OMAAbound
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Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:27 am

Hello all

More of a hypertherical question, but how, when the Concorde was launched do guys train for such aircraft??

Surely the majority of training will have been on the aircraft and hardly any (if any at all) simulator training?
Right hand seat of a 787. Also can be found eating sandwiches, drinking coffee and attempting to understand Chinese ATC!
 
ghifty
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:48 am

Not really a hypothetical question, since the Concorde existed and pilots flew it. :D

A quick search reveals that there was no simulator training, and the programme took 6 months (compared to 2 months for other aircraft). Here's the link if you're interested. Cool read from Tony Yule, a former BA Concorde pilot. http://blog.nms.ac.uk/2013/05/28/i-have ... ng-to-fly/
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speedbored
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:07 am

ghifty wrote:
A quick search reveals that there was no simulator training

A "quick read" of that search result would have revealed that, actually, there was quite a lot of simulator training :) :
The Flight Simulator phase was next. The simulator is an exact replica of Concorde’s flight deck. This phase lasted seven weeks, with some to three sessions each week, each would be a briefing and flight preparation of one hour, and then four hours in “the box”, as the flight simulator is affectionately called, followed by up to two hours of debriefing.


IIRC, Concorde was one of the first aircraft for which extensive "full flight" simulator training was used, initially (due to computer image generation being way too primitive), with simulators based on cameras flying over model landscapes.
 
vv701
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:19 pm

Pp 107-110 of:

Orlebar, Christopher, 'The Concorde Story', Sixth edn, Osprey Publishing, Oxford. 2004

describes the training of Concorde pilots in some detail. Here are a few short extracts:


'On Concorde the simulator training lasts 76 hours - 19 4 hour details (50 hours are spent on the B747-400).'

'The trainee must pass several tests on the simulator.'

'Originally the Concorde simulator (at Filton, Bristol) made use of a television camera "flying" (suspended) over a model runway and environs within circuit distance . . . By 1989 the original system had been replaced by a 165 degree field of view . . . computer generated image.'


On pp 226-27 this book also lists all BA and AF Concorde Captains, First Officers and Engineer Officers from 1976 to 2003. The author is listed as a BA Concorde First Officer. Subsequently he was a BA training instructor before retiring in 2000.

Note that the book was first published in 1986 and updated and republished on five subsequent occasions. Hence it is written in the present tense.
 
hivue
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:37 pm

I've read somewhere that the first time most new crew ever flew supersonic on Concorde was their first check ride in revenue service. The airplane was much too expensive to operate to use it extensively for training purposes only.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
vc10
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:31 pm

hivue wrote:
I've read somewhere that the first time most new crew ever flew supersonic on Concorde was their first check ride in revenue service. The airplane was much too expensive to operate to use it extensively for training purposes only.


No I am afraid that is incorrect. As has already been stated the simulator details originally lasted for 19 -- 4 four
details , which were split into two 2 hour details so that both pilots could demonstrate their capability to handle the aircraft with whatever problems were programmed for that detail. The other pilot would act as the co-pilot.
As all the pupils would go through the coarse as a crew, it did mean the the F/E did everything twice.

With the simulator details complete everybody moved to a training airfield which was for many years Brize Norton
where numerous "Touch and Go" were carried out, and if I remember correctly each pilot had to complete 12 landings in various configurations. With the improvement in the simulator visual in the late 1980s the requirement .for this flying base training did reduce by quite a lot. Initially the trainee crew had to do a supersonic detail also, so as to be shown various aspect of supersonic flight. It also required the the F/E to handle the engine Intakes manually from Mach 2.0 down to subsonic just to prove he could.

After this line training was commenced which seemed to last a life time , but overall the total length of the coarse was about 5 months for pilots and about 6 months for the F/E as he initially had to do a month longer in the class room. As the years passed this time scale did reduce but still was about 4 and 4.5 months respectiveley.

What you won't see in Chris Orlebars book [ he was a training F/O on Concorde ] was when the visual was a camera over a model and Chris was conducting the detail some smart alec went and pined a small black rubber spider on the end of the models runway, so when the simulator broke cloud there sitting on the end of the runway was a gigantic spider sitting across the whole width of the runway. Chris did see the funny side of it.

hivue I have just read your posting again and you are correct as far as most of the Concorde crews first handling of the aircraft in supersonic cruise was on their first revenue flight , however they used to do what was called a " look see" flight when they went on a revenue flight as an observer , before they did their first handling flight
littlevc10
 
BravoOne
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:58 pm

Funny addition to the camera moving over a modeled runway was when the early visual systems for various Boeing products started showing up, some clown got the idea that pinning a grasshopper to the board could create the Godzilla effect when the camera recorded the final moments of the landing:)
 
skipness1E
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:13 pm

We used to see one for the odd weekend at PIK for base training but SNN was also used.
 
vc10
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:00 pm

skipness1E wrote:
We used to see one for the odd weekend at PIK for base training but SNN was also used.


