Re: Concorde

Date:         15 Nov 96 12:25:38 
From:         petercoe@best.com (Peter Coe)
Organization: BEST Internet Communications
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Rich Webb <95rgw2@eng.cam.ac.uk> writes:

>What is the top speed of Concorde, AND more importantly, can it maintain
>this speed (or any supersonic speed) without the aid of afterburners?

Concorde's cruising speed is 1,336mph.  It does this without afterburners.
>From experience, the plane starts the take-off run without reheat, but
then lights up shortly into the roll.  Within about 30 seconds of take-off,
the afterburners are killed.  I presume this is for no other reason than
noise abatement.  When the plane has reached significant altitude, and
is ready for supersonic cruise, the afterburners are lit up again, and to
accelerate through Mach 1, and upto near cruising speed.  The afterburners
are switched off short of cruising speed, and normal engine thrust is used
for the last bit of acceleration.  The total time on afterburner is quite
short, a minute and a half on take-off, and maybe 10 minutes to break the
sound barrier.

Concorde is the only plane that cruises at beyond Mach 2 without reheat.
Yet another 30 year old invention that hasn't been bettered.

On a supplemental thread, I vaguely recall that at the time of its entry
into service, Concorde's engines were claimed to be the most effecient
engine ever built - I presume in terms of thrust per pound of fuel.  The
plane isn't effecient overall, because it operates in such an ineffecient
environment.