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Iemand91
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'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:38 pm

'She flies! Concorde flies at last!'

At the exact time of posting it's 50 years ago Concorde made her very first flight from Toulouse Airport on March 2, 1969.
At 15:38 in the afternoon; 001 took off from Toulouse for a 28 minute flight described by captain André Turcat as ‘a trip around the runway


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First flight crew (from the left to right):
André Turcat (director of Flight trials in South-Aviation, Pilot and Flight Captain), Jacques Guignard (co-pilot), Henri Perrier (flight engineer) and
Michel Retif (flight mechanic)

Image

With this first flight happening EXACTLY 3 weeks after the first flight of the Boeing 747, the world viewed the Concorde as the future of aviation.
History taught otherwise...

Video of this very first flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsqPsX8k5FE
Airbus has this article online: https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/stories ... e-day.html
And posted this video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8um1r34wQkM

I also highly recommend this documentary; Concorde: A Supersonic Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnh3PdNN6ps

(I wish you could embed Youtube videos on this forum, would be nice to see)

001 has been preserved in the Musée de l’air et de l’espace at Le Bourget, alongside Air France Concorde F-BTSD.

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Oh, and on of my favourite videos on Youtube is this one; taken 4 weeks before the last flight; the Concorde taking of from Heathrow, making car alarms go of:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1ShTUVIzCI

15 years later (December 2018) they made and recreaction of the video :lol: :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta8zQmtjc1E[
Some aviation photo's on my Flickr-page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iemand91/
 
A350
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:38 pm

Thank you very much for this fantasic post - and congratulations to the birthday girl!
 
IADFCO
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:58 pm

Yes, great post and links! Thank you!

I remember it at around 1:20pm every day flying over my place of work in the Washington DC suburbs, having just taken off from Dulles and on its way to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, much much louder than any other airliner, and already so much higher that you had to squint to catch a glimpse of a tiny tiny arrowhead in the sky. It was a fixture at IAD and I saw it so many times while taking my sloooooow subsonic flight to Europe.

What a great plane! (and yes, I know, engineering marvel, business failure bla bla bla)
 
filipair
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:04 am

Lovely. Thanks for sharing. Also this post makes me miss historic forum user Madame Concorde! Maybe other folks remember her on here as well.
 
questions
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:27 am

Thanks for posting!
 
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CarbonFibre
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:51 am

RIP Raymond Baxter.
 
downdata
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:49 am

Aviation is one of the few industries that actually moves backwards...
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:02 pm

It could have been the future in a vacuum

Humanity and outside events interfered as they always do.

Flying around at .78 50 years later makes no sense. None at all
 
ltbewr
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:06 pm

There is no doubt the Concorde was a great technical achievement but sadly ended up a practical and economic wrong turn while the 747 became the queen of the skies and variants still being made today.

Right from its start, the Concorde faced massive operational issues mainly from its sonic boom so limiting it to mostly trans-Atlantic and short charters. By its end of service, it became a victim of high operational costs, a major crash, the 2000 tech bust, 9/11 and high speed internet.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of Concorde was to lead to the creation of Airbus, consolidating the European aircraft industry and along with Boeing becoming the big 2 of aircraft making today.
 
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longhauler
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:18 pm

It makes one feel very old, as I recall both first flights ... Concorde and the 747. Having flown on her many times, the one thing that always made me take notice was that even when flying in a very hostile environment it was well hidden from the passengers. An engineering feat!

downdata wrote:
Aviation is one of the few industries that actually moves backwards...


Only if you use speed, instead of what passengers, (and thus airlines) actually want. Compare the seat mile costs of ... say DC-3 to DC-7 to 707 to 767 to 787/A350. It is astounding how far we have come.

I have no doubt that Boeing or Airbus can design a transport that could outpace Concorde. But why?
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
konrad
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:38 pm

Thanks for posting! This was a truly amazing aircraft. I've seen it many times on the move at CDG, never had the chance to fly one. It now seems that the period when it actually flew was so short.

