"My" Concorde, September 9th, 1991. New York to London, 3hrs, 24 minutes !
Concorde was a long, slim, streamlined aircraft with a length of 204 feet - however it stretched almost ten inches in supersonic flight due to heating of the air frame.
delta wing was only 84 feet across, while the top of the tail soared 38 feet above the ground. The characteristic droop nose was lowered to improve the pilots’ visibility on landing. Concorde, like 747’s and other jets in British Airways' fleet,
had automatic approach and landing capability.
The four engines - specially modified Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593s – gave over 38,000 pounds of thrust each, with reheat. Reheat adds fuel to the final stage
of the engine to produce the extra power required for take-off, and the transition to supersonic flight
Cruise speed was Mach Two, 1,350 mph*
or twice the speed of sound. Range with full payload and fuel reserves was more than 4,000 miles. Concorde's cruise altitude of 50,000 to 60,000 feet was up to 20,000 feet higher than subsonic jets, and invariably above the weather.
Concorde took off at 220 knots, compared with 165 knots for most subsonic aircraft. Landing speeds were also higher. In other respects it performed in much the same way, for example with approach and holding patterns,
diversions and runway requirements, despite the absence of flaps and wing slats.
British Airways scheduled or chartered Concordes visited over 150 destinations around the world. Business travellers were the primary
market. A 7.00 pm departure gave the business man or woman the opportunity of a full day's work in London, and still arriving in New York in time for dinner. Eastbound, a morning departure got the business traveller to London in the early evening in time
for dinner. A lunchtime departure allowed time for a morning business meeting while still arriving home in time for bed.
* Aviation Writer travelled from New York to London on business
in 1991. Total time for the long flight, 3 hours and 24 minutes ! At one time a speed of 1460 mph was displayed in the cabin !
A demand for luxury leisure travel was also developed. This helped the aircraft
to attract more passengers each year, including Movie and Music Celebrities !