Mach 2 – yipeeeeeeeeeeee
In the Cabin
James Bedforth came back on the tannoy and said
(click on above to listen to actual audio of it)
We are flying at mach 2, the ceiling the maximum height we can go on the Concorde is 60,000ft as fuel is burned the aircraft gets lighter and so it climbs and the other thing which happens occasionally is we can fly on to warmer air and in warmer air the engines produce slightly less thrust and that will cause a slight decent ……………..
So we are cleared by ATC Air Traffic Control to occupy the level between 50 and 60,000 feet and the aircraft finds its own level between those heights with the general overall climb as we make our way across the Atlantic and today we are expecting our maximum height towards the end of the cruise of 58,000 feet and pretty well soon after reaching 58,000 feet and it will be time to start the deceleration down in to New York.
Few hours before my flight I saw the sunset at Heathrow Airport, we took off in to the inky blackness of a ice cold October sky.
• As soon as we broke the sound barrier we started to chase the sun across the sky.
Flying at mach 2 allowed me to
• See the sunset at Heathrow 30 mins before take off.
• See the sunrise over the north Atlantic Ocean 25 mins after take off
• See the 2nd sunset in New York 30 mins after we landed.
No other passenger plane allowed you to see that and the only people who get to see more sunsets and sunrises in one day are astronauts flying in space ……..
Although we where now covering 23 miles a minute, it didn’t feel like we where going so fast. There was no G-force on the body, you wasn’t pinned to you seat with the force of so much speed and so much power ……… if I’d closed my eyes it would felt like being at home on my sofa as the ride was incredibly smooth.
It was very hard to comprehend and to understand that we where actually flying so fast and covering such a huge distance in just “60 seconds“.......60 seconds is the same amount of time it takes me to boil a cup of hot water in the microwave oven for my tea.
1 mile is a long way and that takes me 15-20 minutes to walk, I don’t know what 23 miles looks like but 23 miles is roughly the same distance from Romford train station to Earls Court tube station and that takes 60 minutes by train, its also roughly the same distance as the London Marathon and that takes people an average of 3-4 hours to complete.
But now on Concorde I was covering the same distance every 60 seconds.....Concorde was in effect running one London marathon every single minute this was just mind blowing stuff and it was very very hard to believe that we where really going this fast, but we where really going this fast.
We where also at 58,000 ft I don’t know what 58,000 ft looks like (I get scared if a climb up a 10ft ladder to clean our home’s up stair windows), so 58,000 ft was some thing I couldn’t understand.
As I sat in my seat I thought
Wow I am actually flying at 1,320 mph and at 58,000 feet, I am actually flying at twice the speed of sound (1,320 mph) and at 58,000 feet yipeeeeeeeeeeeee, yahooooooooooooooooooooooo.
I felt like I was a kid in a sweet shop where all the sweets where free and I could have as many as I wanted. I wanted to jump and shout Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, yahoooooooooo, yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, yahooooooo.
But I didn’t do that instead I kept my cool but inside my heart and soul was shouting
with ultra happiness and joy.
At the same time it also felt so unreal, I looked a round and nothing in the cabin had changed everything was normal (as it was before we had reached mach 2).
I looked out of my window and the sky had got lighter as we where chasing the sun and winning the battle.
With the camcorder still running I touched the window’s glass and it felt warm as cup of tea or coffee in polystyrene cup, before we reached mach 2 the same window glass had felt as cold as a car window in winter.
In an amazed voice I said to my self
Oh wow every body said to me that if you touch the windows they’d feel warm and now I’m here and touched them they do feel warm ......................wow
and continued to recorded the view out of my window at mach 2.
at the same time I said
Right now I’m sitting here cruising at mach 2 …. I feel privileged…. privileged and humble that I’ve been given the chance to fly at this speed and at this height.
I know I’ve said it before I’m now flyng higher, faster than I have gone in my whole life. Infact I’m going faster than I’ve ever gone and done before in my whole life, I am at mach 2 right now …. But mach 2 doesn’t feel like the stuff which space pilots , I mean space men do.
At mach 2 the way the engineers who designed Concorde made it so good that …. If I close my eyes it would feel like I was sitting at home on my sofa …….. sitting in a normal car driving at 70mph it feels like that …. I know it sounds strange but this how good this plane is...............................
Will try and get pictures of my self with the errr mach meters, but the trouble is the cabin, the isle way’s very cramped and there are lot of people going up there to have their pictures taken at this speed.