BTW I remember have an Air France paper timetable of 1980. Concorde (equipment designated as CSS - Concorde Supersonic) was scheduled to fly to JFK, IAD, CCS (with an undisclosed technical stop, most likely FDF or PTP) and GIG via DKR. Those were the days.
 
HJM
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:25 pm

Sadly never had chance to fly. Do recall once BA Concorde departing from YVR, was directly under flight path, the roar was like that of a fighter jet and yes, car alarms were sounding afterwards!
 
downdata
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:25 pm

longhauler wrote:
It makes one feel very old, as I recall both first flights ... Concorde and the 747. Having flown on her many times, the one thing that always made me take notice was that even when flying in a very hostile environment it was well hidden from the passengers. An engineering feat!

downdata wrote:
Aviation is one of the few industries that actually moves backwards...


Only if you use speed, instead of what passengers, (and thus airlines) actually want. Compare the seat mile costs of ... say DC-3 to DC-7 to 707 to 767 to 787/A350. It is astounding how far we have come.

I have no doubt that Boeing or Airbus can design a transport that could outpace Concorde. But why?


Pretty sure every single passenger wants/wanted speed in addition to economy - otherwise we wont have cars and would bike to work
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:47 pm

Why do people have such an issue with sonic booms? It's no louder than a big bolt of thunder. People are so petty and ruin it for everyone else.
 
ltbewr
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:05 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
Why do people have such an issue with sonic booms? It's no louder than a big bolt of thunder. People are so petty and ruin it for everyone else.

Sonic booms can cause physical affects like broken windows, can affect animals so an environmental risk as well as just being very annoying.
 
WorldFlier
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:17 pm

Ctrl-F "TU-144"

0 Results

Dec 31, 1968 - 50 Years, 3 Months, 4 Days

:stirthepot: :box:

Image
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:25 pm

WorldFlier wrote:
Ctrl-F "TU-144"

0 Results

Dec 31, 1968 - 50 Years, 3 Months, 4 Days

:stirthepot: :box:

Image


To be fair, the Tu-144 is an inferior aircraft in every way compared to the Concorde. The fact that it was withdrawn after only a few years of service says it all really.

It's amazing that in 1969 there were two different versions of what aviation's future was supposed to be like. But only one became a reality for the masses, while the other was limited to the privileged few.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
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TurboJet707
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:27 am

filipair wrote:
(...) Also this post makes me miss historic forum user Madame Concorde! Maybe other folks remember her on here as well.


Yes, I do remember her. It must be at least 5 years ago that we saw a contribution of hers here on the forum. Sometimes it takes a while to realise that you haven't seen somebody on a forum for a long time.

I think the Concorde was one of the most impressive technological achievements, not just in aviation, but in general. Certainly for its time. There were so many challenges and yet, the developers had the wit and astuteness to overcome all of them. I don't think we will ever see such a gamble again in civil aviation.

Some time ago, in a different thread, our forum member Revelation pointed me at a series of interviews with D.P. Davies, former Chief Test Pilot of the British ARB/Civil Aviation Authority and author of the famous book “Handling the Big Jets”. These are fascinating to listen to (Many thanks Revelation!). In one of these interviews, Davies talks extensively about his experiences of flight testing the Concorde. You can find it here:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/audio- ... v-bombers/

Davies, who can be quite outspoken at times, especially about aircraft that don't handle well in his eyes (for example, he calls the handling characteristics of the early 707 'appalling' and insisted on modifications - which the 707 got), is jubilant about the Concorde: "It's a super aeroplane!"; "It flies like a bird". Together with the B747, it was the best aeroplane he had ever flown.

There are three other interviews to be found on the same website in which Davies talks about his experiences as a young navy pilot during and just after WW2 and test flying the Comets, 727, Trident, VC10, 747 etc. etc. Listen for yourself. It's fascinating.
Last edited by TurboJet707 on Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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TurboJet707
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:28 am

Edit: double post
 
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Aesma
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:17 am

What I find interesting is that the prototype is extremely different from the production aircraft. Every part of it was changed. In fact in the photo in the OP it seems even 001 itself was modified, the nose is not the same in all the pictures.

