RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 8:02 am

Something I have been wondering for a while, especially since the retirement a number of years ago of Kelly Johnson's SR71, is there a military (cant think of any civilian) aircraft that could actually chase down and catch Concorde?

I know aircraft like the F15 and Mig 25/31 have higher top speeds but it is well known that they can only sustain that kind of speed for a few minutes given that they have to run on afterburners the whole time, so my question is this, unless they where patrolling, waiting for it, is there any aircraft out there that can catch Concorde?

RickB
 
timz
Posts: 6163
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 8:16 am

Ha! Good question. So you mean, if the F-15 is sitting on the runway as the Concorde passes at FL570 Mach 2, can the F-15 fly formation with it? Getting off a shot at it with a missile doesn't count as "catching", right?

Sounds unlikely, but I'm no expert. Can a heavy-with-fuel F-15 get past Mach 2 at all?
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 8:29 am

Timz,

Yup thats the question, although to be fair - if we say the same flight level but a couple of hundred miles away - could anything catch it ?

But you raise an interesting point - I know missiles fly fast, but how close would an F15 have to be to Concorde (flying at Mach2) to get a valid shot off? (i.e. close enough for the missile to make up the distance before running out of fuel?

RickB
 
timz
Posts: 6163
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 8:40 am

Well, my question is can the F-15 catch it even if Concorde flies directly overhead. Still sounds tough to me.
 
Jj
Posts: 1189
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 7:40 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 8:41 am

I'd think it'd have to be not too far, as the missile would probably take some time to catch up.
 
GDB
Posts: 12681
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 2:00 pm

Depends on the missile, no real long range ones around since the US Navy has pretty much retired the AIM-54 Phoenix on the F-14.
Apparently in the 1970's USN F-14's on carriers in the N.Atlantic would use Concorde as a high-altitude/high-speed interception target, but often the F-14's would come back with red-faced crews!
A few years ago some UK-based USAF F-15 pilots and engineers paid BA Concorde Engineering a visit, when they were told of the sustained mach 2 performance they were shocked! And the F-15 is a very high performance fighter.
In the late 1980's, BA had some photos done of G-BOAG taken at 'mach 2', impressive shots with the dark sky and curve of the earth taken from a stripped down RAF Tornado F3.
But the pics were really taken at mach 1.6/1.7 apparently, as the F3 really could not keep up, granted the F3 isn't the most sparkling performer at altitude, but it is a mach 2 combat aircraft.

 
NZ767
Posts: 1553
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 9:17 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 2:07 pm

..........well the Red Arrows can!! Big grin

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Dopson

 
md-87er
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 4:06 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 6:58 pm

Well I would not call it "catching", but the TU-144 was supposed to fly faster than the Concorde (at least that's what I read in a book)
 
backfire
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:01 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 7:31 pm

I suspect Concorde would have easily been caught by the North American XB-70 which, I believe, has both the speed and the range.
 
mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 7:58 pm

Haha, shooting a missile at a concorde! sounds like that show.... erm.. .airport 1975? not too sure....
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 8:28 pm

It all depends on geometry...
If the situation is a tailchase, it's very hard as overtake speed is low (relatively).
If on the other hand the two are head to head, the hard part is not overshooting because of the very high closure speed.
I wish I were flying
 
Thumper
Posts: 520
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 2:12 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 7:30 am

Don't know for sure because top speed is classified but the F-22 might be able too.
 
westjet_8
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 11:38 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 7:54 am

The old Blackbird spy plane could but its not in service anymore  Sad
Canadian. RIP 1999
 
N766UA
Posts: 7843
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 1999 3:50 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:08 am

The F-22 is capable of over mach 2, just how far over is classified. If anything can catch it from the ground, it's the -22.
This Website Censors Me
 
N766UA
Posts: 7843
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 1999 3:50 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:12 am

To give you an idea of missle range, the AIM54 has a range of about 90nm, the AIM7 about 30nm, and the AIM120 about 20 miles. The 54, however, has never been used in combat.
This Website Censors Me
 
pothiabs
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri May 25, 2001 9:39 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:21 am

Don't tell me this posting will end up like MD90's question in late 2000 about the WTC's ability to resist impact of a B767.
 
