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Testing Concorde's Max Range


Ray Proudfoot

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Ray Proudfoot

Concorde's maximum range is 4500 statute miles (3910nm). Whilst the EGLL-TBPB route is a challenge it can be flown with 7-10T of fuel remaining.

It just so happens that the distance between Honolulu and Aukland, NZ is 3814nm or 4389 statute miles. 111 miles inside the max range.

Here's the route if you fancy flying it and testing your skills at maximum fuel handling techniques. I'll be trying it in the next few days.

How many pax can you load using CPS? Not many I guess. Weather will need to be favourable too.

PHNLNZAA_C.pln

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Hi Ray. I'm interested in testing such things ;)

I'm unable to make CPS accept this flight even without PAX, without noise and speed restriction etc. I still need 2656 kg fuel more...

Why not trying it together one of these days online if you find a solution?

 

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Ray Proudfoot

Hi Cyril,

That was my concern that CPS might decide it was too far as it also difficult to get it to accept 65 pax on the EGLL-TBPB route.

The alternative is to manually create the INS files and to load the Barbados fuel plus any extra you can fit in. Use the same takeoff settings too. Remember it's right at Concorde's range so some imagination is required. ;)

I haven't tried online flying in many years and given the time difference (12 hours) it would be tricky finding controllers during UK daylight hours.

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Konstantin

The route Honolulu - Auckland may be longer than London - Barbados, but on the other hand, Honolulu being closer to the ocean will allow you to accelerate to supersonic speeds earlier, which will contribute to a fuel savings that may give you the extra range.

BTW, did you know that the farthest ever non-stop flight performed by Concorde was Caracas - Paris  (4836 statue miles)?

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Ray Proudfoot

Thanks afterburner, no I didn't. You're quite right in that the aircraft can go straight up to FL600 with no pause at FL260. Also, the flight is mainly through tropical air so the upper temps will be very low assisting climb rates. ISA deviations of -15 are likely.

Even if CPS can't generate the required files it is possible to create the plans by hand so that's what I'll do. I'll also start the flight soon after dawn when temps are at their lowest and use the stand closest to the active runway.

Other tricks include starting 1 and 4 whilst taxiing and engaging Max Climb as soon as the aircraft has turned to the south after take-off. Pax numbers will be low and there will be a minimum number of flight attendants. Sorry folks, you'll have to work like sub-sonic crew for this one!

Fortunately it's almost a straight line down to NZAA with just one small deviation to stay 30nm away from populated islands. When I have created the INS files I'll upload them here together with other data.

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10 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Hi Cyril,

That was my concern that CPS might decide it was too far as it also difficult to get it to accept 65 pax on the EGLL-TBPB route.

The alternative is to manually create the INS files and to load the Barbados fuel plus any extra you can fit in. Use the same takeoff settings too. Remember it's right at Concorde's range so some imagination is required. ;)

I haven't tried online flying in many years and given the time difference (12 hours) it would be tricky finding controllers during UK daylight hours.

Hi.

For sure will I be able to make my flight without CPS and I'll do.

I'll load the maximum full that I can and see.

The idea of online flying was not to have ATC but to share our experience live together, maybe to test different payloads, to compare our performances live, to share our observations during that long flight etc.

Being on a network isn't really necessary but we can use Skype to communicate for example (whereas It would surely be great to see each other's plane at departure and arrival's airports anyway ;) )

Tell me if you want that we share the maximum of that experiment and when you prefer to do this. I'll have quite a lot of free time next weeks.

murat.com(at)orange.fr / Skype : cyril.fcy-mc

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10 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:
10 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

I'll also start the flight soon after dawn when temps are at their lowest

I'm not convinced that the take off roll's temperature will have a great influence on the consumption and I guess above ground's layer air temperature and winds are much important to analyse than 0 feet's ones. Above ground's layers aren't time of day related and I suggest to analyse soundings forecast to look for cold air arrival.

I have great tools with a Meteo Blue account which I use in real life paragliding flying.

https://www.meteoblue.com/fr/meteo/prevision/crosssection/honolulu_États-unis_5856195

If you give me a time window of your planed flight, I'll be able to find the best time to do it I think.

Regards,

Cyril

EDIT : I've printed the 395 pages of manual's chapter 4 (performances) to do some "CPS with hand and paper work" ;)

 

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Ray Proudfoot

Hi Cyril,

Happy to communicate via Skype when we can agree on a time for the flight. I've never used the facility in FSX to see a friend's aircraft. Let's keep it to Skype (and perhaps some feedback here too).

The good news is I've managed to generate the CPS files. I had to restrict pax to 36. I did add 2000Kg extra fuel which is probably more important. I'm attaching the files and you and others are welcome to adapt them if you wish. Because of the forum file-size limit I can't upload the pdf document with all the info. You'll need to generate that by loading the supplied cps file into CPS and generating it yourself.

I watched a DVD of the 1999 Round the World Tour by Concorde and when departing from India they had to leave early because the temps later in the day would have made a departure with near maximum take-off weight impossible. That was my reasoning behind a early morning departure. But as we are flying westwards we don't want to leave too early as it would mean arriving in the dark. It's winter in NZ of course.

