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VapourTrails
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Concorde And Contrails

Sun Jan 20, 2002 1:26 pm

Does Concorde have contrails in the cruise? If so, do they appear in the supersonic cruise at 50,000ft, or only in subsonic?

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lehpron
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Sun Jan 20, 2002 5:16 pm

I know for darn sure like any plane at high altitude Concorde definitely has contrails.

I had this class at my highschool where adults could come in and get re-educated with CAD programs, I was seated (are you ready for this) an ex-Concorde pilot!

He told me this one time while a friend of his was in a 747 at 35000ft and he blasted over them at 60000ft and Mach2.0. Think of sweeping you arm over you head at about 2 feet per second -- that is how his friend described him when the "line of chalk trail" of Concorde passed over.

He also told me stuff like this one conversation he overheard of an flight attendent and a passenger. The passenger asked, "What's the wing for" and she said, "I donno, hold the fuel maybe".

Hope this helps  Big thumbs up
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GDB
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:37 am

I've not seen one, but when two Concorde's pass each other, miles apart. at 55-60,000ft feet, the captain often comes on the PA to tell the pax. to look out for a streak of white to their side.
Lehpron, was it an ex-BA pilot, if so, can you remember his name?
 
donder10
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Mon Jan 21, 2002 7:22 am

I have actually seen a contrail pic of Concorde in super-cruise.It was in a Concorde book at the Mach3 shop by the LHR spectators gallery.The pic was taken on board the QE2 and the seperation between Concorde and the beginning of its contrails were a long way!Almost 1 1/2 plane lengths if I remember correctly.
Alex
 
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VapourTrails
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Mon Jan 21, 2002 8:18 pm

I couldn't find any photos in the A.net database, that's why I posted this thread, as well as general curiosity!

Another question .. could you see Concorde flying at Mach 2 at 57,000ft, from the ground - or from a ship in the Atlantic say - even if there were no contrails? It would be heard! but it may have already gone by then and be out of sight. In short, can you high-altitude spot Concorde with binoculars or a telesope, has anyone ever done this?

Also, would contrails be able to form at that height, if it is so dry up there in the upper atmosphere? It is mentioned in other 'contrail' threads here there has to be moisture for them to form, high humidity, and little or no wind, which there wouldn't be at that height, would there?

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donder10
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Tue Jan 22, 2002 4:28 am

It does form contrails and yes you can see it based on that photo which is quite clear.
 
777236ER
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Tue Jan 22, 2002 6:21 am

Dond, in that photo that is smoke from the engines, not contrails  Big grin
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Tue Jan 22, 2002 8:38 am

Donder10, I would love to see that photo that you mentioned..  Wow!

GDB, yes that would be awesome, seeing another Concorde flying supersonically as well!
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lehpron
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Tue Jan 22, 2002 5:25 pm

Lehpron, was it an ex-BA pilot, if so, can you remember his name?

Goodness it was a while ago, maybe 7 years! I can say for sure he had a clear british-english accent, I'd assume ex-BA but not sure. I didn't catch his name, if I remember correctly, he dropped class within a month.

I remember him having a stocky appreance and bifocals where there was a split and when he turned to me or the instructor his head kinda pitch way up high.

Hope that helps some GDB, again this decription is about seven years old. I live in the area of southern California, USA, I'm sure you can find out who I ran into knowing this much. Big grin

could you see Concorde flying at Mach 2 at 57,000ft, from the ground - or from a ship in the Atlantic say - even if there were no contrails...

VapourTrails: My guess is that this would be a little difficult if you didn't know the flightpath. If you prepared yourself with some algebra before hand, you might get lucky stealing a backshot.

For example: For simplicity, let's make Concorde 200-feet long and the altitude in question 56000-feet. This comes to a ratio of 1:280 for length vs. hieght. Which means if you made a model of Concorde an inch long, you'd have to be looking up about 23 feet to see it, kinda small, huh?

Now it cruises at 1350mph which translates to 1980 feet per second and give us a length to speed ration of 1:9.9, almost 10 times it's length per second, that's fast. At this speed it would take thirty seconds to go through it's altitude. Scale that speed down to the 1:280 ratio and Concorde moves at about a half mile per hour.

Since it is going at M2.04, neglicting the changes in air temperature per altitude, the shockwave angle is approximately 29.3-degrees above & below horizon.

In other words, if you position your binocs or camera (preferable with a zoom) very near 30-degrees or pi/6 radians above the ocean as soon as you hear the boom, you might catch a glimpse of basically the picture posted at the top of this thread, without the afterburners on ofcourse.  Big grin (maybe even with a "dark sky" in the background)

Be warned though, by the time you hear the boom the plane is probably over 20 miles away, taking the curve of the earth into account and it could be a degree off. At that distance a degree is 600+ yards, keep your lens steady, you'll miss the plane completely! [it's bad enough to spot a white plane that high in a blue sky!]


I do this all the time here in SAN, planes fly over my house near Miramar before turning to land there. I used this scaling and ratio method to find out how high & fast they are going. Never tried with Concorde though, try and tell me what you think.
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Sun Jan 27, 2002 2:11 pm

Can anyone else help with answers to my questions?? (before Johan locks the thread!)  Smile
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lehpron
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Sun Jan 27, 2002 2:22 pm

Didn't I answer your question?
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H. Simpson
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Sun Jan 27, 2002 2:53 pm

I'm wondering if 50,000 feet still has moisture to work with the engine exhaust...
 
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Sun Jan 27, 2002 3:10 pm

It's OK Lehpron, I read your answer, thanks. Concorde doesn't fly in this part of the world, so I cannot see this for myself though.  Crying
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donder10
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Sat Feb 02, 2002 3:47 am

How close to New Foundland does Concorde fly?
 
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Thu Feb 14, 2002 6:36 pm

Are there any Concorde pilots on A.net?
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musang
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RE: Concorde And Contrails

Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:36 pm

Just to clarify, ideal conditions for contrails are (a) cold and (b) humid. The moisture increase which causes the trails comes from the exhaust, which contains much more water vapour than most would think.

The air in the wake of the engine becomes rapidly saturated, and also heated, so the addition of moisture needs to be such that the heating is also overcome.

Condensation nucleii are required for the water to latch onto and condense, which are supplied in the form of exhaust particles.

Contrails can be either water droplets or ice crystals, and if the latter, the water vapour may well have bypassed the liquid stage, going straight from gas to solid. Supercooled water droplets can exist below freezing; temperature is not the only factor.

See Aviation Weather, AC 00-6A, page 41.

Regards - Musang

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