Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?  
User currently offlineLuvAir From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5188 times:

While I know that spares for Concorde were auctioned off I asked myself:

Have Concorde's construction plans been preserved?

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3865 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5181 times:

Quoting LuvAir (Thread starter):
Have Concorde's construction plans been preserved?

Yes, there are several sets that are still in existence.


User currently offlineLuvAir From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5164 times:

Are only some of the original plans in storage or is the construction data for the entire aircraft still available?

Also, does anybody know if they've been digitized?


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 959 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5133 times:

Quoting LuvAir (Reply 2):
Also, does anybody know if they've been digitized?

That is probably unlikely. Converting paper drawings into CAD files is time consuming, tedious labor that is usually only performed if the aircraft is going to be modernized, used for research, or put back into production. That doesn't mean they couldn't have scanned the drawings and saved them as document or image files (.pdf, .jpeg), that's just basic intern work.


User currently offlineSphealey From United States of America, joined May 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5119 times:

The discussions that float around about blueprints or construction plans (the Saturn V is the usual subject rather than the Concorde as here) are a bit off the mark. The actual critical element for building a complex mechanical system is not the blueprints (which btw ARE preserved for the Saturn V) but the shop drawings, the shop instructions with their informal notes, and the knowledge that the manufacturing shop personnel have built up during the course of doing similar work leading up to, and then the making of, the parts for the mechanism. Once a production contract terminates and a period of time has passed the suppliers gradually begin to lose, archive, and eventually destroy all this supporting material. And then the people who were involved in the production move to other jobs, retire, and die. Finally the tools, the buildings, and the organizations disappear (e.g. the machine shops on Long Island that used to support Grumman and have since been converted into loft condos or bulldozed for new shopping centers).

Could all this be reverse engineered and recreated? Yes, if absolutely necessary (a "Deep Impact"-type scenario), but it would be extremely difficult and expensive. So it never happens.

sPh


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5096 times:

While the plans (blueprints) may have been saved, they are of little use without the tooling. Aircraft are assembled using tooling called jigs and fixtures which locate and support the parts during assembly. The tooling would take up lots of space and I doubt if it has been retained.

User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4626 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5055 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 5):
The tooling would take up lots of space and I doubt if it has been retained.

The Concorde jigs in both France and Britain have been disposed of. I believe this was in the early 1980s.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4853 times:

Quoting Sphealey (Reply 4):
The discussions that float around about blueprints or construction plans (the Saturn V is the usual subject rather than the Concorde as here) are a bit off the mark. The actual critical element for building a complex mechanical system is not the blueprints (which btw ARE preserved for the Saturn V) but the shop drawings, the shop instructions with their informal notes, and the knowledge that the manufacturing shop personnel have built up during the course of doing similar work leading up to, and then the making of, the parts for the mechanism. Once a production contract terminates and a period of time has passed the suppliers gradually begin to lose, archive, and eventually destroy all this supporting material. And then the people who were involved in the production move to other jobs, retire, and die. Finally the tools, the buildings, and the organizations disappear (e.g. the machine shops on Long Island that used to support Grumman and have since been converted into loft condos or bulldozed for new shopping centers).

Could all this be reverse engineered and recreated? Yes, if absolutely necessary (a "Deep Impact"-type scenario), but it would be extremely difficult and expensive. So it never happens.

sPh

Very True. However, their are cases where fairly extraordinary efforts have been made to retain such knowledge. In the case of the Saturn V Rocket Engines... (The largest hydrogen fueled rocket engines ever built) they filmed much of the process of construction of the engines so people could see how it was done and how they were built if the line were ever restarted. Copies of those films exist in several places. Very costly, but I understand that this has also been done for certain military technologies and specific weapon systems that could be reactivated as well (the US Navy has on several occasions reactivated the battleships with their 16" guns). Currently these ships are again mothballed... but are subject to recall again. For the right kind of battle where you need a lot of shore bombardment... Nothing beats a battleship.

I wonder if filming production has been done for any aircraft related items?


User currently offlineRazza74 From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4719 times:

Isn't Aeries, the shuttle replacement supposed to be using a modified Saturn V rocket?

Razza74



Ahh the joy of living under a flightpath
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4675 times:

Quoting Razza74 (Reply 8):
Isn't Aeries, the shuttle replacement supposed to be using a modified Saturn V rocket?