I would probably be looking at flying this on Monday or Tuesday of next week around 0900 Zulu. That's 10:00 British time and 11:00 French time. Is that okay? The actual departure time in Honolulu would be 10:00 Local the previous day. That's around 22:00UT.

Knowing the upper air temps would be very helpful, thanks. You'll notice the average ISA deviation on the supplied cps is -8.8 and heading is 3kts. Just about perfect!

PHNL-NZAA_1.zip

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OK for Monday. I'm not available on Tuesday.

  • If you can manage to have an IVAO account, it'll be pretty simple to share the network. Otherwize, it's no drama.
  • I guess it'll be best to use Active Sky Next with and activate the chosen weather. We'll discuss about that.
  • OK for the timing for an ETD 0900z, but it'll be reasonable to meet each other quite earlyer on Skype for the briefings and the Aircraft's preparation. 0700z is ok for me.
  • I'll give you access to a Google Drive space in a private message where we'll be able to put our documents and research conclusions. I'll start to bring informations there this afternoon.

Glad to share that wonderfull plane with you and to be part of such a nice project!

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Ray Proudfoot

Hi Cyril,

Monday it is then. :) 07:00Z is a bit early for me. Can you make it 07:30Z. I'm better after some breakfast!

I don't have an IVAO account as I use Radar Contact. You may have heard of it. I won't be using it on Monday though.

Agreed ASN should be used with wx set for previous evening. Time to be agreed.

I use Electronic Flight Bag which has a log facility making data sharing very useful. Do you have it?

I imagine you'll be flying the AF Concorde. We better not turn this into a race! :D

Should be fun. Looking forward to it.

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24 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Hi Cyril,

Monday it is then. :) 07:00Z is a bit early for me. Can you make it 07:30Z. I'm better after some breakfast!

I don't have an IVAO account as I use Radar Contact. You may have heard of it. I won't be using it on Monday though.

Agreed ASN should be used with wx set for previous evening. Time to be agreed.

I use Electronic Flight Bag which has a log facility making data sharing very useful. Do you have it?

I imagine you'll be flying the AF Concorde. We better not turn this into a race! :D

Should be fun. Looking forward to it.

- Can you make it 07:30Z. I'm better after some breakfast!

OK. 0730z on Skype (cyril.fcy-mc)

- Radar Contact

Not for P3D, and anyway, I don't think there is any good ATC simulator wich can apply to Concorde's procedure, isn't it? I mentioned IVAO only to be able to see each other on the Network

- Time to be agreed.

We'll study that deaply ;)

- EFB : I do have it but I can't see how it can help us to share data live. Maybe we can use it to share data postflight it it's what you meant

- I'll fly Air France of course, but  Concorde 001 and  Concorde 002 didn't race did they? The main words is "collaboration" and "team-work" ;)

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Ray Proudfoot

Hi Cyril,

RC4 isn't perfect. I can tweak it though to make it compliant!

IVAO would have been useful but there's a learning curve and it's too soon.

EFB's logging shows fuel consumed at each waypoint plus other data. Talking of EFB my plan excludes the SID and STAR. I can add those in EFB dependent on the winds. Currently 08L is the departure runway and 05L at NZAA. That could change of course but that is the longest runway at PHNL.

Only joking about a race. Co-operation is the important thing. Are you handling fuel yourself or leaving it to the VFE?

More later. England v Wales is about to start.

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I still get the virtual enginier's help but I'll take benefit of that long flight to try to learn his job.

Till now, my workflow at takeoff and arrival is much to high to allow me to manage fuel. I'm still at the beggining of the Concorde learning curve ;)

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Ray Proudfoot

Hi Cyril. Probably best not to use this flight to take over the FE duties. It is more satisfying when you can manage fuel as well as flying. :)

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I can't wait to be strong enough to manage fuel by myself :):):)

I still have to be modest now. I'm fan of the bird and I've read a lot, but I don't have many flight hours onboard.

I'll use free time while cruising to read and learn, and you will certainly teach me interesting things about it between two waypoints on Skype.

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Ray Proudfoot

I flew for over a year before gaining enough confidence to try it. Remember you always have the safety net of turning the option back on if things go bad. I did that a ew times and learned from it.

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Fraser Gale

Interesting that you mention starting engines 1 & 4 once in the taxi as the BA checklist has a procedure for doing that. Not sure how often they did it and I think you had to be stopped when doing it. 

Frazz

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Ray Proudfoot

It may not be necessary now as there appears to be sufficient fuel for the trip with enough left over for a hold and the alternate. I did wonder whether the extra power required to taxi with only 2 engines may negate any savings. Might try it out of curiosity.Might even stop when I do it. :D

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After 3 and 2 running :

"4 and 1 start then taxi"

or

"taxi, stop" then "4 and 1 then taxi"

The difference shouldn't be very important.

The benefit should only be seen if starting during the taxi and I don't think it can be very significant.

