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French to Get Concorde Back to the Skies

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posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 03:29 AM
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It appears that across the Chanel, the French are actively working to bring an aircraft back to the skies. This is the first ive ever heard of anyone attempting this, why I wonder has there been no consideration of doing so over here?


BBC Video

At the risk of sounding controversial, although I love Conorde and think it is one of the greatest aircraft of all times, why do we need to bring it back?

Jensy




posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 03:47 AM
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Well, lets put it this way.

Concorde was the worlds fastest commercial Airliner, capable of sustained Mach 2 flight, flying daily, with 100 passengers on board was arguably more of a technological advance than the Apolllo Programme.

If you think about it, the only other planes that got close to Concordes performance were military machines such as the SR-71 and smaller fighter jets that require extended maintenance to stay operational.

Size wise, the only supersonic craft that came close to it that flew were the Valkeryie, and the TU-144.

The scrapping of Concorde is the first time I can remember that humanity took a step backwards, rather than a step forward. You can argue that the SR-71 was replaced by satellites, but the replacements for Concorde just are not there.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 04:10 AM
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I have worked on one of the BA concords once and this is my take on it…

It’s not a very effective aircraft. It holds very little in the way of cargo, it’s a mess to try and work the ramp on it, and the interior makes a DC-9 seem like a 747. You also cannot see anything out the windows as they are about the size of an adults hand. The fast flying times only apply to over the ocean, and then it is only helpful in that fact you can get off the thing before you get claustrophobic.

Scrapping it was not a step backwards in any fashion as you cannot fly supersonic over most continental nations since it tends to be bad for peoples windows. The newer aircraft are much larger, more comfortable, cost efficient, and many could similarly break the sound barrier under the right conditions. Obviously, the person that stated it was a step back does not realize that a tremendous amount of aviation revenue is generated in the movement of cargo and mail, neither of which can be moved in the Concord due to space limitations. This shortcoming is the reason that a ticket on that aircraft is so outrageously expensive, as passenger fares must generate the profit for the flight.

Despite all that it is a well loved aircraft by the public, it’s a status symbol, and it’s a novelty to fly on it. The only reason that it might be brought back is because of these reasons.


[edit on 10/21/2006 by defcon5]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 04:48 AM
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If the french sucessfully get concorde to fly agian good for them. Virgin Atlintic wanted to buy the British Airways concordes. But BA were having none of it. Maybee if the french engineers get concorde up and running again then it might be a new lease of life for the aircraft.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 07:00 AM
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maybe a couple of you might be getting carried away with this story? Nobody is suggesting that Concorde will ever go back into service, if it flies again it will be as a museum piece, just like the Lancasters and B-17's that are flying today, as a memorial to a brilliant achievement.

apart from that



It’s not a very effective aircraft.


to say the intention at the outset was to build a plane that carried 100 passengers at mach 2 on a regular basis and safely and all those objectives were met, AND that it was the only plane ever built to meet those objectives successfully I'd say thats pretty 'effective'.



It holds very little in the way of cargo


Ummm, when was it ever asked to? Its a bit unfair to criticise something that was never ever given consideration in the design, I mean, an F-15 doesn't carry 250 passengers but it doesn't make it rubbish, does it?



the interior makes a DC-9 seem like a 747. You also cannot see anything out the windows as they are about the size of an adults hand.


This much is true, but seeing as it was an absolutely necessary trade off to achieve the performance objectives (and performance was everything until fuel costs became an issue 5 years after Concorde flew) again, it can hardly be counted as a 'fault'. If it had been at all possible to build a spacious 300 passenger SST then the Boeing 2707 would never have been canned.



The fast flying times only apply to over the ocean


Again this is true, but there are two things to remember; (a) Britian is an island. (b) 70% of the earths surface is water. For example, when flying from London to New York, over 90% of the journey is over water. This is where Concorde was supreme.


scrapping it was not a step backwards in any fashion


If you think being on a plane (of any description) for 8 hours or longer isn't a bind then think again. crossing the Atlantic at mach 2, arriving in NY *before* you set off, time wise, was well worth it and yes, losing this capability IS a step backwards. Imagine if the USN's next aircraft carrier was twice as big as the current ones but was sail powereed and took several days to get anywhere. Backward step? You bet.


