“Shes one sexy bitch of a plane”
“Shes one BigMac of a plane”
The BAC-Aerospatiale Concorde slut-sonic transport (SST) was a moderately successful copy of the Russian Tupolev Tu-144 (Konkordski). First flown in AD79 by Monkey from PG Tips, Concorde entered passenger service in 1976, after a rather lengthy check-in delay due to the baggage handling system at Heathrow. It then flew for 27 years, before finally being taken out of service because its fuel tanks were empty, and its lubricant became prohibitively expensive.
One of Concorde's biggest claims-to-fame was being able to fly so fast that businessmen could have breakfast in London (not Tiffanys'), and then fly to New York in time for mid-morning tea (not with Mussolini), leading British Airways to use the slogan, 'Leave before you arrive'.
Only British Airways and Air France operated Concorde. Although many other foreign airlines had placed orders, ultimately they cancelled, as they kept wetting themselves because they just couldn't handle the sheer awesomeness of Concorde's 'sonic boom'.
After Concorde eventually stopped flying, it was revealed that, due to a tax fiddle, it turned out that there really was only one Concorde all along, and the French and British kept lending it to each other. That is why Concorde's engineers always talked about 'Concorde', never 'a Concorde', and this spread into common usage in the UK.
Technical features[edit | edit source]
Concorde was bristling with various technological features that would put any modern aircraft to shame. It even had features otherwise seen only on military jets, such as after-burners, delta-wings, and a nuclear bomb bay.
Concorde was one of the first uses for anti-lock brakes (ABS). They could bring the 188 tonne aircraft to a halt from 190 mph in only 1 mile, which despite sounding impressive, would be an MOT failure according to the British Highway Code.
One of Concorde's most distinctive features is the droop-nose. This was claimed to have been developed to provide the pilots with a better view during take-off and landing, but it has recently been admitted that it was inspired by some loose bolts on the prototype. Other sources suggest the drooping appendage was incorporated into Concorde as an affinity to the passengers it was designed to carry, namely, very highly-stressed middle-aged men who suffered with certain embarrassing health problems, specifically erectile dysfunction (ED).
Concorde's power came from impressive steam engines, four Olympus SLRs, which provided 169 kN of thrust with the afterburners and auto-focus enabled (however, when afterburners were lit, the steam whistle was disabled, so it was impossible to warn any out-of-place icebergs or lighthouses). Due to their design, the Concorde's Olympus steam engines were surprisingly economical when cruising at Mach 2 (requiring just two tonnes of coal to be stoked into its boilers every mile), but, while not so good around town, they nevertheless had a pleasant throaty roar at full throttle.
The delta-shaped wings were another distinctive feature. Inspired by a nursery school folded paper plane, the wings were sleek, and gave Concorde a very graceful, almost swan-like appearance while soaring up into the sky with a golden sunset in the background. On the other hand, they gave passengers a blinding white light, and no view below at all out of the window. Everyone on the outside loved them, everyone on the inside hated them.
Ultimately, the technical issues are rather irrelevant, because Concorde was all about money, style and grace. A grace of the kind style that only Oscar Wilde could wax lyrical about; and making foreigners wet themselves with unexpected sonic booms.
Flight characteristics[edit | edit source]
As aeroplanes use fuel (Concorde using both champagne and coal) they become lighter, and so can fly higher. This allows them to glide further after running out of fuel, and so hopefully reach their destinations on time every time. Concorde was an aeroplane that used a particular large amount of champagne, and an even larger amount of coal; and hence flew at very high altitude, which reduced air drag, but while still allowing the full awesomeness of the sonic boom to reach the ground. Sadly, the popular myth that the sonic boom is a reaction when Concorde breaks the sound barrier is simply untrue, this myth was created to hide the unpalatable truth about the real cause of the sonic boom. The sonic booms are actually caused whenever an overflying Concorde jettisons one of its 543 empty coal bunkers in flight - the 'boom' is when a said empty coal bunker crashes through the roof of an unsuspecting house or other building, the coal bunkers themselves typically breaking the sound barrier, along with Aunt Betty's china tea service!
Concorde had the unusual characteristic of being on the 'back side' of the 'drag curve' while landing. This allowed the French to believe that Concorde was female, while the British knew it was male. The big fat Greek passengers that flew aboard however, didn't care.
