Concorde’s flight deck will at first give you the impression of crowding, it is smaller than most cockpits and there is not quite full headroom. Panels cover most of the walls and roof, and each is very closely packed with instruments. It is very narrow because the fuselage is beginning to fine down to the nose. The Prototype Concorde flight deck differs from that of the Pre-production and Production ones.
At the time when Concorde was built her flight deck would have looked basically familiar to any pilot, most of the standard flight instruments would have been the same, except that they would display extra pieces of information due to Concorde’s role, and added to that there would have been a few new ones instruments.
The standard flight instruments such as the Mach meter would for example show extra information, it has two orange-coloured ‘bugs’ which enclose the range of Mach numbers available at a current centre of gravity. At the bottom right of the main front panel there is an indicator on which the centre of gravity is shown, this together with range permissible at the present Mach number.
Flight Deck instrument panels
It’s a complicated little flight deck, but you have to remember that Concorde is a very complicated little aircraft. You have to try and imagine the design effort that went into all of these panels.
The majority of aircraft instruments and controls are arranged on panels on the flight deck at the Captain’s, Co-pilot’s and Flight Engineers stations.
The general disposition of the panels consists of left-hand, right-hand and centre dashboards, left-hand, right-hand and centre glareshields, left-hand, and right-hand and centre consoles, a roof panel mounted centrally between the two pilots, a left-hand and a right-hand side switch panel mounted above the associated console, and an arrangement of system management panels located on the Flight Engineers station structure behind the co-pilot.
Electrol luminescent (EL) panels, shaped to accommodate instruments and indicators, are fitted to those panels requiring illuminated engravings. Instrument Lighting is provided by miniature 5V filaments contained within each instrument or control unit.
Each panel is identified by a number followed by the zone identification number, e.g., the right-hand dashboard is panel 2-212, and the left-hand console is 1-211.
In general it is possible to remove and install instruments from the front of a panel without removing the associated panel or without removing the EL panel overlay, where fitted.
Where possible, panels at the Flight Engineers station are hinged for quick rear access. Some instruments and controls are mounted on sub-panels that are attached to the main panel by screws. The sub-panels may be removed without removing the associated main panel. Flexible cables and individual electrical connectors with sufficient length of flexible cable looms are provided for ease of servicing.
Circuit breaker panels are in general segregated into A.C. and D.C. supplies and into normal and essential services.
The circuit breaker panels are located in the aft section of the flight compartment in five areas, one opposite the Flight Engineers station identified as zone 213, one each at the top inboard face of the flight compartment left-hand and right-hand racking, identified as zones 215 and 216 respectively, one on the forward face of the left-hand racking and one on the rear face of the right-hand racking.
Side Switch Panels
A left-hand and a right-hand side switch panel, zones12-211 and 5-212 respectively, are fitted to the sidewall, outboard of each pilots’ station, above the associated side console. Each panel is secured to its mounting on the sidewall by screws, and contains lighting control switches.
The Pilot’s Instrument Panels
The pilots’ instrument and control panels include those panels fitted in the forward section of the flight deck compartment left-hand and right-hand sides at stations identified as zones 211 and 212 respectively. There are also dashboard panels that are fitted below the windshield on a dashboard support structure, these form three separate main instrument panels, left, centre and right. A glareshield, consisting of three separate sections, extends across these three instrument panels, each of these section incorporates instruments and controls on the aft face and various lamps on the underside to illuminate the instrument panels side consoles, fitted to each sidewall immediately outboard of each pilots’ station. There is also a centre console comprising of a forward and an aft section, which situated between the pilots stations, incorporate instrument and control housings.
There is a roof panel structure, known as the overhead panel which provides support for switch panels and control units, a left-hand and a right-hand side switch panel is also mounted respectively on each sidewall immediately above the associated side console.
Sub-panels are attached to the main panels by screws or by quick-release fasteners, and are electrically connected to the aircraft wiring by plug-and-socket connectors that have sufficient length of electrical cable to allow withdrawal of the sub-panel from the main panel, to gain access to the associated equipment without disconnecting the complete sub-panel.
Dashboard and Glareshield Panels
The left-hand, centre and right-hand dashboard panels (Known as zones 2-211, 6-211 and 2-212) are secured to the dashboard support structure by screws and are not normally removable. The dashboard panel in front of each pilot accommodates flight instruments, and the centre dashboard panel contains instruments associated with the engines.
The instruments occupying most of the space on the three dashboard panels are front-mounted, and secured to the front of the panel by screws or by an adapter plate. Some of these instruments are fitted to individual sub-panels which are in turn attached to the main panel by screws. There is sufficient hand space available under or over the edge of the left-hand or right-hand dashboard panels once the associated glareshield has been partially removed, this is to permit access to some instrument electrical connectors. Most of the instruments on the centre dashboard panel have plug-in type electrical connectors which are fixed to the back of each instrument, which is automatically disconnected when the instrument is withdrawn from the panel.
Other instruments on the three dashboard panels are connected to the aircraft wiring by plug-and-socket connectors, some of which have sufficient slack cable to allow full extraction of the instrument from the panel, in order to gain access to the electrical connector.