The newer aircraft are much larger, more comfortable, cost efficient, and many could similarly break the sound barrier under the right conditions.


larger, more comfortable and more efficient, yes absolutely and this is what the airlines and passengers want, though the speed would be nice too.
And whats this rubbish about them being able to break the sound barrier? Would the 'right conditions' you mention involve a nuclear bomb being detonated in the tail?


Besides the fact that that is nonsense (why on earth do think that an SST is so hard to build?) Concorde didn't just break the sound barrier, it sustained mach 2 with 100 passengers and all their luggage! 100 passengers might not be enough in commercial terms, sure, but in technological terms it is absolutely astounding. Look at all the fuss over the F-22 being able to supercruise, and that is only at mach 1.5 with just one man on board, see the level of achievement inherent in Concorde almost 40 years ago?

That was the magic of Concorde, its operational regime wasn't just up there with the fighters, it was beyond what any fighter could do, no two minute squirts through the sound barrier for this bird, more like two *hours* and it did it flawlessly for 26 years in airline service.

To fail to be impressed by it is to have (a) no soul, or (b) no idea.

[edit on 21-10-2006 by waynos]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
to say the intention at the outset was to build a plane that carried 100 passengers at mach 2 on a regular basis and safely and all those objectives were met, AND that it was the only plane ever built to meet those objectives successfully I'd say thats pretty 'effective'.


It might have fulfilled its intended mission objectives, but that does not make something successful. In the aviation industry, the margins are so close that often a flight flies at financial deficit. For a company to rely on this aircraft for anything other then a novelty would be a financially fatal mistake. I would be willing to bet that many of these flights flew at a loss. So was it successful in its role, yes, was it effective, nope…

The only thing that this plane does that is worthy of note is that it flies fast over the areas that it is allowed to do so.


Originally posted by waynos
Ummm, when was it ever asked to? Its a bit unfair to criticise something that was never ever given consideration in the design, I mean, an F-15 doesn't carry 250 passengers but it doesn't make it rubbish, does it?


Considering that a large amount of the revenue produced by a flight is dependant on freight and mail, it makes it an ineffective unviable aircraft for normal airline operations.


Originally posted by waynos
For example, when flying from London to New York, over 90% of the journey is over water. This is where Concorde was supreme.


Granted, and if the flight was not full, then I guess that it flew at a loss. I guess since BA is government subsidized, to them it makes little difference. Remember though that’s someone’s tax dollars are paying for that lost revenue.


Originally posted by waynos
crossing the Atlantic at mach 2, arriving in NY *before* you set off, time wise, was well worth it and yes, losing this capability IS a step backwards.


Well the same way that 80% of the earth is water, about 80% of your flights spend as little time over that 80% as possible. Aircraft have to have a completely different set of “No-Fly’s” when they have to cross a body of water, which is an additional maintenance cost. So even if EVERY aircraft was super-sonic, they would seldom be allowed to fly that fast, and it would be an utter waste of money.


Originally posted by waynos
Imagine if the USN's next aircraft carrier was twice as big as the current ones but was sail powereed and took several days to get anywhere. Backward step? You bet.

I mean, an F-15 doesn't carry 250 passengers but it doesn't make it rubbish, does it?
Look at all the fuss over the F-22 being able to supercruise


Maybe you should stop thinking about this topic in military terms, the military has a much different mission in life then a civilian airline does.


Originally posted by waynos
and whats this rubbish about them being able to break the sound barrier? Would the 'right conditions' you mention involve a nuclear bomb being detonated in the tail?


Well first the speed of sound is not a constant:


SuperSonic
Sounds are vibrations in an elastic medium. In gases sound travels longitudinally at different speeds, mostly depending on the molecular mass and temperature of the gas; whilst pressure has a much smaller effect. Since air temperature and composition varies significantly with altitude, mach numbers for aircraft are related to the speed of sound at sea level. In water at room temperature supersonic can be considered as any speed greater than 1,440 m/s or 4,724 ft/s. In solids, sound waves can be longitudinal or transverse and have even higher velocities.


Mach varies with atmospheric conditions, such as altitude and temperature. There have been arguments as to whether or not certain World War 2 aircraft have broken the sound barrier in dives. Mach 1 on this NASA calculator at 30K feet is only 698 mph, and that is without being able to adjust the temperature. Considering that aircraft such as the 757 can archive speeds around 609 mph, if you add enough temperature change, and a bit of a dive…BOOOM!!

