Monday, 25 July 2022

Air France's Concorde Flight 4590

Air France Flight 4590 was an international charter flight of Air France, traveling from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG), to New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK/KJFK), United States of America, flown by an Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde. 
On the afternoon of Tuesday the 25th July 2000, the aircraft taxied to runway 26R (4,217 m long). Takeoff weight was calculated to be 186,900 tons, including 95 tons of fuel, which was one tone over the maximum takeoff weight. At 16:42:17 local time (14:42:17 UTC) the crew were cleared for takeoff.
At 16:42:31 (14:42:31) the captain commenced takeoff. At 16:42:54 (14:42:54) the co-pilot called one hundred knots, then V1, nine seconds later. A few seconds after that, tyre No 2 (right front) on the left main landing gear was destroyed after having run over debris on the runway during takeoff, blowing a tyre, which threw chunks of tyre into the underside of the left wing and into the landing gear bay with great force. The debris was lost by a Continental Airlines DC-10-30, registered N13067 (MSN 47866) which departed Paris as flight CO55 to Newark five minutes before,

The fuel tank built inside the left wing was completely full. When the tyre fragments struck the wing, the tank ruptured, thereby releasing large quantities of fuel. Tyre fragments severed wiring in the landing gear bay, preventing retraction of the landing gear. Fuel from the ruptured tank ignited, causing a loss of thrust in engines 1 and 2. Lack of thrust, high drag from the extended landing gear, and fire damage to the flight controls made it impossible to control the aircraft, which crashed into a hotel in nearby Gonesse two minutes after takeoff. All 109 people on board were killed, alongside four in the hotel. Six other people in the hotel were critically injured.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air France
Code: AF/AFR
Aircraft: Aérospatiale / BAC Concorde 101
Registration: F-BTSC
Serial Number: 203
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Olympus 593/610

Additional Information:
The aircraft involved was a 25-year-old Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde, it had its maiden flight on the 31st January 1975 (during testing, the aircraft's registration was F-WTSC). The aircraft was purchased by Air France on the 6th January 1976. It was powered by four Rolls-Royce Olympus 593/610 turbojet engines, each of which was equipped with afterburners. 

Air France grounded its remaining Concorde's immediately; British Airways, the only other operator of the aircraft, followed suit in August. Both airlines resumed services in November 2001, but less than two years after that, all Concorde service ceased permanently.

Twenty Concorde aircraft were built, six for development and 14 for commercial service.
Two prototypes
  • Two pre-production aircraft
  • Two development aircraft
  • 14 production aircraft (7 to AF and 7 to BA)

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