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On the rare occasions when a Concorde does leave a contrail the normally low humidity at its cruise altitude should ensure its swift evaporation.
This is a matter which will be investigated during Concorde flight development. Contrails formed will be noted and the dissipation rate checked.
Water vapour from Concorde's engine will, it is alleged, condense in the stratosphere, form permanent clouds, shut out the sun and change our whole climate. Due to natural daily variations in the altitude at which the stratosphere begins many subsonic jets are today flying in this region with no harmful effects. Studies carried out by Britain's Meteorological office confirm that Concorde operations will cause no climatic changes.
The suggestion that Concorde will cause a harmful increase in ultra violet radiation at ground level is improbable on two counts. Firstly, only a very small fraction of the ozone is likely to be affected and then only on a scale which would be insignificant compared to the daily fluctuations in ozone density which occur naturally. Secondly, the troposphere, although not as strong an absorber of ultra violet as the ozone layer, is still quite powerful and allows only about 5% of the ultra violet which gets past the ozone layer to reach the earth's surface.
Man's efforts are puny alongside those of nature. A fleet of 250 Concordes would in one year change the concentration of carbon dioxide by less than one part in 100 million. Carbon dioxide produced by Concorde will be indistinguishable from that produced by whatever transport vehicle it replaces - so Concorde's unique addition to the world's carbon dioxide problem will be nil.
Carbon monoxide is only emitted in small quantities and rapidly changes to carbon dioxide.
Oxides of Nitrogen
Further studies are,
No problems are envisaged. however, being carried out.
There is no significant emission of hydrocarbons at Concorde cruise altitudes. They are essentially a low altitude problem and one which, as far as Concorde production aircraft are concerned, has been solved.
It would take between 500 and 1,000 years of operation by massive fleets of Concordes to inject into the atmosphere the amount of particulate material received from the explosion of Krakatoa which injected several cubic miles of water, chemicals and solids into the stratosphere. It caused no noted effects on temperature or weather cycles, or on life on earth due to ozone disturbance.
Production Concordes will cause no smoke trails.
I have covered the relevant subjects in a general manner as it is clearly impractical to deal with every individual statement. Concorde is a living airplane. Two prototypes are flying. Two larger pre-production aircraft are in final assembly, and metal has already been cut on the tenth production airframe, However, if you have specific questions I should be happy to do my best to obtain factual answers for you.
Leslie Huckfield MP
(The letter referred to on page 490 follows:)
AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION,
Dallas, Tex., March 8, 1971. Capt. A. C. BONNER, First Vice President, Air Line Pilots A88ociation, Munsey Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR AL: "I understand you will appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee. I have some thoughts relative to technological advances. If we have dissenters in our midst regarding the SST, ask them to use my eyes.
"As a professional pilot for 36 years and an airline pilot for the past 30 years, I have been privileged to witness phenomenal changes in our world. My associates and I have been privy to changes in our environment from pollution because of our unique view from the sky.
"My country is at a crossroads with the SST. We are frightened by the 'what if' game so common to youngsters. True we have made mistakes, but we have rectified these mistakes and have profited by them. I hear opponents of the SST suggest dire consequences to the economy and to environment of the nation and even to the world.
"Some members of the scientific community, well meaning, but technically illiterate have loaned their names and reputations from other specialties to the opponents of the SST program. I suggest their energies and talents are sorely needed in their own specialties and they should not paint a picture of despair and hopelessness based on conjecture.
“How sad, to resign when a problem appears. Four weeks ago something happened to me which put this problem into a different perspective. I have been diagnosed as a victim of leukemia. Strange isn't it, twenty years in Air Safety from new aircraft evaluation work to the horror of aviation accident investigations. Work where we found answers, solutions to our problems and now I have been told tbat I am suffering from leukemia. I know that all the answers to this problem have not been found, but no one is quitting. Research is continuing. Some things will work, some won't. No one has said let's give up because we don't know all the answers before we start. How bleak would be my day if no nurses administered drugs, no technicians came to check my reactions. This would be despair. Because of a start made some years ago, you might say that I am a sort of a prototype. I hope to be able to see the conclusion of this great research. To me personally, I pray I may have the privilege of flying an American SST before I end my career. How great to carry at three times the speed of sound some miraculous drug to a far-away land.
“Of one thing I am certain, there is no hope unless we continue with our program for a prototype SST. Tomorrow, as I know all too well, may be too late." Kindest personal regards,
CAPT. W. W. BETT8, Chairman, Region IV Air Safety.
Allott, Senator Gordon
OPPONENTS TO DEVELOPMENT
Davidson, James D., executive director, National Taxpayers Union, state-
Frazier, Howard, national director, Consumers Education and Protective
Godfrey, Arthur, honorary chairman, Coalition Against the SST, state-
Kennedy, Senator Edward M., introduction of witness..