Topic Author
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:50 am

Concorde Engines Config...

Wed Jul 26, 2000 7:13 am

Having two engines so close to each other, doesn't that pose a threat? Let's say #4 blows up, there is only a rather thin metal separating #3 & #4. So by the explosion, #3 could easily affected by the pieces of metal separating them and other things. I hope i've been clear enough. It's very rare to hear a 4 engine plane crashing because of one eng, unless it got separated, then again it's another topic...I don't know your thoughts about it.

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Wed Jul 26, 2000 8:25 pm

On the US Air Force's B-1 & B-52 bombers, the engines are also side by side which could pose a threat.
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Wed Jul 26, 2000 9:22 pm

I don't know about the Concorde but Soloy had to jump through all sorts of hurdles to get his Twin-Pac engine certified. One of which is protection for each engine in case of an uncontained failure. Helicopters have been flying with two engines side by side for years.

CX Flyboy
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Wed Jul 26, 2000 11:48 pm

I was also thinking this. In a catastrophic and uncontained engine failure when fan blades shoot everywhere, it must be very easy for the other engine to be damaged. I know that other aircraft/helicopters also have this configuration, but it would be interesting to read about how many of these failures have resulted in the neighbouring engine also failing. If this turns out to be the cause of the accident it could mean that the Condorde's future may be in the balance. Even if other aircraft fly in this config, this accident has been very high profile indeed and if it is a design fault, then it will not be allowed to fly again without changes.

I am not sure what changes they could do to it other than to strengthen the engine casing and perhaps fan blades.

..lets hope Concorde is in the air for many years to come. I would fly on it any day.
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Thu Jul 27, 2000 1:37 am

CX flyboy seems to me to have a valid point here.
According to the information I have been able to access the cause of the disaster was an uncontained engine failure on #2 engine shortly after V1. It may have damaged engine #1 catastrophcally and it most certainly ruptured fuel tanks seriously in the port wing.
The flames we see trailing the plane is not from the engines, but from a heavy fuel leak on the port wing which was ignited by the afterburners. Then the plane got out of control due to a heavy imballace in the wing fuel tanks and insufficient power from maybe only two remaining engines.
If all this is correct, then a modification will certainly be questioned.
That may spell the end of it. A new protection of neighbour engine and fuel tanks against any uncontained engine failure will be a very costly and time consuming modification. In addition it may easily add so much weight to the airframe that it no longer will be able to carry any payload on its only route - Western Europe-US east coast.
Today the Concorde can carry only 6% of its MTOW as payload on the CDG-JFK sector. It doesn't take much addition of airframe weight to reduce that value to very near zero percent.
Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 1999 4:15 am

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Thu Jul 27, 2000 7:07 am

Concorde engine configuration was not the first one to have it sid by side. Look at the Comet, also the Jetliner, and the B-52. I am sure that it was taken into account that if one engine was to fail the other might. I know that Comet had a inforced wall between the two engines and I would gather the rest would as well. This is just my thoughts!!

Safety is Everyones Responsibility.

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Thu Jul 27, 2000 12:17 pm

From what I read at another site with a lot of Indusrial participants the engines on the Concorde are the same ones as were in the Avro Vulcan, the Olympus engine. To guard against shrapnel damage from catastrophic failures the Vulcan engines were 'bullet proofed' on three sides and on the Concorde apparently on all FOUR sides.
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Thu Jul 27, 2000 2:27 pm

An interesting perspective indeed on Concorde's design with respect to its engine placement. I did not think about that immediately but then, with 2 engines in such proximity it is highly possible for catastrophic failure of one to damage the other.

Yes, other planes such as 747, A340 etc. have engines mounted in separate pods but then they are not supersonic. In order to create a design which could undertake supersonic flight it was necessary to create as sleek and aerodynamically refined a design as possible - something which podded engines do not achieve. Concorde's placement of the engines in pairs under the wings was considered superior to the design of TU-144 Charger, whose engines were placed centrally and all of which were adjacent to each other. TU-144's design arose because its engines were so long that they could not have been placed further outward without breaching the leading edge of the wing. Again, the fact that Concorde had the Olympus engines tailored to its needs while TU-144 borrowed its engines directly from bombers was reflected in the designs.

Certainly provisions would have been made for catastrophic failure of an engine but, sadly, this time a calamity occurred. That is not just bad luck, it is about life in general.

My sympathies to all who lost loved ones aboard that flight. May the crew, passengers, other victims and F-BTSC all rest in peace.

Hop to it, fly for life!
CX Flyboy
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Concorde Engines Config...

Thu Jul 27, 2000 8:43 pm

I know that other aircraft also have this config. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it seems that the engine did damage other flight control surfaces and maybe a fuel tank. Many things take a crash to fix, and maybe it is just that the Vulcan, B52 etc has not had such a failure on takeoff that has crashed the aircraft. With the blades turning at the speed that they must do in the concorde, you would need a very strong aircraft to withold any damage. Remember the Delta MD80 that had blades shoot through the cabin and kill people?

Even if Vulcan's etc.. have crashed due to this very problem, would it have stopped further manufacture of this design? Maybe not. this is a very high profile crash, unlike many other crashes that have happened, and it may, unfortunately only be an event like this that can change a design philosophy so dramatically.

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