Yes Concorde did use Prestwick a lot for base training as that was one of two airfields BOAC used for base training generally the other being Shannon. However during Concorde's time, due to the political situation in Ireland at that time crews were not allowed to stay at Shannon. However when they were digging up the runway at Prestwick it meant that although Concorde could take off and land there it was not long enough to do touch and go's and so the aircraft would depart Prestwick for Shannon where it did it's touch and go's before returning to Prestwick

littlevc10
 
Max Q
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:30 am

Very interesting, are there many ex Concorde Pilots still flying for BA ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Bellerophon
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:52 pm

Max Q

...are there many ex Concorde Pilots still flying for BA ?...

Yes, I believe there is still one ex-Concorde Captain flying for BA. He was an ex-Concorde F/O who later returned to the fleet as a Captain and was the youngest Captain on the fleet in 2003, with many years of flying ahead of him. I am reasonably sure all the other ex-Concorde Captains have retired from BA.

There are however many ex-Concorde F/Os still flying for BA, I think all as Captains, with several of them being Training Captains on their various new fleets.

As for the F/Es, if you look carefully at some old four-engine aircraft displaying at airshows you might just spot an ex-Concorde F/E (and airliners.net poster) as part of the crew!

Best Regards

Bellerophon
 
Max Q
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:22 am

Thanks for that BP, best wishes and glad you're still involved !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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Max Q
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:36 am

Bellerophon, was there a speed / mach limit for the nose droop and /or visor in the event of either not moving up and / or retracting ?

Did that ever happen and on the other side of that question did either one fail up or retracted ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Bellerophon
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:44 pm

Max Q

...was there a speed / mach limit for the nose droop and /or visor in the event of either not moving up and / or retracting ?...

The more likely failure, the nose failing to retract fully from the 5° (T/O position) after take-off, imposed a speed limit of 325 kts / M0.8.

When the nose was UP, a failure of the visor to lock UP imposed the same speed limit, 325 kts / M0.8.

The more remote failure, the nose failing to retract from the DOWN (LDG position) - perhaps following a Go-Around - imposed a speed limit of 270 kts along with a maximum altitude restriction of 20,000 ft.


...Did that ever happen...

I’m not aware that it ever happened, however I suspect littlevc10 will be much better informed than me in this area.

As an aside, the fleet was reluctant to use the windshield wipers on take-off, except in the heaviest rain, as, if the wipers did not stow correctly when switched off, the visor would not retract, preventing transonic acceleration and, on a transatlantic sector, meaning a return to base.

...did either one fail up or retracted ?...

As above, although there may have been system or hydraulic failures, I’m not aware of an aircraft actually landing with the Nose or Visor still UP.

It was practised in the simulator and there were alternate ways of lowering both the nose and the visor if a primary system failed, culminating in the F/O activating an emergency up-lock release and letting both the nose and visor free-fall.

Best Regards

Bellerophon
 
vc10
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:46 pm

No I cannot remember there being a problem with the nose and visor, except as you say for hydraulic failures. however the memory is getting a bit vague now.

However I remember in the very early days with a senior management pilot [known for smoking cigars]
as the Captain, the aircraft was taxing along the front of the passenger terminal at Washington going to take-off runway . As there was a large crowd watching the very junior F/E suggested that the nose and visor be cycled to up and back to 5 Degs for the crowds to see.
. What a good idea agreed the very senior Captain, until the visor would not come down again, when the question was posed to the F/E " what do you want me to do now". The F/E at this stage wished he had never ever said anything
Well after a recycle the nose/visor selector it did lower to 5 degs , but a certain F/E never again made bold suggestion, well not many anyway

littlevc10
 
Max Q
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:52 am

Thanks for the informative replies BP and VC, fascinating, two more questions come to mind, in the event of the nose and / or visor remaining 'stuck' in the up and 'covering' position was there adequate visibility to visually approach, flare and land ?

Or would an autoland be advised ?


Also, you mention there was an override for the nose and visor to be manually dropped, if this was utilized what position did the nose fall to ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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Starlionblue
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:33 am

Max Q wrote:

Also, you mention there was an override for the nose and visor to be manually dropped, if this was utilized what position did the nose fall to ?


