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What was the top speed of the Concorde WITH afterburners?
The Concorde cruised at about 1,350 MPH, but that was without afterburners. How fast could it go if it activated the afterburners? Was it's true top speed ever found out?
- RobsteriarkLv 71 month agoFavorite Answer
1,354mph was the top speed attainable by Concorde. That speed was limited not by thrust but by thermal skin heating and airframe thermal expansion restrictions. The aluminium alloys used were fine up to 130°C but going faster would have exceeded that and weakened those alloys. At normal cruising the skin heating reached 100°C, and at the nose could reach 127°C. If the nose temperature exceeded that limit the aeroplane had to be slowed down.
It achieved that top speed, and could maintain cruising at 1,341mph.
Both the top speed and the very nearly as fast cruising speed were in “supercruise” mode, so no afterburners in use.
No other manned aeroplane has ever been able to achieve that trick of supercruising at Mach 2, and none could maintain those speeds for as long as Concorde without frequent aerial refuelling.
I’m not even certain that Concorde was able to engage the afterburners at those speeds; they were solely used for take-off and for the transition from subsonic to supersonic flight.
- Anonymous1 month ago
- Vincent GLv 71 month ago
At supersonic speed, most of the thrust comes from the air intake; the engine is essentially an air pump to dump the compressed air from the intake, and the aircraft has to be throttled down.
The same phenomenon applies to all those jet fighters with a Mach 2.5+ speed rating, like the F-15; with more power, they would keep accelerating until the airframe cannot take it anymore, with the air intake exploding from the back (internal) pressure.
Concorde was limited by the airframe temperature limit.