2nd March 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the maiden flight of Concorde. On that day in 1969, the Anglo-French supersonic airliner flew for 27 minutes, a debut journey which began 34 years in the sky. Powered by Rolls-Royce Snecma Olympus 593 turbojet engines, Concorde carried passengers between London and New York in around half the time of conventional jet airliners of its era – with a transatlantic flight time of approximately three and a half hours.
In honour of Concorde’s 50th, visitors to Manchester Airport on 2nd March had a chance to see the aircraft’s iconic and innovative ‘droop nose’ brought back to life to take one more bow. For admirers of this aircraft it was a special moment – made possible by a volunteer preservation group called Heritage Concorde, with the help of a donation of hydraulic fluid from ExxonMobil.
Concorde’s iconic and innovative ‘droop nose’.
Concorde’s long, thin nose was an important part of the plane’s aerodynamics – allowing it to fly at supersonic speeds. However, due to its unusual shape, the nose also had to be made mechanically adjustable. Hydraulics enabled the droop nose to be lowered during takeoff and landing to allow the pilot to see better, and raised when the aircraft was in flight to optimise the plane’s aerodynamics.
Throughout its 34 years of service, Concorde used Exxon M2-V Aviation Hydraulic Fluid to operate its droop nose, and ExxonMobil was pleased to be able to provide the exact fluid used for the aircraft. Heritage Concorde have used the donation to reactivate the droop noses of some of the Concordes on display in the UK – at Brooklands Museum, Surrey, the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and Manchester Airport – and in France, at the Museum of Air and Space, Le Bourget.
Throughout its 34 years of service, Concorde used Exxon M2-V Aviation Hydraulic Fluid to operate its droop nose.
“ExxonMobil is proud to be a part of preserving history by supplying the original hydraulic fluid for this iconic aircraft,” says Pamela Skaufel, director of aviation and marine lubricants at ExxonMobil. “Our continued commitment to technology and innovation ensures we will continue to provide industry-leading products to our customers today and in the future.”