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Old Aug 18, 09, 10:43 am   #1
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Concorde Fuel Usage vs 744/777

Over the weekend, I took some time to go visit G-BOAD in NYC. While there, I was looking at one of the Olympus engines and its placard noted that this engine burned 6,300+ gallons per hour at cruise.

Anyone know if that is with or without reheat?

Additionally, if anyone wants to be a math geek, I'd be curious how that compares to a modern 747-400 or 777 fully laden at cruise. My hypothesis is that Concorde didn't use that much more fuel, it simply carried less payload/fewer passengers.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 10:48 am   #2
  
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Concorde cruised without reheat.

I seem to recall that the average fuel burn on Concorde was 1 ton per passenger (so 100 tons of fuel) across the pond. Additionally, I can't remember where I heard it now (could have been on here, I joined just around the time the retirement was announced) but Concorde burned more fuel taxiing from Terminal 4 to the north runway than an A320 did on a flight to Paris.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 11:06 am   #3
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Concorde burned more fuel taxiing from Terminal 4 to the north runway than an A320 did on a flight to Paris.
If true (on which I am not qualified to comment) then what a waste.

The aircraft could easily have been towed to the runway.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 12:00 pm   #4
  
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If true (on which I am not qualified to comment) then what a waste.

The aircraft could easily have been towed to the runway.
Not necessarily. I think there are restrictions on towing aircraft including
- Jetblast of other aircraft moving around the field
- stress on the nosewheel when turning/taxiing
- tug being able to drag a fully laden aircraft vs an empty aircraft
- tug having to handle radio communications for the taxi + cockpit crew talking to tower to arrange clearance = more comms and potentially more confusion
- Concorde had no APU, so relied on a ground power tug for air to start the engines, so you'd have to tow that along too
- what happens if there's some engine issue which needs a return to stand or replacement aircraft. Back we go again!
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Old Aug 18, 09, 12:22 pm   #5
  
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Originally Posted by Nicksta View Post
Additionally, if anyone wants to be a math geek, I'd be curious how that compares to a modern 747-400 or 777 fully laden at cruise. My hypothesis is that Concorde didn't use that much more fuel, it simply carried less payload/fewer passengers.

Didn't do any maths, but my work system did this for me (Using tonight BA178 Route):

Concorde uplifted an average of 90-95T LHR-JFK

B744 departing at 348.0T requires 90T at pushback. (Payload of 81.7T)
B772 departing at 254.5T requires 60.5T at pushback. (Payload of 51.2T)

Both of the above calculations are on max payload within aircraft weight limitations.

Hope that is of some insight!
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Old Aug 18, 09, 12:53 pm   #6
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Okay, so let's say Concorde burns 6,300 gallons an hour. It cruises for, call it 3.5 hours. So, that's 22,050 gallons for a transatlantic trip.

Guessing here. A 747-400 uses perhaps 4,600 gallons per hour. But, it cruises the same distance in 7.5 hours. So, that's 34,500 for a transatlantic trip.


Now the bigger issue is that the 747-400 carries perhaps 350 passengers/crew while Concorde carried perhaps 110. Also, a 747-400 flies at maybe 85% capacity while concorde was reported to be between 60%-70%. Of course, those 60 to 70 Concorde passengers were all paying first class fares.


Anyone care to check my assumption guesses? I guess I'm ignoring taxi and takeoff consumptions, so that could throw it off.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 1:16 pm   #7
  
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I dont care how much fuel it used. I just miss it.

BTW - plug for a great book here - but if you haven't read 'Supersonic Secrets' then its worth getting a copy. I couldn't put it down once I started...
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Old Aug 18, 09, 2:15 pm   #8
  
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Concorde fares were a 30% over first class fares. Not sure who actually paid that. From a miles angle, I think it was
Y - 40,000
J - 80,000
F - 120,000
R - 160,000
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Old Aug 19, 09, 5:45 am   #9
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Originally Posted by Nicksta View Post
Additionally, if anyone wants to be a math geek, I'd be curious how that compares to a modern 747-400 or 777 fully laden at cruise. My hypothesis is that Concorde didn't use that much more fuel, it simply carried less payload/fewer passengers.
Concorde drank fuel like a thirsty elephant.

I haven't got all the data here now, but I did do a back-of-the-envelope doodle once which (IIRC) basically showed that on the fuel that Concorde burned getting over to New York, a 777 could fly for 14+ hours - which is a lot further.
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Originally Posted by Seated in First View Post
Concorde cruised without reheat.
IIRC, this was one of the huge technical innovations that made her possible. It seems trivial now, but it was a really really big deal then.

Now, a trivia question from me: Is it still true that British Airways has amassed more supersonic flight experience (in supersonic hours) than all of the world's air forces combined?
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Old Aug 19, 09, 7:56 am   #10
  
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Now, a trivia question from me: Is it still true that British Airways has amassed more supersonic flight experience (in supersonic hours) than all of the world's air forces combined?
Direct from the pages of Wikipedia.
"..By its 30th flight anniversary on 2 March 1999 Concorde had clocked up 920,000 flight hours, with more than 600,000 supersonic, much more than all of the other supersonic aircraft put together in the Western world.."

I take it they're excluding the former Soviet Union countries.
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Old Aug 19, 09, 10:19 am   #11
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Now, a trivia question from me: Is it still true that British Airways has amassed more supersonic flight experience (in supersonic hours) than all of the world's air forces combined?
I guess the wiki quote is British Airways + Air France ?
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Old Aug 19, 09, 10:50 am   #12
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Now, a trivia question from me: Is it still true that British Airways has amassed more supersonic flight experience (in supersonic hours) than all of the world's air forces combined?
I think that this is the wrong metric and that a better one would be payload tonne miles. In this case I bet Concorde comes out on top no question, even including the Ivans.
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Old Aug 19, 09, 11:16 am   #13
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By an unbelievably stonking margin, I would have thought!
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Old Aug 19, 09, 1:05 pm   #14
  
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[QUOTE=747_not_777;12244688]I dont care how much fuel it used. I just miss it. QUOTE]

Couldnt agree more, a trip to New York just is not the same anymore! It really was a hell of a way to travel!
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Old Aug 20, 09, 5:07 am   #15
  
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Now the bigger issue is that the 747-400 carries perhaps 350 passengers/crew while Concorde carried perhaps 110.
Concorde always had exactly 100 seats. There were talks of 108, or 128, but those never realized. Oh, and a crew of 9 (3 in cockpit, IIRC 6 in cabin)

747-400 may carry 350 seats, but those are mostly coach. If you attempted to fill a 747-400 with first class seats... Well, SQ A340-500s are all business, and have exactly 100 seats. Maxjet and Silverjet 767-200s were all business and also had exactly 100 seats.

If you try to fill a 747-400 with BA First? Fully flat pitch? All beds with aisle access? On the upper deck you could find space for perhaps 8 seats. I do not think that a 747 is big enough for 100 first class seats.

Observe that BA chose to bail out LŽAvion, not Silverjet. And their own planes are even smaller - Openskies was 82 shrunk to 64, and the Concorde replacement has 32 seats.

Maybe Concorde was always too big. BA should enter an order with JAXA for a 30 seat SST, as described here:
http://www.apg.jaxa.jp/info/prm/006/01.html
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