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Fraser Gale

There must have been some benefit for it to have been published in the BA normal checklists as a normal procedure. Even on two engines at reasonably heavy weight she would have kept rolling without too much help.  Only the initial "get moving" power would need to be substantial. 

If you were departing JFK where the taxi could take around 20 mins you might save around a tonne. 

Frazz

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21 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

when departing from India they had to leave early because the temps later in the day would have made a departure with near maximum take-off weight impossible.

Do you remember what was the airport?

Maybe they didn't have a 3700 meters runway...

What is a problem for me is the forecasted west wind in south hemisphere... I know general tendency is east wind arround tropical zones (and it's true now in India Sea and also at sea level nearly everywhere), but take a look at this link and imagine what will be our Auckland flight at FL600 Monday...

Shouldn't we try Auckland -> Honolulu?

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AdrianSmith

At supersonic cruise levels the actual wind should (globally) be about five knots westerly, this is one of the problems with AI weather generation, they don't simulate winds or temperatures above the tropopause realistically enough.

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Ray Proudfoot
2 hours ago, Cyril said:

Do you remember what was the airport?

Maybe they didn't have a 3700 meters runway...

What is a problem for me is the forecasted west wind in south hemisphere... I know general tendency is east wind arround tropical zones (and it's true now in India Sea and also at sea level nearly everywhere), but take a look at this link and imagine what will be our Auckland flight at FL600 Monday...

Shouldn't we try Auckland -> Honolulu?

Chennai which has a 12,000ft runway. 3657 meters.

I wouldn't worry about winds and weather. For all but the last 200nm we will be well above any weather. Winds will be light. That, and the low temps is why we can carry 36 pax on this long flight.

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Konstantin

An important factor to take into consideration when attempting to achieve the maximum possible range is the idle time or taxi time at the airport(s). I have calculated that for each minute you spend idling or taxiing at the airport (with 4 engines running), you lose roughly 9 kilometers (5.6 SM) of range at a given fuel load. In this regard, if Concorde has a long way to taxi to the runway during the rush hour, which can take up to 20 minutes, that alone reduces the maximum possible range by 180 km.

This is related to another stunning figure: During a supersonic flight (Mach 2), Concorde burns roughly 4.1 times as much fuel as during taxi, but it moves almost 100 times as fast! :)

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Ray Proudfoot

I've chosen the closest gate to 08L but it's still a 5-7 minute taxi. I did a trial run yesterday and there was a lot of traffic at the holding point.

Two options - 1) Turn down Ai % or 2) Traffic Zapper. :D

Moving nearly 180 tonnes of aircraft in taxi will be fuel hungry but that's very hungry! :D

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Brian Furlong

I was able to replicate the May 29th 1976 flight of AF200 from Caracas to Paris on its 38th anniversary back in 2014 .  A distance of 4328nm.  As far as I know it was only done 3 times, and was only attempted under VERY favorable conditions and with a low payload (the actual flight was with 39 pax).

I landed with just over 8.5T of fuel when I did it, 1T over the minimum of 7T.  So it's very possible to exceed the 3900nm range, but the load must be light and the conditions must be near perfect.

Here's an account by the Pilots and flight engineer of that very flight for those of you who speak french.  Amazing stuff.


    

Quote

 

Le vol le plus long : Caracas - Paris en direct

Nous sommes en 1976. Depuis le 21 janvier les vols commerciaux supersoniques en Concorde ont commencé. En avril 1976 les vols commerciaux supersoniques sur Caracas ont débuté via Santa Maria aux Açores.

Le 17 mai de la même année le vol AF 4618 transporte le Président de la République Française, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, pour une tournée aux Etats-Unis et aux Antilles.

Pour ce vol présidentiel, le Concorde F-BVFA et son équipage technique - le Commandant de bord Pierre DUDAL,  moi-même en OPL, le mécanicien André BLANC et l'ingénieur d'essais Henri PERRIER - quittent Roissy avec 2 minutes de retard et se posent à Washington Andrews avec 1 minute d'avance, pour un temps total de 3h52. Les jours suivants nous faisons escale à Houston, à La Nouvelle Orléans et à Pointe à Pitre.

Le 22 mai 1976 nous redécollons de Pointe-à-Pitre, AF 4621, à 21h03 GMT pour une longue étape vers Roissy, la plus longue à cette date pour un vol commercial supersonique. Le temps de vol sera en effet de 03h46 dont 02h59 en supersonique. A l'arrivée, le Président de la République fera l'éloge devant les médias du confort de ce vol en Concorde et déclarera que nous aurions pu aller jusqu'à Rome sans problème, (ce que nous lui avions indiqué sur sa demande). C'était bien sûr exact, à condition de rester en supersonique !

Il faut noter qu'aucun engin volant, excepté le Concorde, n'était, et n'est toujours pas à ma connaissance, capable de voler 3 heures en continu en supersonique.

Le 28 mai 1976, donc 6 jours après ce vol présidentiel, je suis programmé sur le vol AF 201 vers Caracas avec le Commandant André DUCHANGE dont c'est le vol de « lâcher », ce qui signifie, dans le jargon aéronautique, qu'il effectue son premier vol après son stage de qualification. Notre Officier Mécanicien est René DUGUET.

