The Eclipse Chasers of ’73.
A lil backstory:
So it was in 1973 we had the first total eclipse in a really long time and ideally the totality lasts for a couple of minutes. Hardly enough time to conduct any research.
So what the boys did was to strap on a whole observatory atop Concorde 001 and chase the eclipse as it happened across the world, observing a totality of 74 MINUTES, compared to the real time of a mere 7.4 minutes!
4 Concordes in formation on Christmas Eve 1985, achieving the first commercial formation flight
(From a Concorde pilot) “The SR71 was told over radio to move out of the way, 30 degrees right, for us. To think they were at 50,000 ft Mach 2 with what were close to spacesuits on and we were doing the same but whilst drinking champagne and in out suits and ties. That is when it hit me how revolutionary the Concorde really was”
What’s louder than Concorde? 2 Concordes!
Little known fact about this stunt. This was done to commemorate the grand opening of the new airport. The airport however, was not built to handle the heat from Concorde When they took off, they cooked the runway causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The airport was closed for over a week for emergency repairs.
On the last flight of Concorde…
The Concorde supersonic jet stretched during flight due to the heat it generated. On its final flight the crew placed their hats into a crevice in the floor which appeared during the flight, as the aircraft cooled the crevice closed, permanently sealing their hats in the aluminum airframe.
The only picture ever taken of Concorde flying at Mach 2 (1,350 mph).
Taken from an RAF Tornado fighter jet, which only rendezvoused with Concorde for 4 minutes over the Irish Sea: The Tornado was rapidly running out of fuel, struggling to keep up with Concorde at Mach 2.
Even though the Tornado could match the speed of the Concorde (with all ordnance and ext. fuel tanks stripped), it didn’t go full AB due to its monstrous fuel usage. After several attempts, the pic was taken when the Corcorde had to slow down to Mach 1.5ish from its cruising Mach 2.0 speed. The Tornado found it very difficult to keep up with the Concorde and had to break away after 4 minutes.
In British Airways trials in April 1985, Concorde was offered as a target to NATO fighters including F-15 Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-14 Tomcats, Mirages, F-104 Starfighters – but only Lightning XR749, flown by Mike Hale and described by him as “a very hot ship, even for a Lightning”, managed to overtake Concorde on a stern conversion intercept.
This always happens when Concordes meet a Concorde they haven’t seen before.
The entire British Concorde fleet in one picture, January 21, 1986, at London Heathrow Airport
Now that’s a classy flypast.
The Queen waves as Concorde salutes the royal yacht Britannia off Barbados.
Whenever life gets you down, remember the Pepsi Concorde
The “Pepsi Concorde,” an Air France airframe painted bright blue as part of a Pepsi ad campaign. The darker fuselage color limited the airspeed to Mach 1.7 to reduce thermal heating.
Inertial Navigation System of Concorde
Sad Concorde is sad…
20 km/h? Naaaah, I don’t think so…