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Concorde Airframe Fragment

Concorde Airframe Fragment

A piece of aviation history

Item #328


Concorde was a supersonic luxury airliner produced as a joint venture between the United Kingdom and France.

Capable of speeds exceeding Mach 2, or more than twice the speed of sound, Concorde could complete the journey between New York and London in under three hours. This remarkable speed was made possible by its sleek, delta-winged design and four Rolls-Royce Olympus engines.

Concorde entered service in 1976, and despite its technological marvels, it was retired in 2003, mostly due to operational costs and environmental concerns. Of the 20 that were originally built, the 18 that survive are now housed in museums around the world.

 

About This Artifact

This fragment originates from a support section of Concorde’s internal airframe. It was integral in maintaining the aircraft’s structural integrity, particularly under the stresses associated with supersonic flight.

The material is an aviation-grade alloy called Hiduminium–RR58 consisting of 2.5% copper, 1.5% magnesium, 1.0% iron, 1.2% nickel, 0.2% silicon, 0.1% titanium and the remainder aluminum. The green color is due to a zinc chromate coating commonly applied to airframes to inhibit corrosion.

Hiduminium-RR58 was used for the majority of the internal structure and riveting, while steel was used for sections subjected to higher temperatures and loads, and resin bonded glass fibre for the extreme nose section, where the temperature is highest.

 

Provenance

A few years ago we met an Englishman who worked at an aviation mechanic firm. This company provided service and repairs for commercial aircraft.

As you can imagine, working on airplanes is a much more regulated industry than car repair. Every part belongs to a specific model of aircraft, and is meticulously logged. This is done in case something goes wrong, and the problem can be traced to a specific bad part or action in order to prevent it from happening again. When a part is to be replaced or refurbished, these events are added to the specific part's log.

When this business closed around 2019, we purchased a few parts that they had in their inventory of refurbished parts. One of these was the Concorde airframe section. According to the part's log, it was a Concorde part that was removed from one of them in 2002, inspected, and certified refurbished.

This lines up nicely with the timeline of modifications made to the entire Concorde fleet following the tragic Paris crash of 2000. During these upgrades, the airframe was modified to make room for insulators to prevent the same incident from happening again, so there were naturally some parts that needed to be removed and replaced by newer versions.

Since the fleet was retired shortly after these modifications, this part was never needed again, and it sat in the inventory of this company for about 17 years until they closed and we were able to purchase it.

 

Comes in a 5.25 x 3.25 x 0.75" acrylic case.

Note: We attempt to maintain consistent sizing among fragments. Please allow for some slight variation is shape.


  • Research Info
  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Acrylic Display Case

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