LuvAIr
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Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:37 am

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

Have Concorde's construction plans been preserved?
 
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moo
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:41 am

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

Yes, there are several sets that are still in existence.
 
LuvAIr
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:44 am

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?
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:01 am

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.
 
sphealey
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:07 am

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
 
474218
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:12 am

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.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:32 am

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!
 
2175301
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:24 pm

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?
 
Razza74
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:02 pm

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

Razza74
Ahh the joy of living under a flightpath
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:31 am

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.
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:10 am

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
 
kaitak744
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:36 pm

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?
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:20 pm

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
 
LN-KGL
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:01 pm

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]
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:59 pm

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
 
LuvAIr
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:25 am

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.
 
LuvAIr
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:45 pm

The wicker Concorde model is great, how'd they do that?
 
FlySSC
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:15 pm

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.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:54 pm

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
 
FlySSC
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:04 pm

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 .
 
pilotdude09
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:21 pm

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.........
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:31 pm

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
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:00 am

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.
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:01 am

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.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:22 am

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.
 
FlySSC
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:21 am

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 21):
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.

Sad ... Didn't have news from BVFC for a longtime ... thanks.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 21):
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

Last time I went to a Concorde meeting, they were 3 or 4 people from the mechanic to take care of SD. I agree that was quite a few while ago.
Well, at least there is someone for SD there ...


I heard again recently that F-BVFF would be moved from its actual display position at CDG ... Any news on this ?
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:26 am

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?

There is no intention of having her moved from where she is. They were afraid that the Big Bus's wing span would be too large to go by where she is but finally they realized that there was no danger of any sort.

I do not like these show-off displays "a la Sinsheim". I wish they would have left her somewhere on the ground inside the airport perimeter (to avoid graffitti) the same as Concorde AB at Heathrow. AB looks so real like she might taxi in the next 20 minutes and go off for a flight...

The sad thing about FF is that while taxiing right next to her so few people inside the aircrafts (if any) notice anything. This is my own experience each time at CDG, the same applies in the hotel shuttle busses on the way to the hotels. Nobody says any word about Concorde. She seems to be long forgotten.....

Not by everybody, though!!!  Smile  Smile  Smile

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 25):
I heard again recently that F-BVFF would be moved from its actual display position at CDG ... Any news on this ?
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
FlySSC
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RE: Concorde's Construction Plans Preserved?

Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:57 am

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 Concorde Flight Attendant with her ...

I was suprised by those rumors about the possibility to change its location because of the wingspan of the A380 ... Yeah sure

Another rumor said that she would be displayed on the crash site of SC ... as a memorial .

Oh Well !!! I feel so sad each time I drive by her, after leaving AF's HQ .


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