Re: Concorde's Engines

Date:         25 Jun 99 01:32:59 
From:         Pete Finlay <>
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In article <airliners.1999.603@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Cass Alexander
<> writes
>Bill Herman made the following astute observation regarding Concorde in a
>recent posting:
>> (SNIP) I thought the F-22 was considered
>>to be a great technological achievement because of its ability to fly
>>Mach 1 at military power (no afterburner).  It's hard to believe that a
>>plane designed 20+ years prior to the F-22 already had that capability.
>which raises the obvious question of why the Brits never contemplated using
>it as a look down missile launching platform.

I think that there was no perceived need for such a beast. From about
1959 to 1965, BAC were involved in the design and testing of the BAC
TSR-2, which was to have been a supersonic bomber for the RAF. It wasn't
considered as a look down missile launching platform, but rather a
supersonic bomber. It had a sustained speed of between 0.9M and 1.1M at
200 ft., and 2.05M+ at altitude, and a range of 2,700km (with underwing
tanks). Impressively, it had a climb rate of about 16,000 fpm at sea
level. The (then) Labour government cancelled the project in 1965 for
political reasons after ordering F1-11 aircraft to replace it (the order
for the F1-11s was subsequently cancelled).

The main nuclear deterrent from the 1950s to the 1966 was the Avro
Vulcan, which was a missile platform. It carried the Blue Steel nuclear
missile, which initially had a range of 100 n.m. at a speed of 2.5M.
The Vulcan was the high level deterrent, with the TSR-2 being the
planned low level counterpart.

In 1966, the first Polaris subs were commissioned for the Royal Navy,
and they took over the role as Britain's main nuclear deterrent, and the
Vulcan's role was changed to a low level nuclear and conventional strike

By the time Concorde was on the drawing boards and production line,
Britain had no need for a supersonic, high level missile platform.

Interestingly enough, the Vulcan used RR Olympus 201 (later 301)
engines, and the TSR-2 used RR Olympus 22R - 320 engines. Concorde uses
the RR Olympus 593 engines, which were developed using the experiences
gained from the earlier types.

Pete Finlay
Boeing 747 Senior Flight Engineer
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