L'équipage PNC est composé d'Henri JACQUIN en Chef de Cabine avec Jean CORCESSIN, Albert LEBLANC, Nicole HOHENWARTER, Françoise HAFNER et Chantal MARCHEGAY.

L'avion est le F-BTSC.    

Lors de la préparation du vol nous constatons que la météo aux Açores, où nous devons faire escale, n'est pas très bonne, tout en étant « volable » : visibilité 2000 mètres et plafond des nuages de 1000 à 2000 pieds (entre 300 et 600 mètres).

Le CDB décide l'emport de 66 tonnes de carburant et nous quittons l'aérogare à 16h59 pour 17h00. La ponctualité Concorde !

Comme c'est la tradition pour un vol de lâcher, le Commandant est aux commandes pour les 2 étapes « aller » et il me propose donc de piloter pour les 2 étapes du retour de Caracas, ce que j'accepte avec beaucoup de plaisir.

Après une accélération normale en supersonique, vers la fin de la croisière nous contactons Santa Maria pour avoir la dernière météo : pas terrible, 1000 mètres de visibilité et plafond 1000 pieds, vent du nord 10 nœuds.

Pendant la descente et en début d'approche le contrôleur de la tour, ou plutôt une contrôleuse avec une voix charmante, nous donne la piste 01 en service, avec un vent du nord 10 noeuds, une visibilité de 800 mètres et un plafond de 700 pieds.

Le fameux anticyclone des Açores est bien là mais ses effets sont plutôt néfastes ce jour là !

André entreprend la procédure d'approche pour la piste 01 qui n'est hélas équipée que d'une seule petite balise ADF, positionnée à l'entrée de cette piste.

La finale se fait dans les nuages et à 400 pieds du sol (120 mètres) nous ne voyons toujours pas la piste.

André effectue une remise de gaz, nous reprenons de l'altitude. Je lui suggère de tenter une approche sur la piste 19, équipée d'un ILS (système de radioguidage d'atterrissage performant) car malgré ce vent arrière du nord, la piste est assez longue et les freins au carbone du Concorde sont très efficaces. André accepte, René approuve et l'approche 19 est exécutée. A 200 pieds du sol (60 mètres) nous voyons enfin la piste et nous nous posons sans problème.

Pendant l'escale de 50 minutes, les 52 passagers se dégourdissent les jambes, et le mécanicien sol que nous amenons avec nous pour nous assister débarque. Nous devons le réembarquer à cette même escale le lendemain au retour vers Paris. Nous prenons 81 tonnes de carburant et refermons les portes pour repartir. On constate alors que la météo s'est aggravée, un brouillard épais est tombé, on ne voit presque plus la pointe de l'avion depuis notre siège ! Pour le décollage cela ne pose pas de problème et après 2 heures 52 de vol nous nous posons à Caracas (3 heures 10 bloc bloc).

Le lendemain, le samedi 29 mai 1976, tout l'équipage est à l'aéroport et nous préparons le vol retour vers Paris, via Santa Maria. La prévision météo à Santa Maria est un peu meilleure que la veille, mais il y a encore une prévision de brouillard.

A ce stade une parenthèse dans mon récit : la ligne Paris Caracas en Concorde n'était ouverte que depuis quelques semaines et bien sûr on avait beaucoup parlé de cette escale aux Açores, du vol direct éventuel depuis Paris, des horaires, etc. J'avais réalisé, à titre personnel, une étude de ce vol, en particulier les conditions à réunir pour réussir ce vol direct de Caracas à Paris. Sans entrer dans le détail j'avais déterminé des quantités minimales de carburant en certains points de la route, les passages aux 20° Ouest et au 08° Ouest, pour rejoindre Roissy, avec bien sûr de très bonnes conditions météo à l'arrivée. Si ces quantités de carburant n'étaient pas atteintes nous pouvions nous dérouter en tous points de la route et en toute sécurité vers Casablanca, Lisbonne ou Bordeaux.

André nous fait remarquer très justement ce jour là, que l'on a des chances de trouver les mêmes conditions météo que la veille à Santa Maria. Or pour Santa Maria nous prenions en carburant une réserve appelée « Réserve Açores » qui couvrait tous les terrains de dégagement utilisables de ce chapelet d'îles : Lajes, grand base américaine, Terceira et Sao Miguel. Avec cette réserve et du carburant pour une attente éventuelle il nous fallait emporter 90 tonnes pour cette étape Caracas Santa Maria. Or le plein complet est de 95,5 tonnes. Je reparle à André de mon étude sur le vol direct (je lui en avais parlé en détail la veille pendant le vol aller) et lui suggère de prendre ces 95,5 tonnes : si on fait une approche à Santa Maria on aura du carburant en réserve et si on continue vers Paris, si les conditions de vent et de température sont bonnes, et elles le sont, on a de grandes chances d'atteindre Roissy, en toute sécurité avec les 3 terrains de déroutement envisagés.