The upper stage will use a modernized version of the J-2, which was also used on the Saturn V upper stage.

The first stage is derived from a Space Shuttle solid rocket booster and isn't related to the Saturn V at all.

Tom.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13165 posts, RR: 78
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4651 times:

Correct to say the plans as such are, the tooling, jigs etc, are 25 years gone.
(When BAe made new rudders for BA-and they botched it, new jigs and tooling was needed, the originals having been scrapped).

Similarly, the specialised docking for maintenance, was scrapped too, at the end of 2003.

For possibly more on what plans are around, join the free forum or e-mail the webmaster here;
www.concordesst.com


User currently offlineKaitak744 From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 2360 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4492 times:

Slightly off topic, sorry, but I heard a while back that the Air France Concorde being stored in Toulouse (TLS) is being actively maintained by Airbus. Is this still true, or was it ever true?

User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10875 posts, RR: 37
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4453 times:

I took the freedom of "stealing" this topic from here and posted it on the Concordesst forums.  Wink

These are the answers (2):

gordonroxburgh
Yes.
The Technical archives at Airbus have the drawings, along with the likes of the BAE systems archive. BA also have a good quantity on Microfilm that they used on a day day basis.
We've actually accessed some of the original drawings to re-make bits for G-BBDG.

ChristiaanJ
Difficult question......
The original hand-drawn master plans for the structure would already have been in different places: Toulouse and Filton, and probably Weybridge.
Then there would have been secondary masters, microfilms, and working copies.
But Aérospatiale and BAC would have held only a small part of the master plans... don't forget there were about 700 subcontractors.So the landing gear masters would have been at Messier, the engine master plans at Rolls-Royce, the AFCS schematics and circuit board master plans at Elliott and SFENA, etc. etc.
And then BA (and I suppose AF) had design authority for certain modifications and repairs, so some master plans would have been there.
It's highly unlikely that EVERYTHING has been archived. The originals would have been on drafting film ('calque') or Mylar film, which takes up a lot of storage space.
Airbus has probably archived pretty well everything on microfilm, which in turn may have been scanned onto digital media.
Subcontractors, especially smaller ones, may well have disposed of a lot of documentation, once their support contract ended. Rolls Royce for instance has transferred plans and documentation for the Olympus to a Rolls Royce heritage archive.
Some documents and plans would also have gone to the museums.
What appears on eBay would mostly be working copies, or the rare out-dated original.

There are two Concordes "stored" at Blagnac in Toulouse.

Concorde F-BTSC the last of Air France flying Concordes. It is sitting at Blagnac in the waiting to become the center piece of their projected Air and Space museum. An auction of never used Concorde parts will take place in Toulouse next month (September) to support the construction/creation of this new museum.

The first "serial" Concorde is also at Blagnac. It is the one that can be visited along with the Airbus assembly line plant, in a separate tour.

http://www.taxiway.fr/

Taken from the Taxiway website:

The guided tour of the Concorde serial N°1 will lead the visitor in the heart of one of the most important technological challenge ever done.
As an ideal complement to the tour of Airbus (J.L. Lagardère site or Clément Ader site), you will discover a mythical aircraft which technical datas and performances are still unequaled until today.

After an outside tour of the aircraft presenting its main technical datas you will be invited to get onboard.
The guide will explain to you the history of the Concorde programme and its specific flight conditions. Moreover you will know everything about the economical repercussions of the Concorde programme in the aeronautical sector but also in the car industry, the sailing and medicine field and even in our daily life.

The concorde N°1 which is presented to you has flown from 1973 to 1985 in order to develop, to test and to promote the programme. It has also been used as a presidential aircraft.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineLN-KGL From Norway, joined Sep 1999, 1005 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4407 times:

They've tried to duplicate the G-BOAC at Manchester Aviation Viewing Park last week, but they ended up with this Concorde of twigs

http://www.ringwayreports.co.uk/WhickerPlane_DR_170807.jpg

Source: http://www.ringwayreports.co.uk

[Edited 2007-08-20 10:03:43]

User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10875 posts, RR: 37
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 4346 times:

Yes, I saw this on the Concordesst site, they named it G-TWIG!  Smile
I hope it will survive!



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineLuvAir From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 4141 times:

Very interesting answers everybody and a great read!