I discovered this when visiting the LBG museum, there is a prototype (001 I'm guessing) alongside a production aircraft, and the differences are plain to see.

About the sonic boom issue, we all know it was protectionism on the part of the US.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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TurboJet707
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:42 pm

Aesma wrote:
(...)the nose is not the same in all the pictures (...)


That's correct. For instance, during the interview that I referred to in my post above, ARB test pilot D.P. Davies tells at one point that the first prototype(s) had a full metal visor (the device that slides up to cover the 'actual' cockpit windows when the nose turns into the cruise position) that wasn't in any way transparent. There wasn't any forward view during cruise. It wasn't easy to conceive glass windows for the visor that could cope with the extreme conditions. A solution was found for this later in collaboration with the glass manufacturer (Triplex?), so that the pilots could actually see where they were going.
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm

downdata wrote:
Aviation is one of the few industries that actually moves backwards...


Compare the progress in aviation and space exploration between 1939-1969 vs. 1989-2019.
 
WIederling
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:01 pm

downdata wrote:
Aviation is one of the few industries that actually moves backwards...


Aviation capabilities have been expanded greatly in most every direction.
Only supersonic transport was a cul de sac for the time being.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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LaunchDetected
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:09 pm

Also a beautiful example of what can be produced when France and United Kingdom work together.

Never had the chance to see her in flight and i will have to live with this regret until the end.
Caravelle lover
 
Max Q
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:42 pm

TurboJet707 wrote:
filipair wrote:
(...) Also this post makes me miss historic forum user Madame Concorde! Maybe other folks remember her on here as well.


Yes, I do remember her. It must be at least 5 years ago that we saw a contribution of hers here on the forum. Sometimes it takes a while to realise that you haven't seen somebody on a forum for a long time.

I think the Concorde was one of the most impressive technological achievements, not just in aviation, but in general. Certainly for its time. There were so many challenges and yet, the developers had the wit and astuteness to overcome all of them. I don't think we will ever see such a gamble again in civil aviation.

Some time ago, in a different thread, our forum member Revelation pointed me at a series of interviews with D.P. Davies, former Chief Test Pilot of the British ARB/Civil Aviation Authority and author of the famous book “Handling the Big Jets”. These are fascinating to listen to (Many thanks Revelation!). In one of these interviews, Davies talks extensively about his experiences of flight testing the Concorde. You can find it here:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/audio- ... v-bombers/

Davies, who can be quite outspoken at times, especially about aircraft that don't handle well in his eyes (for example, he calls the handling characteristics of the early 707 'appalling' and insisted on modifications - which the 707 got), is jubilant about the Concorde: "It's a super aeroplane!"; "It flies like a bird". Together with the B747, it was the best aeroplane he had ever flown.

There are three other interviews to be found on the same website in which Davies talks about his experiences as a young navy pilot during and just after WW2 and test flying the Comets, 727, Trident, VC10, 747 etc. etc. Listen for yourself. It's fascinating.



I have a well used copy of ‘Handling the big
jets and despite it’s age it’s always been my reference for the same, BP Davies knew his
stuff


Those audio recordings are priceless, I’ve listened to each one, several times, they are educational, fascinating and to me as a professional Pilot his meticulous approach to flight testing, flying and aviation in general is the epitome of the best in our business


The real ‘right stuff’
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
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Iemand91
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:10 pm

Sam Chui posted this video of the celebrations at the Brooklands Museum including lowering the droop-nose with BA's Chief Pilot Mike Bannister:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7ZE8eK6lTQ&t=0s
Some aviation photo's on my Flickr-page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iemand91/
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: 'She flies! Concorde flies at last!' - First flight of Concorde 50 years ago today!

Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:15 pm

4A was a pretty sweet ride.

A lot quieter internally on takeoff than one would imagine with full reheat going.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!

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