René est très favorable à cette solution et elle convient totalement à André qui n'a pas envie de retrouver la purée de pois de la veille et qui conclut : « Avec deux vieux briscards comme vous je suis serein ! ». « Vieux », j'avais 33 ans à l'époque !

Avec la densité du carburant du jour nous emportons 94,5 tonnes. Horaire de départ : 13h00 GMT, nous mettons le bloc à 12h58 avec 94,2 tonnes de carburant, décollage à 13h07 avec 93,4 tonnes de carburant et une masse totale de l'avion de 176,6 tonnes.

C'est mon étape aux commandes. Caracas étant en bord de mer, l'accélération supersonique se fait dans la foulée. Nous laissons les Antilles à notre droite pour leur éviter le bang sonique et dès le début de la croisière ascendante nous captons en HF une météo de Santa Maria : temps moyen mais moins mauvais que prévu : brume, visibilité 3000 mètres et plafond 4000 pieds. C'est la fin de matinée aux Açores.

Les conditions de vol sont parfaites, léger vent favorable, + 20 noeuds et température extérieure basse : – 72°C, la « peau » de l'avion est à + 87°C à Mach 2,00. René nous fait un suivi carburant très précis et il nous est favorable. A quelques dizaines de minutes de la descente il faut prendre une décision : descendre vers Santa Maria ou continuer.

Concertation dans le cockpit : André nous demande ce qu'on en pense. Pour moi on peut poursuivre le vol, tous les paramètres sont bons. René est très favorable et je le sens enthousiaste à l'idée de réussir ce vol direct. La décision appartient au Commandant de Bord : André DUCHANGE décide de continuer. 

Nous passons le point de descente et pour ne pas secouer l'île avec notre bang je fais un écart de cap à droite avec l'index des caps (voir le routier).  

En passant au travers de l'île de Santa Maria nous sommes stupéfaits : il n'y a plus un nuage sur l'île et 20 km de visibilité ! Nous avons une pensée émue pour notre mécanicien sol déposé la veille !

En passant la longitude 20° ouest, il nous faut, d'après mes calculs, 22,3 tonnes minimum pour continuer vers Roissy avec le dégagement Le Bourget que nous pouvions choisir à cette époque: nous en avons 22,6.
En passant le 8° ouest, il nous faut 12,3 tonnes minimum : nous avons 12,6 tonnes. La météo à Roissy est excellente.

Au lieu de rentrer en France par Nantes nous prenons une trajectoire par la Manche (par le point Kilo, voir le routier) pour rester le plus longtemps possible en supersonique car la consommation distance (Cd) est meilleure d'environ 10% par rapport au subsonique.

Un problème apparaît : le centrage. En supersonique le centre de poussée aérodynamique recule. Pour le faire coïncider avec le centre de gravité comme il doit être, on doit reculer celui-ci en mettant du carburant dans le réservoir arrière. Or vers la fin du vol on doit vider en grande partie ce réservoir arrière pour laisser du carburant dans les réservoirs qui alimentent les réacteurs : donc le centre de gravité avance, ce qui est contraire à l'effet recherché.

Quelle masse pouvons-nous déplacer vers l'arrière pour avoir un bon centrage ? Devinez ? Nos 39 passagers bien sûr ! C'est ce que nos amis PNC s'empressent de faire en leur expliquant ce que nous sommes en train de réussir : ils sont enthousiastes et, aidés par notre équipage commercial, ils s'installent tous à l'arrière de l'avion ! Le centrage est bon !!! 

Nous commençons la décélération avant Dieppe pour la protection du bang. Le Contrôle de Roissy, informé de notre vol exceptionnel, nous permet de faire une approche semi directe pour un atterrissage face à l'ouest, que je m'applique à faire très doux !

Atterrissage à 17h26 GMT, nous sommes au bloc au « camembert » de Roissy 1 à 17h32. Les passagers sont enchantés et défilent dans le cockpit pour nous faire signer les beaux menus Concorde en souvenir. Ils nous confirment qu'ils étaient prêts à faire tout ce que nous voulions pour faciliter notre projet ! Certains gagnent 2 correspondances pour poursuivre leur voyage.

Quelques chiffres sur ce vol :

o        Temps bloc-bloc : 04h34
o        Temps de vol : 04h19
o        Temps en supersonique : 03h37 !
o        Carburant au toucher des roues : 5 tonnes, nous avons Le Bourget en dégagement, comme prévu.
o        Distance parcourue : 4293 miles nautiques en direct auxquels il faut en ajouter 35 à cause de l'écart effectué pour éviter le bang sur l'île, soit : 4328 miles nautiques ou 8015 kilomètres !
o        Vitesse moyenne : 1003 noeuds soit 1857 kilomètres heure.