I could imagine that maybe some of Concorde's assembly has been filmed, too. After all, like the Saturn V it was/is a one-of-a-kind. Does anybody know if there is actual footage of Concorde's construction that exceeds your common 20 second piece on a Concorde DVD?

When a hypothetical new SST is brought up there's always the talk about technological transfer or carry-over from the Concorde. So where exactly would that come from when quite some data or better experience with the actual construction is seemingly not readily available?

Also, has the data from test flights been stored?

I mean Concorde was the most-tested aircraft at entry-into-service and the data to me seems very valuable, especially regarding supersonic flight and Concorde's flight envelope.


User currently offlineLuvAir From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3908 times:

The wicker Concorde model is great, how'd they do that?

User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7402 posts, RR: 57
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3852 times:

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 11):
I heard a while back that the Air France Concorde being stored in Toulouse (TLS) is being actively maintained by Airbus. Is this still true, or was it ever true?

It is true.
This is also true for F-BTSD, stored at LBG.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
Concorde F-BTSC the last of Air France flying Concordes. It is sitting at Blagnac in the waiting to become the center piece of their projected Air and Space museum. An auction of never used Concorde parts will take place in Toulouse next month (September) to support the construction/creation of this new museum.

This is F-BVFC .

F-BTSC crashed on July 25th 2000.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10875 posts, RR: 37
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3813 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 17):

This is F-BVFC .

F-BTSC crashed on July 25th 2000.

Oh..... I did not even realize I swapped the two registrations. I am unforgivable for this one.
I have been very tired these days..... accident... i can't sleep at night.....

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 17):

It is true.
This is also true for F-BTSD, stored at LBG.

No Concorde is in air worthy condition. Not the one at TLS, neither the one at LBG.
None of those in the UK either.
These are just rumours...

...


[Edited 2007-08-26 14:55:53]


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7402 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3804 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 18):
No Concorde is in air worthy condition. Not the one at TLS, neither the one at LBG.
None of those in the UK either.
These are just rumours...

The question was not "are they airworthy" ?. It was was : I heard a while back that the Air France Concorde being stored in Toulouse (TLS) is being actively maintained by Airbus. Is this still true, or was it ever true? .

F-BVFC was maintained at TLS for a while after all Concorde stopped flying end 2003. Not sure if it is still the case.

F-BTSD is regularly maintained at LBG by a group AF former Concorde mechanic ground staff.



PS : Fellow A.netters, please, don't ask "any chance they fly again one day ?" ... The answer is : NO .


User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3779 times:

It's funny though as other members have said that we are in 2007, according to many books from 70's and 80's we should have flying cars, plastic houses and learnt how to create man made oil but it hasnt. We still use technology from those eras (70's and 80's) and some modern technology yet we cannot build a supersonic aircraft that is effiecient and able to have a decent payload. Yet they could in the 60's with much limited technology.

Boeing has defintley said they would look at supersonic aircraft but Airbus on the other side has defintley been very quiet about it.

Maybe in 30 years time we will have advanced far enough to be able to create a efficent supersonic jet that graces our skies like Concorde. I defintley think supersonic travel is sustainable in this day n age especially when time is money!

Well thats my ramblings!!  Wink



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10875 posts, RR: 37
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3766 times:

From sources in Toulouse and Air France.

FC was last powered in 2003 to support the judicial enquiry. Once the a/c was released from this she was removed from the care and maint programme.

FC has had an engine removed and donated to a local area museum.

FC is owned by Airbus France, and of course Airbus France were a big reason in Concorde being withdrawn.

A great deal of work is underway in Toulouse with the aviation communities down there efforting to create a Museum off the airfield site that will house FC.

...

SD is indeed regularly powered up, about twice a week on average, but not quite to the extent the rumours have it.....

During a "power-up", ground power from the museum is supplied to the aircraft.
This allows to light up the cockpit, run the ventilators, and have a few systems working, such as the radios.
It also allows to run the green auxiliary ground test hydraulic pump, which is used to move the droop nose.

...

The "group of former Concorde mechanics" is in fact only one girl, Alex. She used to be a trainee aircraft mechanic with AF during the last days of their Concordes. She is now at LBG full time taking care of the plane but under supervision of the museum, not AF.