Interior[edit | edit source]
Concorde was designed for midgets, preferably midgets without any hand-luggage. There were surprisingly few complaints about the poor headroom and tiny seats, because the overpaid employees whose tickets were being paid for by their companies didn't want to lose face in front of the economy class tourists who had twice the room on a lardy 747 for a tenth of the price.
There is the famous fact that due to Concorde's top speed of Mach 2 (twice the speed of your granny with her zimmer frame), air friction causes the aircraft to heat up so much that all of the passengers grow by 3 inches. What is less well known is that the aircraft stretches a full 9-to-11 inches while in flight. Now known as the 'Viagra effect', this increase in length can be seen in the flight deck, between the engineer's console and the cockpit wall. Some engineers were silly enough to fall asleep in-flight after putting their head in the gap during the flight, and were unable to remove it again after landing.
Some people raised concern over the amount of cosmic radiation passengers may be exposed to, due to Concorde's 60,000 ft cruising altitude. The threat to passenger's health was shown to be minuscule, and well worth the benefit of not needing to carry a heavy microwave oven to heat up the in-flight meals.
Environmental considerations[edit | edit source]
At the altitude Concorde flew at, it raped the ozone layer, and thus actually gained speed. Then again, there was only one Concorde, so it didn't make a lot of difference really.
Concorde, in addition, generated sonic booms, which like a whip, permitted it to exceed the speed of sound. Some people would say it was too noisy, but they were Johnny foreigners, and big fat Americans who were prone to spilling hot coffee over their oversize tummies; so the excess noise was considered a positive, and often humourous bonus.
Although, when flying out of New York, Concorde was not allowed to go supersonic-awesome over land by law, because New York State housing was not well suited to coal bunkers falling from the sky. Accordingly, the Ray-Ban clad pilots were able to develop a clever technique. By throttling back its four steam engines, Concorde could fly quietly for a short time. This made Concorde very quiet; other airliners were forced to copy it (newer designed airlines abandoned the steam engine in favour of diesel engines, modified to run on waste chip frying oil). However, this tactic also meant that suddenly opening the throttle again on Concorde with the element of surprise caught many an old lady out, and even many young mothers.
Paris crash[edit | edit source]
In 2000, as a result of the now known 'Millennium bug', whilst an Air France Concorde flight was leaving the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, during take off, one of its tyres was punctured by a piece of metal that had fallen-off another aircraft (an ancient American airliner) which took off only a few minutes earlier. The tyre then burst, and heavy shreds of destroyed tyre damaged one of the main coal storage fuel tanks, which then caused a raging fire to start. This had an immediate effect of halting the supply of coal to the steam engines, resulting in immediate loss of all power to the engines, and moments later, Concorde crashed into Disneyland Paris; tragically killed Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Donald Duck, along with Michael Jackson, and a few cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
The subsequent report of the Paris air crash by official Air Crash Investigators revealed a fundamental flaw in the 'brains' of all four of Concorde's steam engine ECUs (Eckythump Control Units). Specifically, the Yorkshire Tea operating system software in the ECUs had an error in their coding. The original operating specification for the ECU called for a 10% reduction in supply of coal to the engines if high levels of garlic and / or French cheese were detected in the air supply to the steam engines. Unfortunately, the Microsoft intern on loan to Yorkshire Tea Software Solutions Ltd, failed to correctly understand the Yorkshire dialect; his coding error created a boot-loop in the ECU when cheese AND garlic were detected, and the failure mode resulted in a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in the steam engine Eckythump Control Units. Sadly, any aircraft engine BSOD usually results in . . . erm . . . well . . . death!
Fallout[edit | edit source]
Due to the Paris crash, Concorde was sent to be beheaded by the Queen in London. Her punishment was so cruel that extensive damage was caused, and Concorde was no longer airworthy. British Airways and Air France could just not use Concorde anymore, because the repair fees (and removing cheese and garlic from France) would have been higher than the net worth of Bill Gates and Elon's Musk combined.
Its last moments were reconstructed in a Britney video, Toxic. Also references to survivors, since the plane was used in a kidnapping linked to Y2K hopes for Holocaust.