En conclusion

Ce vol qui n'a jamais été homologué comme un record, en a, en fait, établi plusieurs :
o        Plus long vol réalisé sans escale par un Concorde, en temps de vol à vitesse supersonique : 4328 miles nautiques, 8015 km. Ce n'est pas, en effet, le vol, ainsi déclaré, du 18 septembre 1987 qui a été fait entre Hao et Lima pour le retour du 1er Ministre Jacques Chirac de Polynésie, comme cela a été mentionné sur des plis philatéliques : ce vol était de 6872 km en 3h40 bloc bloc.
o        Plus long vol supersonique réalisé tous avions confondus : 3H37 en supersonique pour un temps de vol de 04h19 ! Au-dessus, c'est la navette spatiale !

Il n'a pas été possible de donner une suite commerciale à ce vol. Une semaine après, le Chef de Division, le Commandant Pierre DUDAL, a refait ce vol mais en rentrant en France par Nantes, avec donc moins de temps en supersonique, donc une consommation plus forte. Le constat a été fait que l'on ne pouvait pas garantir la réussite du vol direct, trop de paramètres entrant en jeu. Il a donc été interdit par la suite. 

C'est une grande satisfaction pour moi d'avoir été aux commandes de Concorde pour ce vol exceptionnel, grâce au Commandant André DUCHANGE, à l'Officier Mécanicien Navigant René DUGUET et à nos amis PNC. 

Alain BATAILLOU
Pilote Concorde Air France
1975 - 1982

PS : pour nous excuser, j'ai contacté quelques jours après ce vol, notre mécanicien sol, que nous avions « abandonné » à Santa Maria. A l'heure où nous devions nous poser à Santa Maria il a vu passer à très haute altitude et grande vitesse la traînée de notre avion et a très bien compris ce qui se passait ! Il s'est déclaré enchanté de la réussite du vol !

Le point de vue de René DUGUET

Ce vol a nécessité un suivi « sérieux » des quantités carburant. A l'arrivée je savais qu'il ne resterait du carburant que dans les 4 nourrices. Autrement dit il y aurait 9 réservoirs qu'il s'agissait d'assécher au mieux. 

J'allais ainsi jusqu'à l'allumage des lampes basse pression des pompes pour être certain que le peu de kérosène restant ne pouvait plus être pompé. D'autre part ces faibles quantités résiduelles de carburant, que l'on qualifie « d'impompables » entraient malgré tout dans la quantité indiquée par la jauge totale. Pour être certain des quantités disponibles et utilisables, je ne me fiais pas à la jauge totale mais je faisais l'addition des quantités encore disponibles. 
Je m'appliquais aussi à surveiller la position des élevons qui sont toujours restés à 0°, légèrement porteurs. C'est à la fois signe que le centrage est bien correct et cela garantit la meilleure consommation distance.

Depuis l'ouverture du Caracas, la question du vol direct faisait débat au sein des équipages Concorde. J'étais donc très heureux d'être mécanicien sur ce vol.

Le point de vue d'Albert LEBLANC

En ce qui concerne les PNC, ce ne fut que peu de temps avant de contourner SMA, que le Commandant, André DUCHANGE, nous a informés, que nous ferions le vol direct et que nous pouvions commencer à l'annoncer à nos passagers. Ils seraient les témoins d'un exploit jamais réalisé par un Concorde et auraient ainsi l'honneur de le raconter à leurs familles et amis. 

Mais il faudrait, le moment venu, leur demander de se déplacer dans la cabine arrière. C'est sans aucune difficulté qu'ils prirent la consigne très au sérieux et l'acceptèrent même avec le sourire. Ce fut presque un jeu. Une fois installés, le service apéritif fut servi sans modération, ainsi que les boissons qui accompagnaient le dîner. A peine les roues avaient-elles touché la piste, que ce fut un tonnerre d'applaudissements. C'est un vol qui marquera dans l'histoire d'Air France et de l'aviation commerciale. 

Petite anecdote, deux passagers ont dû être soutenus par leurs amis pour franchir la porte de la coupée et marcher droit dans la passerelle.

Une fois de plus, tous les membres d'équipage PNC ont su faire preuve de leur compétence et de leur sens commercial, en parfaite coopération avec l'équipage technique, au moment du transfert des passagers vers l'arrière. Ils ont pris une part importante à la réussite de ce vol et au renom de la Compagnie.

 

 

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Ray Proudfoot

Hello again Cyril. Yes, that was a lot of fun but quite tiring. I needed a nap this afternoon after getting up at 06:30Z. :)

I made it to gate 10 at NZAA (Auckland) with a mere 5.1T remaining and only a few hundred Kg in tanks 1 & 4. I did have fuel in 2 and 3 of course and could have transferred that.

After loading my plan into CPS this morning with a sim time of 21:00Z on Sunday 19 June I could only load 32 pax, not 36 as originally planned.

ZFW was 82.2T and fuel required (including an extra 2T) was 94.2T. This gave a take-off weight of 175.4T.

The whole flight for me went really well. There were a couple of occasions when CG drifted too far rearwards but I was able to correct that. Cyril was using the VFE and although the CG did reach 59.6 once nothing untoward happened to the aircraft.

We both checked the weather at NZAA and winds were light from the NE. This meant a longer arrival path but visibility was okay and I did a half-decent landing.