Admiral Ackbar
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 2:26 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:51 am

I believe that the Iranian Air Force has reported three kils for the AIM54A during the Iran-Iraq conflict in the early 80`s

Two Mirage F1`s and Mig-21 IIRC.
 
POSITIVE RATE
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 11:31 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 10:04 am

The TU-144 has to keep afterburner on the whole time it's supersonic unlike the Concorde so it's got a lower range.
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 10:25 am

Oh Sure, Let's just go ahead and give the terrorists another stupid idea (If you know what I mean)  Yeah sure
Puhdiddle
 
penguinflies
Posts: 932
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 12:00 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:29 pm

Actually, a missile hitting the Concorde was part of a plot in the book HMS Unseen by P. Robinson.
 
mirrodie
Posts: 6789
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 3:33 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 2:04 pm

Rickb, sorry bout the last note. You are now in tech.ops.
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
POSITIVE RATE
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 11:31 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 6:55 pm

There is no fighter jet out there that can sustain Mach 2 over a long period of time as Concorde does. The F-14/F-15/F-16/F-18 are all good for "temporary" Mach 1.5-2 bursts but they can't sustain it longer than about 10-15 mins at a time so they probably could not keep up with Concorde. SR-71 Blackbird and XB-70 Valkyerie could though and maybe MiG 25 too.
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:02 am

If I remember correctly the Mig 25 is only get for 18 min bursts (or something like that).

I would venture to guess that the F-22 is the only aircraft that could catch it, they publicly admit that it can go Mach 2.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 4:37 am

I read somewhere that the F22 can supercruise (supersonic without afterburners) but only to a speed of around Mach 1.4 - now how accurate this is, is anyones guess. Any faster and it needs normal afterburners so burns fuel at a similar rate to contemporary fighters.

Even so I would imagine that its range would be considerably less than Concordes at such speeds. Whether or not it has a speed advantage required to catch Concorde is another matter !!

I wonder if anyone ever considered Concorde to have any military potential ?

RickB
 
covert
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:02 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 8:46 am

Hmm, Concorde and nothing being able to catch it....That is very intriguing...I guess we better watch the Concorde more closely RickB. It could be a very dangerous military weapon, or even soemthing I don't want to mention....I can see that a big light bulb just popped up in some peoples heads. I honestly can't think of any aircraft that could hot chase Concorde down, unless they take a Blackbird out of retirement. The best bet right now is a Mig-25, which is a true Mach 3 intercepter, after all it was designed to counter high-flying supersonic American bombers. But the conditions would have to be very favorable, as the foxbat only carries so much fuel. Concorde is capale of Mach 2 flight of about 4000 nautical miles. After thinking about this, I think a closer eye should be on Concorde.

Of course, a radar guided missle such as phoenix shouldn't have any problem tackling it, as it carries no ecm, and its size presents a very large signature. Heat seekers generally have lesser range and are meant for close engagement. Since most missles have rocket motors, they are effective to 70,000+

covert
none
 
Greeneyes53787
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 10:34 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 11:15 am

Convair F-106

GD F-111

Greeeneyes
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 3:27 pm

Depends on why you need to catch a Concorde...

If it's just a "friendly-see-who-can-do-Mach 2-the-longest," there isn't anyone out there now I think that can do it. Fighters that are capable of Mach 2.0+ don't have the gas to do Mach 2+ for sustained periods of time... Don't know how fast a B-1 can do. But I don't think the Concorde can do Mach 2.0 at all altitudes, it only is able to reach Mach 2 at certain altitudes and depends on how much fuel is onboard... The Concorde carries a lot of unusable fuel, required to be onboard to keep CG within limits, but that's a totally different subject. And I think the Concorde uses afterburners to accelerate to Mach 2, but doesn't need afterburners to sustain.

