Monday, September 26, 2005

Two things you need to know about..... (2)

...Concorde

Sometimes described as "our Apollo Project", the engineering challenges that were solved by the design team(s) were decades ahead of their time, which brings us onto our TWO THINGS:
  1. Concorde is the only commercial/civilian aircraft to use one of these. It is a Mach number dial. You only really need it if you are in the habit of breaking the sound barrier and....
  2. ...during its entire time in service, the Royal Air Force never had (and still doesn't have) an aircraft that could catch it...





4 comments:

dearieme said...

Ah, but did it have a missile that could catch it?

Andy Cooke said...

At RAF Leeming, there is an (unconfirmed) story that, during the flight trials over the North Sea when (apparently) the RAF were invited to use the trials as practise for tracking supersonic targets, a Lighting from 11 Squadron succeeded in overhauling the Concorde on a stern chase at over Mach 2.

There was, however, only a very restricted window of opportunity during which the Lightning could do this and retain enough fuel to get home (Lightnings had notoriously poor range - they were unofficially described as being "a device for getting two missiles a short distance away very very quickly).

It is maintained by 11 Squadron that this was the only instance of the Concorde being overhauled from behind at maximum Mach number.

Anonymous said...

The other reason it was called the Apollo project, of course, was that it cost a gigantic amount of taxpayer's money and never delivered any real value apart from prestige for a few politicians and their chums...

Tom J said...

Interestingly (to me, at any rate) Concorde's engines were developed from the Olympus version used in the TSR-2. Before the TSR-2 was cancelled, it underwent one flight test with reheat (albeit only in one engine). A Lightning was used as the chase aircraft and, according to the footage I've seen, left for dead. It's more than likely that TSR-2 would have been able to outrun Concorde.