Unfortunately, whilst parked and unloading my pax I tried to take a screenshot and pressed Ctrl+F12 by accident. This closed FSX and also shut down EFB so I lost my flight log.

Distance flown was 3831nm plus another 20 or so for the approach making a total of 3851nm. That's 59 inside the official max range. Flight time was 4 hr 4 mins.

I did face a stand-off with a Qantas 747-400. Unfortunately my zapper didn't work so I just went straight through him.

FaceOff.png

One final point. Despite loading the C&D panel state and then loading my fuel and pax I still had the flag on the CG gauge once airborne. Selective use of pump switches soon sorted the problem. If anyone would like to see if it happens to them here is my flight plan for CPS.

PHNLNZAA_C.pln

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  • 1 month later...
Gastonreif

Hello Captains,

  Another maximum range test was done. Route from KMIA to EGLL. Gate G9 at Miami was close to runway 30 so not much fuel burned during taxi with two engines running.

  Concorde was loaded using original in-bulit load manager with 95.7T of fuel and low load preset. The jet stream during almost direct straight route was not helped much

 because AS16 wheather engine put not more than 11 tailwind between 50,000-60,000ft. I had to manage the CG just south of Ireland when fuel was low in main tanks.

 I overshoot the T/D so a overflown London for more than 30 nm. At 13,000ft i did turn around when speed was right for that maneuver. Landing was done

on 27R and on gate 547. Fuel showed 6,280kg left. Time airborne 4h 05m. Range 3837nm + some around London. Pictures added.

after KMIA-EGLL.jpg

report KMIA-EGLL.jpg

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Ray Proudfoot

Very good Gaston. Just short of the PHNL-NZAA distance of 3851nm. If you want to try an even longer route then MYNN-EGLL is 3771nm Great Circle Route. Obviously longer once a plan is added.

I'd try it but MYNN scenery by IDS is a memory eater consuming over 1Gb of VAS once within 15nm.

Would be interested to know the minimum legal fuel Concorde had to land with. Anyone?

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Ray Proudfoot

This route would push Concorde right to the limit I think. TTPP-EGLL or vice-versa if you prefer. 3830nm GCR. The map shows a circle centred on EGLL of 3850nm.

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=TTPP-EGLL&R=3850nm%40egll&MS=wls&MP=o&DU=nm

Passes just north of the Azores so the only deviation from a straight line would be the approach to the UK.

Although a path up the English Channel looks easier it's slightly longer than the route from Barbados crossing the English coast over North Devon for a BNN1D approach from Bovingdon.

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Ray Proudfoot
25 minutes ago, Frazz said:

Minimum legal was 6.5T

Cheers. I'll take that into consideration.

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Ray Proudfoot

Here's a route I planned from TTPP to EGLL. Great Circle is 3833.7nm extended to 3869.2nm with the planned route.

Rather than overfly BGI and have to keep subsonic I have moved the route slightly east of Barbados so the climb can be continuous. Runway length at TTPP is 10,500ft. Hopefully long enough! :)

TTPP TAB DCT 1255N05902W 1800N05533W 2423N05000W 2700N04731W 3356N04000W 41N030W 4500N02218W 46N020W 4740N01500W DCT TAKAS DCT 4946N00353W 4949N00331W 5001N00159W DCT KATHY DCT HAZEL DCT OCK EGLL

There's an airport package available for TTPP here. http://secure.simmarket.com/latinvfr-piarco-trinidad-ttpp.phtml

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  • 2 weeks later...
Gastonreif

I did another interesting long haul from Olympic Rio SBGL to Johannesburg FAOR. Lenght 3861nm plus approx. 60nm for approach to ILS 21L.

Departed early morning from Rio RWY 10 and straight over the ocean to nearest VOR at the coast of South Africa.

Winds in the South Atlantic are moderate. I was not so close to the jet stream but tail winds between 20-50 knots were highly appreciated and helped a lot.

According to South african civil aviation authority you can continue over land supersonic if you stick above FL300.

Johannesburg is at approx. 5500ft above sea level so you should adjust your descent point.

The landscape here is amazing, high elevated and big city. Landed afternoon, opposite to flight direction, at runway 21L because 21R was busy.

Took me a lots of minutes to taxi to the gate E1 because 21L is far away from the terminals. I shut the engines off with 8 tons of fuel.

I must say the flight was done with full fuel load but only training load. Nextime flying southernly with higher tailwind and more load i can easily reach

3900nm between those cities. At the end, here is a proof how amazing the concorde is. Departed Rio morning, landed in South africa, picked up

full passangers load in JNB and small hop to Cape Town. Left South Africa after sunset and landed back in Rio same day evening. What a plane!

Note the way back strong headwinds. I landed in Rio with only 2 tons of fuel left!

 

JNBgateE1.jpg

JNBreport.jpg

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Ray Proudfoot

Gaston,

Do you have a flight plan you could share with us? Whilst I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm no way would Concorde be allowed to fly supersonic over South Africa. Too many populated area between the west coast and Johannesburg. Flight level is immaterial. Even at FL600 you will lay an extremely loud sonic boom over land up to 20nm wide and 30+nm ahead of you. It's up to you whether you want to stick to the real-world rules or not.

