I’m presently watching a BBC programme made in 1994 about how Concorde came about.

I knew Farnborough played a big part in the making of it but what I didn’t know was that originally it was put to a few mathematicians and engineers to come up with a supersonic airliner. When they come up with a suitable shape such as the delta wing form it was found that France was doing the same thing and found that the design chosen was very similar, so similar in fact that Great Britain and France joined forces and signed an agreement. Great Britain was to take charge of the front and rear fuselage and the engines while France did the centre fuselage and the wings.


In the film the engineers are learning each other languages but find that through maths and engineering they understood each other rather well and so spoke in their own language also even though France worked in metric and great Britain worked in imperial there was no issue as most people would expect.

For interior cooling tests they simulated people by heating metal models, an average person at 110watts and an intoxicated person at 125watts to see if the cooling system for the passengers was to fail, would it ‘cook’ the passengers. Apparently if it was to fail it would take 10 minutes to have any serious effect on the passengers, by which time the aircraft could be slowed down.


It was even proposed not to have airline stewardesses on the aircraft as flying at such an altitude and not knowing what effects the radiation was at that altitude on the human body was believed would make women infertile (you have to bare in mind many of the things they were doing were unknown unlike today where we’d laugh it off as preposterous). It was later found that there was no such issue and in fact while not making them infertile actually caused a ‘baby boom’ as the stewardesses where home more as they were only away for days rather than regular flights were they could be away for many days or even weeks.

The Rolls Royce Olympus engines while originally taken from the AVRo Vulcan bomber and also used for ships and generators, had to be engineered to give four times the thrust.


I find everything about the aircraft to be amazing.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter