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The Concorde had a droop nose, which swung down during taxi, takeoff, and (especially) landing, so that the pilots could see where they were going without the long nose getting in the way. During cruise, the nose was raised to the horizontal faired position, and held there by a pair of mechanical latches; the nose (as well as a heat-resistant visor that slid in and out of the nose) were normally raised and lowered by means of hydraulics, but could also be dropped by means of gravity if need be.

While obviously essential for landing, takeoff, and (to a lesser degree) taxiing, I'd imagine that the nose drooping uncommanded during supersonic cruise (for instance, due to a failure of the nose uplocks, or a nose droop actuator hardover sufficient to break the latches and force the nose down) would have been a Bad Thing, due both to the nose-down pitching moment generated by the drooped nose1 and to the windscreen suddenly no longer being protected from the superheated air flowing over the aircraft (probably in addition to some other things that I haven't thought of).


1: I've no idea if this would be sufficient to cause a loss of control if it happened during supercruise, but it could hardly have been a good thing.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure there are procedures available to read online, but I'm pretty sure that the answer is "reduce speed"... $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Apr 21 at 2:58
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if there was a procedure written down, but I'm pretty sure if it were me, I'd want to reduce speed anyway in such a situation... $\endgroup$ – a CVn Apr 21 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ Anonymous downvoters #1 and #2, show thy faces. $\endgroup$ – Sean Sep 25 at 20:58
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As commented, reducing speed (and replanning flight) is all there is to it. From the Concorde abnormal procedures:

enter image description here

The nose has three positions:

  • Up
  • 5° down
  • 12.5° down

Holding the nose at 12.5° requires hydraulic pressure. If hydraulic pressure is lost, the crew can manually release the two uplocks, and the nose (and visor) would fall and stop at the 5° position – two additional jack uplocks stop the motion at 5°.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have any link to the document you provide? I'm quite interested in reading more of it $\endgroup$ – Manu H Apr 21 at 11:00
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    $\begingroup$ @ManuH: I got the manual off the internet years ago, but I suppose there should be copies of it circulating around, just like any other FCOM. $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Apr 21 at 11:05
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    $\begingroup$ The comment 'reduce to lesser of 325kt [or] M = 0.95' is curious. When would M0.95 be anywhere near 325kt? Even at 60,000 ft (the approx cruise height of Concorde) M1.0 is 573kt, so M0.95 is 544kt. $\endgroup$ – Party Ark Apr 21 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ @PartyArk You’re thinking TAS. At FL600 CAS is 185kt. Doesn’t exceed 315kt until below FL360 $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Apr 21 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks I didn't realise CAS could be so different from true aispeed. Mach 1 = 185kt ! $\endgroup$ – Party Ark Apr 21 at 18:15

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