As far as a Concorde never flying again, you should never say never. Not soon but you never know.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 19):
The question was not "are they airworthy" ?. It was was : I heard a while back that the Air France Concorde being stored in Toulouse (TLS) is being actively maintained by Airbus. Is this still true, or was it ever true? .

F-BVFC was maintained at TLS for a while after all Concorde stopped flying end 2003. Not sure if it is still the case.

F-BTSD is regularly maintained at LBG by a group AF former Concorde mechanic ground staff.



PS : Fellow A.netters, please, don't ask "any chance they fly again one day ?" ... The answer is : NO .



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3712 times:

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 20):
according to many books from 70's and 80's we should have flying cars, plastic houses and learnt how to create man made oil but it hasnt.

We have all those things. They're not economically viable, which is why you can't generally buy them, but the technology was solved long ago.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 20):
We still use technology from those eras (70's and 80's) and some modern technology yet we cannot build a supersonic aircraft that is effiecient and able to have a decent payload. Yet they could in the 60's with much limited technology.

The Concorde wasn't efficient (it was a tremendous fuel hog) and had a tiny payload. The problem is that supersonic travel just takes more energy than enough commercial travelers are willing to pay for. You can get an edge on that through improved systems/aero/engines but not enough to jump the economic barrier...the only way around it is a huge drop in energy cost. The smart money now is on the supersonic biz jets, where there is enough money.

Tom.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13165 posts, RR: 78
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3712 times:

Well I will say, 'almost definately never!'

Luvair, a lot of the construction, testing programme of Concorde was filmed, what I've seen was mostly at Filton, but I'd be surprised if the same was not true of Toulouse as well.
Probably owned by the descendants of BAC and Aerospatiale.

I'd guess the descendant manufacturers have the stored test data too.
But data collection carried on service, from atmosphere samplers installed in modified windows, (within the cabin wardrobe area), on some BA Concordes in 1977, carried out for the UK Harwell labs, to the before and after flight radiation readings on the cockpit dosimeter instrument, recorded after every flight over the 27 years.


User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3693 times:

Quoting Sphealey (Reply 4):
which btw ARE preserved for the Saturn V

True. The oft-repeated nonsense that NASA disposed of "the plans" for the Saturn V is an infuriating myth. NASA very meticulously documented technical details including construction methods for all Saturn V components as part of their knowledge retention program. Even so, that in no way means that it would be easy to recreate the vehicle - it might well be cheaper to start from scratch with some use of this data rather than to actually build a new Saturn V.

The same applies for Concorde. Even if there was demand for a new 100-seat SST, the manufacturers would likely start anew. We would apply lessons learned from Concorde and the TU-144, likely even retaining some design features (e.g. drop nose) but it would be a different aircraft, not a Concorde reborn.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
25 FlySSC : Sad ... Didn't have news from BVFC for a longtime ... thanks. Last time I went to a Concorde meeting, they were 3 or 4 people from the mechanic to ta
26 Post contains images MadameConcorde : We hear all kinds of things... that was because of the A380! Air France does not have them yet and will not have them for a while. In 2009 I think? Th
27 Post contains links and images FlySSC : I agree with you concerning FF. First I was happy that she would stay at CDG ... I have special feelings for F-BVFF as I did my very first flight as a
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Japan Plans Test Of "New Concorde" posted Tue Aug 23 2005 16:18:37 by SuseJ772
Interesting Article On Lufthansa´s Concorde Plans posted Mon Nov 4 2002 10:42:29 by Airsicknessbag
Air France Plans To Resume Concorde Flights! posted Tue Mar 13 2001 13:46:58 by L'Espace180
Air India Has No Plans To Buy JAT posted Wed Aug 15 2007 13:27:29 by Laxintl
AC Plans Flight To GIG posted Tue Aug 14 2007 17:40:43 by Hardiwv
Rumor: US Haulted Construction In PIT posted Tue Aug 14 2007 00:54:06 by Gift4tbone
Are EK's Expansion Plans (and Other) Realistic? posted Sun Aug 12 2007 19:23:58 by TKV
Anyone Announced Seating Plans On A380's? posted Sun Aug 12 2007 06:37:40 by CXfirst
Egyptair Plans Expansion In India And Malaysia posted Sat Aug 11 2007 02:04:01 by MSYYZ
Qatar's Australian Plans posted Tue Aug 7 2007 10:59:30 by Ctang