I'll let the experts confirm of course, but according to the well informed Concordesst webiste, the final backup would allow the nose to free fall to five degrees down. There are some nice diagrams on this page: http://www.concordesst.com/nose.html

On a side note, the Concorde B project planned for droops on the leading edge, which would have allowed a lower pitch angle on approach. This would have decreased drag on approach, both decreasing aerodynamic noise and allowing a lower thrust setting. I speculate that this would also have allowed approach with a higher nose position, potentially simplifying, and thus lightening the nose mechanism. http://www.concordesst.com/concordeb.html
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Bellerophon
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:30 pm

Max Q

... there was an override for the nose and visor to be manually dropped, if this was utilized what position did the nose fall to ?...

Starlionblue has answered correctly - using information from a reliable source :bigthumbsup: - that the nose would only freefall to and not to the DOWN (landing) position of 12.5°.

However, in case it really was not your day, perhaps we ought to say should only freefall to 5°. Depending on the nature and extent of the failure causing the original problem, if the 5° locks were themselves damaged, then there was a possibility the nose could continue to freefall past the 5° point. The Visor/Nose freefall procedure anticipated this possibility and, prior to freefalling the nose and visor, required the aircraft speed and height to be reduced below 270 kts and 20,000 ft (the limits for the nose DOWN) in case the nose did continue on downward!

As the nose unlocked and started to fall towards 5°, initially it took the visor with it until a mechanical linkage tripped the visor uplock and the visor could then slide relative to (and independently of) the nose, into its normal DOWN position, inside the nose.

In very broad terms, the GPWS system used a nose DOWN signal as a substitute for a LAND FLAP SET signal, so the GPWS circuit breaker had to be pulled when actioning this procedure. This avoided the nuisance warnings that would otherwise have been generated as the aircraft neared the ground with the GPWS sensing the aircraft was too low whilst not in the landing configuration.


... in the event of the nose and / or visor remaining 'stuck' in the up and 'covering' position was there adequate visibility to visually approach, flare and land ?...

I would say yes, there was adequate visual reference, although certainly not ideal. Interestingly, in the event of a ditching, the drill called for a nose and visor UP landing to be made. Now that would have been challenging in poor visibility on a rough sea with no radio aids!

... would an autoland be advised ?...

No, autoland was not advised, in fact I thought it was prohibited in these circumstances, but I must confess that, rather to my surprise, I can’t find a reference that says so. There were a lot of systems that took a feed from the nose position transmitter and which might be adversely affected by a nose stuck at 5°, so I’ll content myself by saying that I don’t think I would have autolanded.

Starlionblue

... the Concorde B project planned for droops on the leading edge, which would have allowed a lower pitch angle on approach...I speculate that this would also have allowed approach with a higher nose position, potentially simplifying, and thus lightening the nose mechanism...

Yes indeed, in fact, had work on a B model progressed, I wonder whether a droop nose would have been incorporated at all. If the lower approach attitude of a B model, with a non-droop nose, had still been deemed unsuitable, I wonder whether we might have been presented with a synthetic visual picture using external cameras! For designers trying to save weight, removal of some or all of the Droop Nose/Visor mechanism was a very tempting target.

Best Regards to both

Bellerophon
 
Max Q
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:35 am

Thanks again for your detailed and interesting reply BP, it sounds like the nose and visor were mechanically linked and worked
in concert together which I think answers this question but i'll put it to you anyway.

Would it be possible to leave the visor up in the covering position and still lower the nose to either the take off or landing position ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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Bellerophon
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:08 pm

Max Q

...Would it be possible to leave the visor up in the covering position and still lower the nose to either the take off or landing position ?...

No, as you suspected.

Firstly, a single, gated, control lever was used for both the nose and visor selections. From the UP position, the first detent was Visor DOWN/Nose 0° and there was no way to bypass this detent and select the Nose to 5° without activating lowering of the visor.


Image


Secondly, the mechanical linkage between nose and visor (mentioned in the freefall lowering procedure) would always trip the visor uplocks as the nose moved from UP towards 5°, regardless of how that nose movement was powered.


Best Regards

Bellerophon
 
Max Q
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Re: Concorde Pilot Training

Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:07 am

Thanks for further enlightening me BP.

Always been a Concorde fan, can't imagine what a thrill it must have been to actually operate one, one of the moat fascinating features to me, quite apart
from its incredible performance and good looks is the amazing, ingenious design of the cockpit.


It appears that every single nook and cranny is filled but it still looks well organized and logical, the forward instrument panel looking mostly familiar.

The Flight Engineer's panel is something else though, large,obviously complex and i'm sure took a lot of study and practice to master, although I can make out what most of it , it seems like the two biggest differences from regular subsonic aircraft were the need to regularly transfer fuel as the center of lift changed to avoid excess elevon drag and the control of the inlets, I believe this was usually automatic but sometimes had to be controlled manually, sounds quite challenging ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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