due to the approach speed of the aircraft.

Normal convention at LHR is to maintain 160kts on the glideslope until 4nm from touchdown. This is for separation reasons. Due to the design of the airframe, Concorde could not maintain 160kts on the glideslope and still have an acceptable pitch attitude for the crew to be able to see the runway. It would be pitched up too high at this speed. Hence, Concorde would land on the departure runway meaning it was held in the stacks for far less time than other aircraft waiting to land.

Landing concorde on the arrivals runway caused more separation problems and stack juggling than allowing it to land on the departure runway. I think this may have been a consideration at JFK as well but I'm not certain of that.



I AM the No-spotalotacus.
User currently offlineVC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1411 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks ago) and read 2403 times:

The wing joints on Concorde fuel tanks were sealed by flexible metal top hat sections, which unfortunately proved to be not as flexible as they should have been, and consequently cracked and fuel leaked. These top hat sections were replaced with Fibre glass top hat sections which did appear to be more flexible and thus fuel tight. These top hat sections would allow the joints to open and close with the temp changes whilst keeping the fuel in. The problem was if they were all fitted at the same time the would all roughly start cracking at the same time , which was a big job for maintenace to replace them.

During the early years of BA Concorde operation the normal method of approach was to have the speed back to Vref [ 150 -162 kts] by no later than 1500 ft and whilst the F/E might not be able to see the runway at these speeds due to pitch attitude, the view from the two pilots seats was OK. The change came when the French adopted a procedure where they flew at 190 kts down the glide slope until 800ft at which point they initiated a speed reduction to Vref+7kts. This was done so that close into the airfield to achieve the speed reduction the throttles would be closed and this would reduce the noise levels on the ground. For this noise reason BA also adopted what became known as the " Reduced Noise Approach" procedure, and not for any visibilty reasons.

There would be no reason for Concorde to require a landing clearance before it took off, as it would first have to jettison fuel which normally would take 30 minutes. Plenty of time to get a landing clearance.

Landing priority--- If only !!!! And believe me in the early days it was asked for but could never be given as all the other airlines would have been suing like mad

Concorde used 1000kgs of fuel to complete each holding pattern, and usually it had no more than 5000kgs of fuel available for holding on initial entry to the holding pattern, so no more than 20 minutes holding. This time scale would be given to ATC not to pressurize them but so as to alert them that the aircraft would require diversion clearance at that time

As already been stated at Hethrow we could sometimes swap landing slots with another BA aircraft that was in the hold, which saved many diversions.

Landing on the Departure runway was done for a couple [ or more ] reasons

1] Due to the high approach speed [ as already mentioned ] Concorde would sometimes get very close to the proceeding aircraft and so as to avoid a
"go around" ATC would very late in the approach offer the the departure runway if they could

2] At Heathrow they would if possible offer for landing, the runway that was nearest Concorde's terminal, so as to facilitate a quicker taxi in, and that might be the departure runway

Well the fingers are getting tired so that is all folks

Little vc10


User currently offlineEGTESkyGod From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1712 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2223 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 8):
1200 GBP.....if only! Concorde tickets were closer to 8200 GBP return.

Hence the '+', just an example, but i take your point.

Quoting TheSorcerer (Reply 9):
Why would ATC care how much someone pays for their ticket?

They don't, but the airlines may have requested it. In any case, its been dismissed as not true, so its irrelevant.



I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
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