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Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:48 pm

During BA and AF's use of the aircraft, was regular cargo loaded on the aircraft? Perhaps as a "premium" rush service to JFK/LHR/CDG. Generally cargo is loaded on pallets or containers (with the exception of aircraft which are strictly bulk-load only (ie. 737). Would regularly booked cargo fly Concorde or was it all transported on the non-supersonic flights? Judging by most cargo I've seen, it consists of large quantities which are already pre-palleted or in containers from or to be loaded onto other flights.
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:04 pm

This was an interesting enough topic I thought I'd see if it had been brought up before here in the forum. If you check this link, GDB answered most, if not all of your questions here:

Cargo On Board Concorde? (by FlyinTLow Jun 25 2005 in Civil Aviation)

If I remember right the cargo capacity of Concorde was around 2-2.5 tons. I doubt it was put on a pallet or put in containers, but I could be wrong. Regardless, it would not have been in large quantities.
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:14 pm

You may find this thread useful, from just a few weeks ago:

Concorde And Baggage (by working2gether Sep 1 2011 in Civil Aviation)

When I worked in Air Freight (late 90s), Concorde was very expensive for freight and could only handle very small packages. It was only ever really used for small, time sensitive documents.
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:28 pm

Buddy of mine worked the Concorde at JFK for BA. He said it was a nightmare to load. The cargo hold is extremely narrow and ceiling is low. Not much space for luggage and did tell me they had cargo but it was not much. Maybe a ton at most and that was very rare. What was so interesting is the fast pace time in which last bag had to be on the belt. I think it was 20 mins for the last one to be put on. When your paying fares like that, ones bag better be waiting for them no more then 20 mins.
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:38 am

Other than some time sensitive documents the 3 or 4 hour gain of getting freight through on Concorde was eaten up by Customs and then making connections to domestic flights.
If you were not receiving the freight at the point of entry then there was little to be gained by the extra charges of Concorde, especially if you were moving freight on into the interior of the US.

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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:56 am

My girlfriends dad works for a major international courier company and when Concorde was flying he was offered the chance to fly a package over to New York. He has a fear of flying, so refused the opportunity, but what an amazing 'job' to do!
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:26 am

Back in the day BA staff used to be offered courier trips in their own time, one sweetener was once you got known and had done a few you would be put on the Concorde list.
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:54 pm

...as mentioned already, it was mainly on board courier material that went in both directions, at pemium rates both for the airline as well as for the courier company. A lot of money was made in that business especially in the 80s, The SKY. was the limit.    
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:54 pm


The link above shows the cargo bins, looks bigger than what I expected..

[Edited 2011-11-18 08:57:46]
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:45 pm

One of the freight companies (FedEx, I think) used to offer "Supersonic Express" or something for a small fortune. I had to send some documents to South Africa once and used it--routing and exact time taken, not sure--but it worked a hell of a lot faster than posting something.
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:38 pm

If memory serves me right, I believe Concorde was occasionally used to transport time sensitive medication across the Atlantic. I vaguely remember seeing a documentary about either a vaccine or an anti-venom being transported as it had to reach its final destination within 5 hours.
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RE: Did Concorde Carry Cargo?

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:42 pm

I know for their off-line charter flights, BA would put a tow bar in the aft bin. It was a pain to get out and to stow.

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