If you're trying to stop the Concorde to keep it from doing something untoward, ... don't we (in the US Air Force anyways) have ABM (Air Battle Managers) whose job is to figure out where to put the fighters so the fighters aren't doing tail chases? e.g. positioning the fighters so that they have the best possible chance of intercept? We've already established that Mach 2.0+ fighters can't catch the Concorde from the paragraph above. If Lt-Awacs were here instead of over there (he sounded like an ABM to me) he could probably elaborate.

If you position the fighter in the right place you don't have to chase down the Concorde. You would probably use up a lot of fighters trying to guess where the Concorde is going to be... unless you have good I&W and intel. But position the fighters where ever they need to be to employ their weapons successfully.

Don't know the range of a Patriot battery, but if the Concorde is still over the North Atlantic, and the Navy were able to get an AEGIS ship into position, and it happened to have one of those shiny new SM-2 Block IV surface-to-air missiles (100+ mile range) as opposed to the old SM-2 Block IIs and Block IIIs (40 and 80 mile ranges), it could shoot down the Concorde. But same problems exists here as well, still need to position the Patriot battery or AEGIS ship in the right position to achieve a successful intercept.

But with a larger AAM/SAM missile envelope afforded by a longer missile range, it gives the ABM greater freedom on where to place the interceptor (whether aircraft, SAM battery, or ship) to still achieve a successful intercept.

This BTW I think are the same troubles that are troubling the guys that are working on developing the ballistic missile defense. Whether it be a Mach 2+ Concorde or an incoming ballistic missile you have similar problems although for different reasons.

Cheers  Smile
Woodreau / KMVL
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
SailorOrion
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2001 5:56 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 4:56 pm

Having done my service exclusively on this system I can definetly tell that the Patriot has range, maximum altitude and speed which is plenty too shoot anything down (expect an X-15 maybe), once it has a lock of the target.

SailorOrion
 
GDB
Posts: 12681
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 5:51 pm

On my two Concorde flights recently, I can tell you that security was tight-including at JFK.
(I got a metal-detector and body search, shoe inspection and bag search, as did plenty of others).
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 7:49 pm

I have to agree with GDB, I very much doubt anyone could get anything onboard that would be required to change Concorde into a threat - not only do you go through the normal security screening in the UK, but you then go through additional security before boarding the aircraft - very complete and very secure - I found it very reassuring.

As SailorOrion said, there are many missile systems which could bring Concorde down (hence the reason why high altitude high speed bombing military aircraft like the XB-70 never made it as military aircraft and aircraft like the B1a which was originally a MACH2 aircraft is now a low level penetration aircraft flying around MACH1 B1b)

I dont think Concorde is a threat - the post was started with the intention of finding out if another aircraft could catch it whilst it was cruising, a kind of 'this thing is 30+ years old and have we bettered it yet?' question. At low altitudes its a little quicker than normal passenger aircraft (we were doing 580mph at 7000 feet) but well within the capabilities of most fighter aircraft to catch and shoot down.

RickB
 
Bellerophon
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 10:12 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Tue Sep 17, 2002 10:22 pm

RickB

I hope you meant groundspeed of 580 mph, because VMO at 7,000 feet, as an IAS, is 460 mph. Big grin

Woodreau

Concorde only achieves Mach 2.0 above about 50,000 feet.

It uses reheat only up to Mach 1.7.

The amount of fuel on board is largely irrelevant, provided that you have anywhere from 7 to 10 tonnes, that you don't immediately need, to go in tank 11 (the rear tank) whilst supersonic. Once subsonic, it is brought forward, and all the fuel onboard is now useable.

Regards

Bellerophon
 
NiteRider30
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 4:34 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:11 am

Concerning the "threat" of a Concorde, here's a little something to chew on. The Concorde can achieve mach 2 at high altitudes... typically 55,000' and higher. What happens when a Concorde descends? It slows down. Granted, if somebody wanted the plane to go mach 2 at altitudes below 50,000, they probably could, but not for very long, because even the Concorde's airframe couldn't handle that. So what this means is... even if no military plane could catch up with the Concorde during cruise, there are plenty of aircraft that could easy keep up with the Concorde at altitudes closer to the Earth.

