The Concorde was designed to fly at supersonic speeds; because of this its delta wings produce more drag at subsonic speeds. My understanding is that delta wings can produce a large amount of lift at high angles of attack. But is this enough to overcome the other obvious difficulties of an all engine out case caused by, for example, fuel leak?

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    $\begingroup$ I think what you're really asking is "Is it possible for a delta-wing aircraft to make a safe engine-out landing?" -- if so, the answer is yes - it's just a very poor glider that needs to maintain a rather high airspeed... $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jul 20, 2016 at 6:12
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    $\begingroup$ With a glide ratio of 4 to 12 depending on the flight regime, the outcome really come down to "Is there a suitable runaway close enough to land on" $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Jul 20, 2016 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ Consider the Space Shuttle, whose only mode of landing was w/o engines. If such a brick could reliably land, the Concorde ought to have been able, too. $\endgroup$
    – yankeekilo
    Jul 20, 2016 at 11:27
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    $\begingroup$ @yankeekilo The Space Shuttle had some very serious constraints during landing, though, not all of them related to the fact that it was, well, a spacecraft rather than an airplane. For example, I'm pretty sure they made very certain that there was no other competing traffic anywhere near its intended flight (glide) path toward the runway, and they initiated the landing literally half a world away. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ If your Concorde has 4 engine failure, I promise you that ATC will move the traffic out of your way $\endgroup$
    – rbp
    Jul 20, 2016 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


In theory yes. The loss of the engines will mean you also lose the generators and hydraulic pumps, but Concorde was equipped with a RAT which drove it's secondary and emergency hydraulic systems, so control would be possible.

Having never flown Concorde, but familiar with the flight characteristics of supersonic, high performance aircraft, I would guess such a forced landing would be flown at a steep angle of descent and at higher speeds say around 220-230 kts with leveling out in a shallow descent and roundout at or very near the threshold, placing the aircraft down at Vref in 1000-1500 feet thereafter.


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