I looked at flying SBGL to South Africa and ruled out all major airports except Cape Town. I was able to complete that flight a few months ago as I could stay supersonic (legally) until the deceleration procedure started.

Why don't you try CPS? It's free (but if you like it make a donation) and will give you far more realistic fuel and vspeed calculations than just using full load and training pax.

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Gastonreif

Hi Ray,

  Sure, as you know my waypoints are in LAT/LON, some of those are just points in the middle of nowhere (there is only one route, to FACT),

  and some real points.


SBGL             0      0   S22°48'36.00" W043°15'02.00" GALEAO - ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
S23°40.39 W040°26.90
S26°40.97 W028°26.09
S28°01.99 W020°52.57
S29°24.08 W001°54.83
S28°33.97 E016°31.98   PSD Point of Safe Divert to FACT
S26°30.95 E027°40.39   
FAOR           336     57   S26°08'01.30" E028°14'32.34" O R TAMBO INTERNATIONAL

 

Please have a look at this picture taken from that source, its real, what do you think?, its official. I think you could fly supersonic there.

CPS does not work properly on my computer. I dont know why but it will not let me create the route. Even the map from google used in CPS cant load.

rule.jpg

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Ray Proudfoot
1 hour ago, Gastonreif said:

Hi Ray,

  Sure, as you know my waypoints are in LAT/LON, some of those are just points in the middle of nowhere (there is only one route, to FACT),

  and some real points.


SBGL             0      0   S22°48'36.00" W043°15'02.00" GALEAO - ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
S23°40.39 W040°26.90
S26°40.97 W028°26.09
S28°01.99 W020°52.57
S29°24.08 W001°54.83
S28°33.97 E016°31.98   PSD Point of Safe Divert to FACT
S26°30.95 E027°40.39   
FAOR           336     57   S26°08'01.30" E028°14'32.34" O R TAMBO INTERNATIONAL

 

Please have a look at this picture taken from that source, its real, what do you think?, its official. I think you could fly supersonic there.

CPS does not work properly on my computer. I dont know why but it will not let me create the route. Even the map from google used in CPS cant load.

Hi Gaston,

I don't know what you use to create your flight plans but it's usual to include the exit point of the SID as the first waypoint and the entry point of the STAR as the final one.

I've had a read of that document and admit to being surprised that supersonic is allowed albeit with prior approval. Perhaps it's dependent on the route planned. I do find the limit of Mach 0.90 below 5000ft rather alarming. It suggests the rules apply more to military aircraft than civilian. If you want to fly supersonic over populated areas that is your call.

CPS is not route creating software. You would normally supply a flight plan to it that is compatible with FSX/P3D. How are you generating your plans? if you want to try CPS with a FSX plan download the plans I uploaded for the Rio de Janeiro flights.

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Fraser Gale

Concorde was permitted to fly over land on some flights dependant on government negotiation/approval. It would have been allowed over sparsely populated areas but there would still have been people subjected to the boom. This was not as big a deal as some people thought it would be when only on a one-off basis and the most regularly boomed people were those on ships such as the QE2, who would be boomed on the Atlantic. No windows smashed and she never sank because of it! 

The route flown up over northern Canada from New York to Vancouver or as on G-BOAG's last flight, Seattle is one such route. It is quite plausible that the governments of South Africa may have permitted a one-off flight supersonically in order to have the prestige of Concorde flying in their airspace. Whether this would be politically correct is for others to decide and we will never know now but for the purposes of simulation I don't think anyone can rule out such a route.

Frazz

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Gastonreif

Hello Captains,

Just finished 4255 nm + approx 60nm for approach flight from Durban in South Africa to Perth Australia. I must say it could fly longer as SanxDiegoxSand said and did. 

Training load with 5 passangers and full fuel. Thanks for very high tailwind from the southern jetstream, you can see from the picture it was really strong, 40-100kts.

Landed with sunset at Perth runway 21 with 5.7 tons of fuel.

 

4255nm.jpg

routeFALEYPPH.jpg

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Fraser Gale

For a test exercise this is good although if you land with 5.7T remaining you would have a report to file and some serious explaining to do to your flight manager because the legal reserve on landing was 6.5T. 

Frazz

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Ray Proudfoot

Using CPS to calculate fuel etc. is important as it would have probably determined distance was beyond max range. It includes rules for minimum fuel on landing. Something you can't calculate without it. Not easily anyway.

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Fraser Gale

A quick calculation using the Olympus specific fuel consumption for supersonic cruise can help. The official figure is 1.8 which if you multiply by 10 and get 18, you can then multiply by the miles to fly to give you a raw figure for TRIP FUEL AT SUPERSONIC SPEED ONLY.  Eg, 18 x 3900 = 70,200kg. 

This assumes no wind, no reserves, no holding and all supersonic. For subsonic legs you could add around 50% to this figure to give 27 x 3900 = 105,300kg although this may be less accurate. 

Frazz

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