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    REVIEW - British Airways Concorde Flight Deck Experience


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    British Airways Concorde Flight Deck Experience by ITVV

    A review by Marlon Carter

    Introduction

     

    Many of you may recall the aviation DVDs produced by ITVV many years ago. These documentaries have been hailed as some of the best-documented aviation moments of our time. ITVV has recently revitalized their products by allowing Flight One Software’s Simstop website to be the exclusive distributor of the ITVV brand of DVDs worldwide. These DVDs come with a newly designed packaging and lower pricing so that all can enjoy these flight deck programs once more.

     

    Today, we will be looking at the British Airways Concorde Flight Deck Experience to see whether or not this program is worth adding to your collection. Before we examine some of the highlights, here are a few interesting details about this program.

     

    Join the flight deck and crew on a scheduled British Airways Concorde round trip from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK airport.

     

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    The world’s fastest civil airliner is sadly no longer in service, but with this prestigious documentary, you can still experience a flight in this beautiful aircraft. Take your privileged seat with the pilots and crew on the flight deck of a scheduled British Airways return flight between London and New York. Experience five hours of fascinating aviation nostalgia on this double DVD.

     

    A unique and fascinating documentary made using 9 cameras on the world’s fastest ever airliner! Captain David Rowland and Senior Flight Engineer Roger Bricknell present this program.  They take you on a full-guided tour of this incredible aircraft.

     

    David and Roger start by introducing you to Concorde outside the hangar at London Heathrow. You are taken around the outside of the aircraft to show you the many unique features that Concorde possesses. Roger gives you a detailed 'Walk Around' explaining what he is looking for during his inspection. David explains the nose and visor system which you see working.

     

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    LHR to JFK to LHR

     

    London Heathrow – New York – London Heathrow

     

    You fly a round trip from London Heathrow to New York's JFK airport. During your two flights David and Roger guide you through the systems that enable this aircraft to fly at twice the speed of sound. You are shown in detail the procedures required to achieve and cruise at 1350mph. Join the crew for the flight briefing at JFK for our return trip to the UK and find out about the special takeoff procedure that is required from JFK's 31L runway.

     

    Other topics covered include Checklist procedures; see where the aircraft expands in flight, fuel transfer and the effects of centre of gravity changes and many more details. This program was filmed using a total of 9 cameras to give you the best views of all phases of flight. Crystal clear audio utilises the aircraft's audio system – so you can hear both the crew and ATC!

     

    • Multiple camera views inside cockpit
    • Hear ATC communications
    • Cockpit views on takeoff and landing
    • Captain explains instruments, systems and procedures
    • Preflight briefing, checklists and aircraft walkarounds
    • Running time: 300 minutes
    • DVD features 140 chapter points
    • DVD VIDEO – All Regions – PAL ONLY
    • Please note that this DVD will work on PAL systems only and is not NTSC compatible.
    • Please ensure your system can play this format, before purchase. Thank you

     

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    This is without doubt the most detailed look at Concorde that has ever been produced and is going to be only way you will see how this magnificent aircraft was flown.

     

    About the Aircrew

     

    Captain David Rowland is married with two sons and lives in North Oxfordshire. After basic training he joined BA (BOAC) in 1969 and became a Co-Pilot/Navigator on VC10s. In 1976 he joined the Concorde fleet. In 1993 he became Commercial Manager Concorde, responsible to Regional General Manager, Americas for the Concorde business in British Airways, and later combined the operational and commercial management role as General Manager Concorde. In total David has over 10,000 flying hours, most of which are supersonic. In 1995 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and is a Member of the Royal Institute of Navigation. He is a long term member of the Duxford Aviation Society and in his spare time, enjoys going to the theatre, walking, reading, listening to music, playing golf and tennis (neither very well!).

     

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    Over 1.5 Million Supersonic Passengers

     

    Concorde was the only supersonic passenger airliner in the world and British Airways was one of only two airlines operating this flagship of the world’s civil aviation fleet. Over 1.5 million passengers have flown supersonically on board British Airways seven strong Concorde fleet since they entered commercial service on January 21st 1976. Cruising at 1,350mph, twice the speed of sound, a typical transatlantic crossing took less than three and a half hours. Concorde flew above all the weather and her passenger cabin was pressurized to a more comfortable level than on subsonic aircraft, reducing flight fatigue still further.

     

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    Since entering service, British Airways Concorde’s have operated some 40,000 flights. Concorde's fastest yet transatlantic crossing was on February 7th 1996, when she completed the New York to London flight in 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds, over 40 minutes faster than schedule. The small number of dedicated flight crews that flew this superb aircraft were drawn from the best and most experienced that British Airways had to offer and have more supersonic flight time than any of the pilots of the world's Air Forces.

     

    HIGHLIGHTS

     

    DISC 1

     

    This DVD is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of history. Never before has there been a documentary that focuses exclusively on the daily operation of Concorde from the flight deck. The level of detail in this program is intriguing and very educational.

