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Concorde In The Military  
User currently offlineFoxbravo03 From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 43 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4362 times:

I was wondering if any of the world's airforces ever considered using Concorde as a high-speed troop mover,when the aircraft was in service?

3 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSinlock From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1692 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4301 times:

In short....No

Just think the Concorde held 100 pax.
Now figure that the average combat equipped soldier has about 80lbs of gear, ammo, armor, and weapons. All that takes up room so figure that the aircraft will now only hold 70 troops, In the aircrafts small cargo holds you might have just enough room for the Units gear. (Comms, tents, rations, ect..)

Being not air refuelable Concordes' range is about 3000nm. So a deployment from the U.S. doesn't get you anywhere really, Central America, parts of Asia if launched from Alaska.

A deployment from the EU will get you parts of the Mid East and a fair amount of north Africa.

An Asian nation would have a good Deployment range.

Only South Africa would have the budget to support such an investment.

Parachute deployment would not be possible as a side door jump is done around 170kts or slower.

And Concorde is not something I'd want to be in when someone took a popshot with a SA-7 or FIM-92

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30410 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4214 times:

Still interesting idea.

Cut a door in it's arse jet out quickly over a hostile target. slowdown for the drop. Execute a halo jump out of that door and then jump out.

Or how about a high speed elint aircraft?

As far as MANPADS, 54,000 is well out of their range.

Lets think out of the box people.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13606 posts, RR: 76
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3941 times:

Much as I loved it, even I knew that Concorde was about the most unsuitable airliner to be put in military service, in the transport role, yes it could carry 128, as certified), potentially 150 if you lost the galleys, all but one of the whiffies, and did not mind being cramped, but that would affect range, need a lot of C.G. testing too.

But, L-188 is not the only one thinking out of the box though, I remember last summer a conversation with a colleague in Concorde Engineering, he was ex RAF (and ex BAC).
We were discussing the problem of the issue of expense of support, (when discussing the attempted 'Concorde Alliance' plan pushed by a senior Concorde Capt, with Eddington's blessing), as well as all the myriad of civil aircraft regs that kept coming our way.

Naturally, on this site, people had asked 'why not let the RAF operate it as a Blair Force One?'
Well, the expense of operating it for so few flights, with tax £, was a non starter.
A VIP config would allow up to 4200 NM range, still not comparable to any number of ex-airline widebodies though.
The ex RAF/BAC guy, Rick, mentioned that the RAF Canberra PR.9s needed replacing, Concorde nearly could match their altitude, (up to 63,000, 60,000)in pax operation), had a great speed advantage too.
I asked, where would you stick the recce kit?
Rick replied, what about the forward hold, about the right size, the door would be modded with camera ports.
What about ECM kit?
Well what about the tailcone, there is space, hadn't BAC designed an APU fitment there at
Pan Am's insistence in 1970?
(They had, I've seen the drawings).
Take the 5 BA flyers, let the MoD take them on, pay all the costs.
BAE/Quinteq (former Defence Research Agency), reponsible for support, nice jobs for us too (BA L1011 staff were seconded to the RAF when the RAF took our L1011-500s, we've done maintenance on RAF VC-10s quite often over the years, as late as the mid 1990s).

Very expensive, maybe some disquiet about an aircraft with a dual VIP/reece role, politically. (RAF Canberra PR.9s, despite updated ECM and high altitude, are not used in high threat environments, a lot of their work is semi civil, like mapping, however once the bad guys defences are suppressed, they are used, like in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they proved a valuable asset).
Nice to dream though, it was never going to happen however.
I'd have been up for being a small part of it!
And wouldn't they have looked smart in a similar livery to the RAF L1011s?

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