-Mike
 
lehpron
Posts: 6846
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Wed Sep 18, 2002 9:30 am

"Oh Sure, Let's just go ahead and give the terrorists another stupid idea (If you know what I mean) "

That's exactly what I was thinking...why are we talking about shooting down a Concorde, not that terrorists have the capability, I doubt they do.

I can only think of one aircraft that was in experimental black service at the time when the A-11/A-12/SR-71ABC's were kicked off: Aurora spyplane. Of course her goose was cooked at the end of the program. I think both ladies could have had a spectacular catfight!

The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8030
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:43 pm

I think a well-maintained MiG-25 could keep up with the Concorde.

If I remember the specs, the MiG-25 could cruise at Mach 2.6, but have short bursts to Mach 3.0 if necessary (after all, the MiG-25 was designed specifically to counter the B-70 bomber, which had a design top speed of over Mach 3). It's this high cruising speed that allowed a number of MiG-25's to be built in reconnaissance versions, primarily used to take pictures over border areas at high speeds.

In short, a MiG-25 could probably keep up with a Concorde at cruising altitude until the MiG-25 ran low on fuel.
 
EssentialPowr
Posts: 1646
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 10:30 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:30 pm

Gross conceptional error illustrated above...

"Cruise" at 2.6? How long do you define cruise? Less than 25 min I hope...t/o roll to recovery.

For the Mig-25, M2.6 was an afterburn regime, which meant dash speed, a full burner takeoff, which then meant essentially a vertical maneuver to intercept...subsonic velocities being minimized to achieve the required altitude.

Practical Test- If the Mig 25 could "cruise" at M2.6 - it would definitely be still viable and in service, as its capabilities would exceed any weapons platform in service at its weight class + 10,000 lbs, and be a reasonable compromise to stealth, as it would have to maintain VERy high alts. In fact, M2+ flight in the Foxbat (-31 was the Hound) required an engine change, as its life was limited to around 20 min at that power level.

"Cruise"? Hardly. Good radar; it could schwak a Concorde in a near vertical envelope; just like the XB70. No way it could chase it.


Sailor orion,

Maybe your statement should include a disclaimer for a certain engagement envelope..."anything except and X15" is WaY too broad a statement...
 
SailorOrion
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2001 5:56 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:32 pm

EssentialPowr:

I said: once it has locked onto the target, thats a much much more complex task then people think. If fired, it is quite a hard task to evade a Patriot missle, and you definately cannot outrun it. (that's what this topic is all about). I didn't want to sound like an ad for Patriots. Sorry.

About the Mig-25. As far as I am informed, the stick is locked when flying above M2.2. So anything greated than that is straight-and-level flight only.

SailorOrion
 
EssentialPowr
Posts: 1646
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 10:30 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Thu Sep 19, 2002 2:27 am

My point was just that, b/c a missle system can aquire a target, does not mean it can hit it. Sorry for the confusion.

 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Thu Sep 19, 2002 5:12 am

The B-58 Hustler, which served USAF from approx 1960-1970 had the capability to keep pace with a Concorde for extended periods. There was a suggestion to make a long-range fighter version of it, but nothing came of the idea. Possible that the North American A-5 Vigilante would be another contender, though a bit slower and with shorter legs. How about the Dassault Mirage IVA from the 1960s? Certainly the Avro CF-105 Arrow, if they hadn't choked that chicken just as it was about to spread its wings.

I won't get into the armament aspect specifically, but with some experience in that field I would like to point out that by the time most air-to-air missiles have travelled much past the nose of the launch aircraft their fuel is expended and they are at top speed. Its not a matter of whether a missile has the fuel burn to catch up with a Concord, it's a matter of timing the intercept correctly. The launch aircraft has to be in the right position at the right time or you're just tossing high-explosive around the sky. But then, correct timing is what the SAGE system was all about-putting the interceptor where it needed to be, pointed in the right direction, at the right altitude, and the right time with the right armament.

Fox One, guys.
 
astrojet
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2000 9:11 pm

RE: Can Any Aircraft Catch Concorde?

Sat Sep 21, 2002 7:41 pm

For the X-15 to catch the Concorde is peanuts Big grin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos