Concorde, An Icon Of The Skies - 50th Anniversary Wooden Clock
Introduction: I have been working on the pendulum wall clocks now for nearly six years, a lot of ideas are constantly entering my mind, however from the beginning I always knew that I wanted to create this particular clock, as Concorde is an aircraft that I have always greatly admired. The Concorde pendulum wall clock is the first addition to my collection Iconic Aircraft and one of which I am very proud. The launch of this new clock also coincides perfectly with the 50th Anniversary of Concorde. Concorde first took to the skies in 1969, it was the first passenger aircraft that could reach speeds of up to twice the speed of sound! Quite incredible!
I have chosen to finish this particular pendulum wall clock in oak with walnut
finished gears as I felt the lighter wood was more suited to Concorde. The clock uses real wood veneers to offer that a warmth that is only achievable with hand finished real wood and also creates an eye catching piece of art that is both unique and fascinating to watch.
The added beauty of the pendulum wall clock is that it is weight driven with time keeping regulated by a swinging pendulum as per traditional clocks first invented in the mid 1600’s which also means no batteries are required!
If you also have a passion for Concorde, I hope you will love this particular pendulum wall clock as much as I do!
The History of Concorde
I thought it only right to give a little background story of this iconic aircraft which has been the inspiration for my pendulum wall clock design. The information I have gathered is from a variety of Websites, which I have listed below in the bibliography.
Concorde was in service for 27 years it was owned by British Aircraft Corp and
France‘s Aerospatiale and in that time it made just under 50,000 flights. I was amazed to learn that it flew more than 2.5 million passengers supersonically during that period! Concorde's take off speed was 220 knots (250mph) and had a cruising speed of 1350mph which as stated earlier was more than twice the speed of sound. It would fly at 60,000 ft (a height of over 11 miles) from where passengers were able to see curvature of the Earth.
A regular flight from London to New York takes approximately 8 hours whereas a Concorde supersonic flight would take just under three and a half hours which was quite incredible. Concorde flew around the world in November 1986, it took 29 hours, 59 minutes and covered 28,238 miles!
Rolls Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 Engines
The Concorde had four Rolls Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 turbo jet engines, these
were necessary to provide the thrust needed for takeoff, cruising and landing. The amount of thrust generated by each engine was 18.7 tons 9180kN. The amount of fuel burned by the four engines per hour was 6,771 gallons (25,629 litres).
The engines on Concorde were attached directly to the underside of the wing without engine struts which was different from other jets. The reason for this design was to reduce air turbulence which made the engine more stable. There is a high chance that engine struts would have broken when Concorde reached supersonic speeds due to them becoming overstressed.
To gain additional thrust to reach supersonic speeds Concorde's engines used afterburners. The aim of the afterburner is to inject fuel straight into the exhaust stream and burn it using the remaining oxygen. The exhaust gases are heated and expand which in turn increases the thrust. The typical use for afterburners is on supersonic military jets.
Other Components Special to Concorde
It was not just the engines that gave Concorde its unique speed and power. The Concorde had 17 fuel tanks that could hold in total 31,569 (119,500 litres) of kerosene fuel which were located in each wing five on each side and four in the fuselage.
There were also three auxiliary fuel tanks, two were located in the front and one was in the tail. When Concorde reached supersonic speeds its aerodynamic centre of lift shifted backward, this action drove the nose of the aircraft downward, fuel was pumped backward into the auxiliary tanks to maintain balance.
Concorde was painted with a high-reflectivity white paint which was around twice as reflective as the paint used on other jets, the reason for this was due to the speed of concorde the friction and air pressure could really make the plane hot. The aircraft's skin temperature varied from 261 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius) at the nose to 196 Fahrenheit (91 degrees Celsius) at the tail. Inside the cabin the walls were warn to touch.
The heat that Concorde encountered caused the airframe to expand 7 inches in flight. Therefore Concorde was made of a special aluminium alloy to minimise this. The material was more heat-tolerant and lightweight than titanium.
Concorde's passenger flights
British Airways had a team of around 250 engineers who worked incredibly hard, together with the relevant authorities to ensure safety on board. Before Concorde was first certified for passenger flight it underwent 5,000 hours of testing. This made it the most tested aircraft ever.
On the flights there would be nine crew members which consisted of two pilots,
one flight engineer and six flight attendants. Concorde would fly 100 passengers (40 in the front of the cabin and 60 in the rear of the cabin).
Concorde flew commercially for the last time on 24 October 2003, the flight went from New York to Heathrow.
This ends my brief history of Concorde I hope you have found it interesting.
Key features Of The Concorde Pendulum Wall Clock
In making this pendulum wall clock I have tried to pay great attention to detail.
- The pendulum wall clock rear and front frames have been styled in the iconic Concorde profile.
- The gear centre detail is taken from the Rolls Royce Olympus Engine fan blade detail.
- Individual Concorde walnut marquetry details at 12, 3 and 9 with the tail fin at 6 O'clock.
- 95 walnut marquetry passenger windows, these have all been individually inset into the fuselage.
- 10 walnut marquetry supersonic cockpit windows.
- Concorde walnut marquetry detail on pendulum bob
- Concorde walnut marquetry detail on oak clock hands plus a second hand
- Walnut marquetry engine exhausts
- Etched fuselage door details
- The pendulum has a marquetry detail of Concorde, however there is an opportunity for your own personal message to be placed on the pendulum bob instead of the Concorde detail , alternatively it can be placed on the back of the bob so you get the best of both worlds, a beautiful etched Concorde plus your own personalised message.
- Another key feature of this wooden wall clock is its simple and easy winding mechanism. The clock needs to be wound only once every two days, this is done simply by pulling down the handle on the right hand side of the clock (as you look at it) which literally take less than a couple of seconds.
Operating And Maintaining Your Wooden Wall Clock
Starting the clock is simple, move the pendulum to one side so that the escapement wheel makes its first release, then simply let the pendulum go. The pendulum only swings by a few degrees each way so be sure not to force it too far.
To set the time simply move the hour and minute hands one at a time to the correct position. Some of my pendulum wooden wall clock designs do not have a full clock face but have at least four indicators at 12, 3, 6 and 9, so you may find it easier setting the time when the hands will align with these indicators. The seconds hand is set in exactly the same way.
Before the wooden wall clocks are dispatched they are tested and the speed is set, but being made from wood the clock speed may need slight adjustment when temperature and humidity levels change between summer and winter. The speed of the clock is defined by the length of the pendulum, a short pendulum will swing faster than a long one, so to adjust the clock speed the pendulum length needs to be changed. There is a small thumb wheel and direction indicator with plus and minus symbols located at the bottom of the pendulum bob. You will find that the thumb wheel is connected to a screw thread which slightly raises the bob when turned in the plus direction or lowers the bob when turned in the minus direction. This will very slightly change the length of the pendulum and the speed of the clock. So if you find that your clock is running slow, it needs speeding up, stop the pendulum and turn the thumb wheel in the plus direction, however if the clock is running fast, it needs slowing down by turning the thumb wheel in the minus direction. The amount you adjust the wheel depends on how fast or slow the clock is but I would recommend two or three passes as shown. Allow the clock to run for another 24 hours and if necessary repeat the process until the pendulum speed is fully optimised.
Occasionally the clock will need cleaning to remove dust. A small soft brush is provided with the clock, use as shown within our video guide. We recommend to never apply polish or cleaning products to the clock body or mechanism as this can cause running issues.
Designed for installation
The pendulum wall clock has been designed with simple installation in mind however it is a little more involved than just banging a nail in the wall and hanging it on. The clock has two main parts the clock itself and the wall frame. The wall frame is the part that is attached to the wall with wall plugs and screws. It is important for the successful running of the pendulum wall clock to get the wall frame installed level. Before shipping your pendulum wall clock is tested and setup with the wall frame that is shipped with your wooden wall clock so that the two are a matched pair. Shipped with your pendulum wall clock is an installation template, this template has a two way level and positions for where the holes need to be marked and drilled. Once your wall frame is screwed to the wall and leveled in both directions, the main body of the pendulum wall clock is assembled to the wall frame and held in place on the winding and weight spigots with strong magnets. The next steps include finalising the fixing of the clock to the upper mount, assembling the weight and winding handle and finally the pendulum. The pendulum is held in place, again with strong magnets and has been designed this way so that this long piece can be shipped as a separate part, but is super easy to install, simply offer it up to it’s mating part and it snaps into place.
A Quick Summary On Where To Install Your Pendulum Wall Clock
Choosing an installation wall for your pendulum wall clock is very simple, however it's worth considering the following points shown below in summary, please check my “Where To Install Your Clock” page for full details click here.
- Install on a smooth flat wall that is vertical (check with a spirit level).
- Consider avoiding busy areas where the clock could be easily knocked for example near a busy doorway.
- Consider pets and how they will react to the swinging pendulum.
- Do not install in direct sunlight.
- Do not install where there are large fluctuations in temperature and humidity for example a conservatory.
- Do not install above a heat source for example over a radiator.
- Do not install in the air flow of a fan or air conditioner unit.
Consider the location of electrical switches, sockets and wall lights and the possibility of cables being buried in the wall.
Clock Key Specifications
Also See Dimension Drawing
- Height - 1283mm
- Wing Span - 340mm
- Depth - 181mm
- Main Material - Oak Real Wood Veneers
- Gear Material - Oak Real Wood Veneers
- Marquetry Material - Black American Walnut
- Clock Gear Bearings - High Quality Deep Groove Sealed Ball Bearings, Maintenance Free
- Other Bearings - High Quality IGUS Plain Bearings, Maintenance Free, Low Friction
- Shaft Material - Stainless Steel
- Main Bearings - Sealed Deep Groove Ball Bearings
- Weight Cord - Wear Resistant Kevlar
- Drive Power - Gravity Powered By a 2kg Weight
- Winding - Pull Cord Winding For Speed & Ease
- Run Time - Approx 50 Hours
- Pendulum Period - 2 Seconds
- Escapement Design - Grahams Deadbeat (zero recoil)
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and hopefully you have found it informative and useful. However, if you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via the LEDA Clocks contact form. Alternatively, please leave any thoughts in the comments section, and of course please feel free to share this post via the social media icons below. Take care… Darren
Britannica.com, British Airways.com, Forces Network, HowStuffWorks