     

    We start off with an introduction from Capt David Rowland who discusses the amazing history of Concorde and some of the differences between Concorde and other modern aircraft. For example, the Concorde does not have an APU due to its size and has to be powered by a ground power unit. As we get into the program, The Senior Flight Engineer Roger Bricknell starts up the GPU to power up the aircraft for the presentations to follow. While parked at the BA maintenance hangar, Capt. Rowland discusses and demonstrates the various configurations of the Nose and Visor mechanism. With each discussion of a particular nose and visor selection, the Flight Engineer moves the nose selector through all of its ranges for the viewers to see its range of motion.

     

    The presentation that follows is another exclusive for aviation enthusiast as the FE takes us through an extremely thorough exterior walk around of the aircraft. This presentation was by no means a superficial overview of a pilot’s walk around duties. The presentation focused on nearly every aspect of the exterior which included Static Ports, Nose and Gear assembly and a very detailed look at the Powered Flying Control Unit which takes electrical signals and changes it to mechanical motion to move the flying controls. This unit is hidden and opening an access door under the aircraft one can see it.

     

    Another outstanding presentation focused on the engines of the aircraft. The FE opens the access doors of the engines to give a detailed presentation on the inner working of the IDG, Oil filters and the Fuel Control Units. Following this presentation, we wrap up the exterior walk around with a detailed look at the Tyres and Braking system of Concorde along with its seemingly complex refueling controls. The unrestricted access to these areas of the aircraft was remarkable to say the least and I am sure every aviation enthusiast will be thrilled with these segments.

     

    Prior to our flight to New York from London, Captain Rowland takes the viewers on a tour of the Cockpit and Cabin of Concorde while sharing many insightful details about the aircraft. With all of these exclusive presentations, one can’t help but to have heightened expectations for the flight segments to come.

     

    For our flight to New York, we join the flight crew as they carry out their checks and procedures prior to departure. Some of the interesting segments of this phase of our flight preparation focus on the setup of the INS and a detailed review of each step of our departure. From the startup, taxi, takeoff and all throughout our Departure it was amazing that Captain Rowland consistently kept viewers up to date on each procedure while hand flying the aircraft to 17,000ft! After reaching our acceleration point, we being our full power climb to 60,000ft where the Concorde can do what it does best, fly twice the speed of sound across the Atlantic without the aid of afterburners after passing through Mach 1

     

    As we rocket our way across the Atlantic, the presentations from the flight deck continue with detailed presentations from both the Captain and Flight Engineer that covers the Overhead Panel, INS Navigation, Forward Instrument Panel and much more! While all presentations are carried out by the Captain or the Flight Engineer, the First Officer, Les Brodie, is kept busy communicating with ATC throughout our flight. As a side note, many of you may remember Les Brodie as being the Concorde Captain who flew the very last flight to Filton in 2003.

     

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    As we approach our deceleration point, the viewers are continually enlightened on nearly each step of our arrival to New York which ended with a smooth landing on runway 13R. At this point, the crew then heads over to their hotel which is owned by British Airways. After a 24 hour rest period, we will be joining the crew on their return flight to London.

     

    DISC 2

     

    The Final flight to London starts off with a detailed flight briefing at the BA flight dispatch office. In comparison to other briefings I have seen on other aviation documentaries, this was by far the most impressive. The briefing covered an extensive look at the weather, UV forecast, routing, fuel planning and an overview of the departure procedure over Jamaica Bay to reduce the noise footprint over New York.

     

    For our departure, one of the most exciting moments was undoubtedly the stunning takeoff and sharp left turn over Jamaica Bay which was presented with a bird’s eye view of the entire takeoff. Highlights of the remainder of our flight included numerous presentations from the Flight Engineer on panel which inspired bewilderment at first sight. These presentations focus on the Fuel management, C.G movement and monitoring, Pressurization, Air Bleed Control, Hydraulics, Electrical Generation and much more! To put it simply, by the end of these presentations you may honestly have enough knowledge to fly and manage the aircraft on your own! In addition to these presentations, the Captain also continues his discussion on the forward instrument panel along with other discussions that cover interesting facts about Concorde.

     

    Bringing this most memorable journey to an end, we safely land back at Heathrow with both a cockpit and exterior view of the landing.

     

    By the end of these two DVDs, it is hard to imagine that supersonic flight is now a thing of the past. This fascinating journey truly highlighted the fascinating things that humans had once achieved. What I appreciated the most about this program was how well prepared the flight crew were in all of their presentations. It almost seemed as if each of their lines were scripted and well-rehearsed but put across to the viewers in the most natural manner possible. British Airways should truly be proud of the fact that this program was created for the benefit of not just aviation enthusiast today, but for generations to come.

     

    Although this program is outdated in terms of video quality, this is by far the best aviation documentary that I have ever seen and I doubt that any in the future can rival the amazing experience captured on these two DVDs. For a price tag of $24.95 US, you can purchase not just an airplane video, but rather a program that captures a priceless piece of aviation history. It goes without saying that this program is a MUST have item!



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