Concorde Flight Deck (Overview)

 

Concorde’s flight deck will at first give you the impression of crowding, it is smaller than most cockpits and there is not quite full headroom. Panels cover most of the walls and roof, and each is very closely packed with instruments. It is very narrow because the fuselage is beginning to fine down to the nose. The Prototype Concorde flight deck differs from that of the Pre-production and Production ones.

Prototype flight deck: The flight deck of Concorde

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Prototype flight deck: The flight deck of Concorde

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Pre production flight deck: The flight deck of Concorde G-AXDN

Production flight deck

Production flight deck; Concorde G-BOAA

Concorde flight deck layout

At the time when Concorde was built her flight deck would have looked basically familiar to any pilot, most of the standard flight instruments would have been the same, except that they would display extra pieces of information due to Concorde’s role, and added to that there would have been a few new ones instruments.

The standard flight instruments such as the Mach meter would for example show extra information, it has two orange-coloured ‘bugs’ which enclose the range of Mach numbers available at a current centre of gravity. At the bottom right of the main front panel there is an indicator on which the centre of gravity is shown, this together with range permissible at the present Mach number.

 

Flight Deck instrument panels

 

It’s a complicated little flight deck, but you have to remember that Concorde is a very complicated little aircraft. You have to try and imagine the design effort that went into all of these panels.

 

The majority of aircraft instruments and controls are arranged on panels on the flight deck at the Captain’s, Co-pilot’s and Flight Engineers stations.

 

The general disposition of the panels consists of left-hand, right-hand and centre dashboards, left-hand, right-hand and centre glareshields, left-hand, and right-hand and centre consoles, a roof panel mounted centrally between the two pilots, a left-hand and a right-hand side switch panel mounted above the associated console, and an arrangement of system management panels located on the Flight Engineers station structure behind the co-pilot.

 

Electrol luminescent (EL) panels, shaped to accommodate instruments and indicators, are fitted to those panels requiring illuminated engravings. Instrument Lighting is provided by miniature 5V filaments contained within each instrument or control unit.

 

Each panel is identified by a number followed by the zone identification number, e.g., the right-hand dashboard is panel 2-212, and the left-hand console is 1-211.

 

In general it is possible to remove and install instruments from the front of a panel without removing the associated panel or without removing the EL panel overlay, where fitted.

 

Where possible, panels at the Flight Engineers station are hinged for quick rear access. Some instruments and controls are mounted on sub-panels that are attached to the main panel by screws. The sub-panels may be removed without removing the associated main panel. Flexible cables and individual electrical connectors with sufficient length of flexible cable looms are provided for ease of servicing.

 

Circuit breaker panels are in general segregated into A.C. and D.C. supplies and into normal and essential services.

The circuit breaker panels are located in the aft section of the flight compartment in five areas, one opposite the Flight Engineers station identified as zone 213, one each at the top inboard face of the flight compartment left-hand and right-hand racking, identified as zones 215 and 216 respectively, one on the forward face of the left-hand racking and one on the rear face of the right-hand racking.

 

Side Switch Panels

A left-hand and a right-hand side switch panel, zones12-211 and 5-212 respectively, are fitted to the sidewall, outboard of each pilots’ station, above the associated side console. Each panel is secured to its mounting on the sidewall by screws, and contains lighting control switches.