The glareshield left-hand, centre and right-hand panels (zones 3-211, 5-211 and 3-212) extend across the three dashboard panels in the form of a canopy. The aft face of the Left-hand and Right-hand glareshields, which are arranged as panels, contain identical indicators. The centre glareshield panel houses the AFCS control unit, auto throttle mode selector and two VHF NAV controllers
A left-hand side console (zone 1-211) and a right-hand side console (zone1-212) are fitted to the sidewalls, one outboard of each pilots V station. Both consoles incorporate instruments and controls associated with the weather radar, panel lighting and the loudspeaker, there is also space provided for additional equipment when required. Sub-panels, forming a mounting for control switches, are attached to the consoles by screws or by quick-release fasteners. The consoles also incorporate equipment stowage compartments and a quick-donning oxygen mask.
The Captains Instrument Panel
The Pilot’s Instrument Panel
The Centre Panel Instruments
The pilots centre panel carries four columns of five engine instrument, and just to the right of them is the selectors for the landing gear, above that at the top is the selector for the nose and visor.
The centre console accommodates the engine and flying controls together with navigation communication controllers, parking and emergency braking selectors, standby landing gear controls and the visor and droop nose standby control. The console, situated between the pilots’ stations, consists of a forward and an aft assembly. The forward assembly (zone 7-211), is supported by the dashboard structure, and the aft assembly (zone 9-211), is set in a recess in the raised floor. Furnishing panels enclose both assemblies, giving an external appearance of one console. Sub-panels, providing a mounting for controls and indicators, are attached to the aft centre console by screws or by quick-release fasteners.
Centre Pedestal Instrument Panel
The centre pedestal contains the INS control and display units, the throttles and afterburner switches, and all radio controllers
Overhead Instrument Panel
The overhead roof panel carries a number of ancillary switches, including those for…
Lighting, De-icing, Probe heating add to that also Engine high pressure fuel cocks, flying control selection and change over switches, Engine fire extinguisher handles, Master Warning Panel, this is a collection of red and amber captions which light up with a gong type of sound warning to identify any failed system. With this in front of him, the flight engineer can face forward and motor is seat up to just behind and between the pilots for take-off and landing
The roof panel known as the overhead panel (zone 4-211), is centrally mounted between the two pilots’ stations and comprises a support structure on which are mounted a forward and a rear switch panel, a master warning display panel and three control panels.
The support structure is hinged along its rear edge and bolted to the roof structure so that it fits flush with the furnishing surrounds. The forward switch panel, master warning display panel and control panels, which are attached to the forward section of the roof panel support structure by quick-release fasteners, are presented in a series of steps normal to the pilots’ line of sight.
The rear switch panel is a flat panel mounted at the aft end of the roof panel support structure. It is hinged along its rear edge for quick rear access and secured to the support structure by quick-release fasteners. The panel contains lighting, call and passenger sign control switches, HP valve controls, ignition controls, flying control hydraulic change-over controls, systems heater controls and anti-icing controls, and is accessible to all crew members.
Flight Engineers Panel
This panel is amazing, spectacular-looking affair which, when set up by him, will control automatically the air-conditioning and pressurization, fuel and centre of gravity, hydraulics, electrics and oxygen.
The Flight Engineers system management panels are mounted on a basic support structure situated in the flight deck compartment behind the Co-pilot’s station, in zone 214, and so arranged that some of the switches and controls are also accessible to the captain when his seat is at its rearmost position.
The panels present system information on the functions and malfunctions of the power plant, electrical, fuel, hydraulic, air conditioning, pressurization, oxygen supplies, fire detection, anti-icing, radiation and door warning systems. System malfunctions are also indicated on the master warning display panel in zone 211.
Where appropriate, panels give a pictorial flow presentation, in which the controls and indicators are positioned with respect to etched lines representing the flow diagram of the system. Most panels are identified by a panel reference numbers followed by the aircraft zone number. Vendor-supplied panels do not have a panel reference number but are identified by component name panels 1-214, 2-214, 3-214, 5-214 and 6-214 are hinged a long the lower edge for quick rear access. When closed, they are held by spring retaining clips, one mounted on each side of the panel, and secured to the structure by quick-release fasteners around the periphery of the panel. When open, they are supported by check cords. The remaining panels, with the exception of panel 4-214, are attached to the structure with quick-release fasteners, and electrically connected to the aircraft wiring by plug-and-socket connectors that have sufficient length of electrical cable to allow withdrawal of the panel from the structure, to gain access to the associated equipment without electrically disconnecting the complete panel.
Panel 4-214, which contains engine secondary instruments, is attached to the structure by screws and is not normally -removable. The instruments on the panel are front mounted and are secured to the panel by an adapter plate. Electrical connections are made through a plug-in type connector, fixed to the back of each instrument, which is automatically disconnected when the instrument is withdrawn from the panel.
A subpanel (4-214-1) is attached to the main panel by screws and electrically connected to the aircraft wiring by plug-and socket connectors that have sufficient length of electrical cable to allow withdrawal of the sub-panel to gain access to the associated equipment without disconnecting the complete sub-panel.
Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS)
The glareshield left-hand, centre and right-hand panels (zones 3-211, 5-211 and 3-212) extend across the three dashboard panels in the form of a canopy. The aft faces of the Left-hand and Right-hand glareshields, which are arranged as panels, contain identical indicators. The centre glareshield panel houses the AFCS control unit, auto throttle mode selector and two VHF NAV controllers
Click on the picture above to be taken to a new page full of information concerning the Concorde Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS)
Click on the links below for further information regarding the flight deck