|Aircraft Number 001|
|Production Model Number||1st Prototype|
|Maiden Flight||2nd March 1969 : Toulouse, France
1st flight of Concorde
|Registration history:-||First Registered as F-WTSS to Aerospatiale|
|Total Block Hours||812 hrs 19 mins|
|Total Supersonic Hours||254 hrs 49mins|
|Current Usage||Preserved in the French Air Museum, Le Bourget, Paris, France|
The early aim during the test flights with the prototypes was expand the flight envelope as quickly as possible to prove that the supersonic sums and predictions were somewhere near correct. Clearly there would have been little point in progressing if the performance was not correct as this was of crucial significance to the success of the aircraft, even more than is usually so on an airliner, because of the very high fuel consumption involved when flying both supersonic and at slow speed subsonic. |
As an example, initial supersonic consumption at the start of cruise (typically M2.02 at 50000FT) is 24000KGS./ HR. reducing eventually in the cruise climb on a long supersonic leg to about 17000KGS./HR. at 60000FT. at the top of descent. The actual height achieved is however very dependent on the OAT.
Initial flying showed the aircraft to be very "flyable" and in the take-off and landing phase perhaps a lot better than some had predicted. There were virtually no real handling problems of significance to prevent fairly rapid expansion of the flight envelope, caution being the greatest break on the rate of progress. In this period many myths were exploded some perhaps too embarrassing to mention. One ,however, that can be recalled was the professed difficulty it was thought would be found in taxying the aircraft because of the pilot being so far in front of the nose and main wheels. To compensate for this no less than two TV cameras were provided one pointing aft and the other forward. The one pointing aft was incorrectly fitted because it was not a mirror image and the right wheel became the left and vice versa. Happily the whole thing could be forgotten because in the event taxying was found to be extremely straight forward. Theories about landing the aircraft caused a few problems initially but as soon as everyone treated it like any other aeroplane these soon went away.
As soon as the magic M2.0 was achieved it became apparent that the early encouraging signs concerning performance were confirmed. It did what it was expected to do. All that now remained was to make it into an airliner acceptable to the certification authorities. An elaborate set of so called TSS Standards had been drawn up to cover the areas where the normal BCAR's and FAR's were inadequate. The "T" being in front of the two "S's" to accommodate the strange French habit of getting their adjectives in the wrong place. The prototypes contributed a lot of general useful information both concerning systems and the environment during this period but their use was quickly becoming much reduced and it was the turn of the Pre-Production aircraft to take over.
Info By Peter Baker, BAC Concorde Flight Test Pilot
|F-WTSS on display in the French Air Museum in Paris.|
|Concorde (F-WTSS) takes off or the very first time on 2nd March 1969 from Toulouse .|
|On the flight deck of the 1st ever Concorde is test pilot Andre Turcat|
|F-WTSS on the ground in France.|
|The interior of 001 as it is today; stripped of the flight data recording equipment which can still be seen on 002 |
(Picture by Andreas Urechia)
|A close up corridor leading to the cockpit of 001. |
(Picture by Andreas Urechia)
|001, F-WTSS, seen hear our side the museum after being repainted prior to being put on display |