Concorde Fuselage Doors
Included on this page, Passenger Doors – Service Doors – Baggage Compartments & Miscellaneous Doors – Flight Deck Door
Concorde has two passenger and four cabin service exterior doors, upper and a lower baggage compartment doors and several miscellaneous ground servicing doors. The interior doors consist of four lavatory doors and a flight deck door. All of the doors are operated manually.
PASSENGER & SERVICE DOORS
There are two passenger outward opening doors on the left-hand side of the fuselage. One forward and the other midway along the passenger compartment, provide normal entry and exit for passengers and crew, and may be opened from inside or outside the aircraft.
There are four outward opening service doors. Two on the right-hand side of the fuselage opposite the passenger doors, and two , one each side of the fuselage at the rear end of the passenger compartment, providing access to the crew and passenger compartment for servicing between flights, and may be opened from either inside or outside the aircraft
All these doors may be used for emergency evacuation of the aircraft and are provided with escape equipment (There will be another section coming soon that gives a full description of all escape and emergency equipment).
The two passenger doors and the intermediate cabin service doors are fitted with slide/raft escape facilities, while the forward and two rear cabin service doors are fitted with escape slide only. Each forward passenger and forward cabin service doors are fitted with an observation window.
BAGGAGE COMPARTMENT AND MISCELLANEOUS DOORS
The upper baggage compartment door is normally opened from outside but a means of opening the door from inside by an emergency handle was provided. When not in use the handle is clipped to the door surround structure. To retain the door on its fully open position it is necessary to utilize a separately stowed retention pin.
The lower baggage compartment and miscellaneous doors can only be opened from outside the aircraft.
FLIGHT DECK DOOR (PRIOR TO 2001)
An electrically operated lock striking plate controlled by a switch on the flight deck overhead panel provides the crew with an independent means of unlocking the door. The door could by open from within the flight deck at any time by turning the door knob, and from the cabin side only by a key. The door is fitted with a manually operated latch bolt, a mirror, and a cabin observerscope on the forward face.
FLIGHT DECK DOOR (CHANGES MADE AFTER 2001)
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, security has become critical for airlines. Following this attack, FAA regulations have stated that all aircraft flying to and from the USA, must have new strengthened flight deck security doors, that must be bullet and attack-proof.This brought about a new critical stage in the history of Concorde, and caused major problems for the aircraft, which could have seen it grounded forever. During November/December 2002, British Airways moved Concorde G-BBDG temporarily into the West bay of the Brabazon Hangar at Filton. This was to allow for trial fitting and testing of new prototype strengthened flight deck door required for both Concorde fleets.
One of the biggest problems was that the new flight deck door had to open in a situation such as the passenger cabin losing a window, failure to do so could cause structural failure of the whole airframe, and of course trying to solve this problem with Concorde was twice as hard, due to the lack of space.
After hours of research and tests by engineer’s and designers at Filton, the answer was found and Concorde was saved again.
Alan Perry, who had worked for BAC at Filton during Concorde’s development, was at home during his lunchtime and noticed his cat using the cat flap in the door, and based on that idea came up with the “Perry Doors”. So within the ceiling and floor of the Concorde cabin, there are small flap type doors.
LEFT: The Alan Perry Doors in the flight deck floor
The operation of all the lavatory doors is manual and self explanatory. A locked door can be removed from outside of the compartment if necessary without the use of special tools.
DOOR WARNING SYSTEM
The door warning system is an automatically controlled electrical system which, when a door in the pressure hull is not properly locked in position, gives an indication on the door warning panel located on the flight engineer’s panel. The master warning system is also activated when the door warning operates.