Here are a couple instances of recorded times that commercial airliners have broken the sound barrier:


Sound Barrier
Although the Concorde and Tu-144 were certainly the first aircraft to carry commercial passengers at supersonic speeds, they were not the first or only commercial airliners to break the sound barrier. On August 21, 1961 a Douglas DC-8 broke the sound barrier at
Mach 1.012 or 660 mph while in a controlled dive through 41,088 feet. The purpose of the flight was to collect data on a new leading-edge design for the wing. Boeing reports that the 747 broke the sound barrier during certification tests. A China Airlines 747 almost certainly broke the sound barrier in an unplanned descent from 41 000 feet to 9500 feet after an in-flight upset on 19 February 1985. It also reached over 5g. [2]


This is why aircraft have something called mach trim, this is to keep the aircraft under control because parts of it often approach and sometimes break the sound barrier in normal flight.


Mach Trim 757
Mach trim control is found on airplane that flies at transonic speed (at Mach 0.7 and above). A typical example is the Boeing 757. A plane would need a mach speed trim control because of the behavior of the center of pressure on its supercritical wing as the speed changes.



mach Trim 757 & 767
In low subsonic flight, the center of pressure is usually pretty stable for a conventional airfoil shape and is located about one-quarter of the way back from the wing leading edge. But as speed increases, the center of pressure begins moving aft, particularly at transonic speeds starting at about Mach 0.7. As the Cp moves aft, the moment arm between it and the elevator decreases. This movement makes the elevator less effective in providing pitch control. The difference in location between the Cp and the center of gravity (located in front of the Cp) causes the aircraft nose to pitch down, so more elevator trim is required to keep the aircraft level.



Mach Trim 737
MACH TRIM SYSTEM
MT SYSTEM MAY BE INOP IF AIRCRAFT SPEED DOES NOT EXCEED 0.74 MACH.
MT SYSTEM PROVIDES AUTOMATIC DISPLACEMENT OF ELEVATORS AS A FUNCTION OF MACH
NO IN THE MACH TUCK [NOSE DOWN] REASON.
1.TEST S/W AND FAIL LT --->P5
2.MACH TRIM COUPLER---->E1-2
3.MACH TRIM ACTUATOR--->TAIL CONE AREA
4.MT FLAP S/W ---> FLAP CONTROL UNIT


and just so we don’t get confused about transonic and supersonic, here is part of that deifinition:


Transonic
Transonic is an aeronautics term referring to a range of velocities just below and above the speed of sound (about mach 0.8 - 1.3). It is defined as the range of speeds between the critical mach number, when some parts of the airflow over an aircraft become supersonic, and a higher speed, typically near Mach 1.2, when all of the airflow is supersonic. Between these speeds some of the airflow is supersonic, and some is not.
Most modern jet powered aircraft spend a considerable amount of time in the transonic regime.



Originally posted by waynos
To fail to be impressed by it is to have (a) no soul, or (b) no idea.


Oh believe me, it is an impressive aircraft. I enjoyed working on it once just to say I did it, and I have many pictures from that day, but I would not want deal with it on a regular basis. That said, breaking the sound barrier is not something that the airlines are going to be wasting much time on in the near future, I guarantee you that. They are more concerned with making aircraft as efficient and as fast as they can be while remaining transonic. I am afraid that when it comes to the priorities of what it takes to operate within the industry, you are the one that has no idea.

Its not about sexy its about efficiency...


[edit on 10/21/2006 by defcon5]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:29 PM
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Greetings defcon5;


It might have fulfilled its intended mission objectives, but that does not make something successful.


actually, yes it does, if you read that sentence again. Had it failed to reach its specified speed it would not have been successful, had it not been certificated as safe to fly it would not have been successful (ie Tu-144 - its closest rival), had the programme not resulted in actual working hardware it would not have been successful (ie Boeing 2707). Concorde, however did exactly what it said on the tin and thus was a complete success.

What it was *not* however, after 1973 at least, was commercially viable or even remotely attractive to airlines who did not operate under the state control of the countries that built it - an exclusive club with just the two members.

It was not even attractive to those either, it is a matter of record that neither Air France nor British Airways actually wanted Concorde by the early '70's but after all the effort that had gone into it they were going to bloody well have it, according to both governments involved. Thankfully, after the ridiculous amount of R&D involved was written off the airlines attitude to it changed completely and thanks to some clever strategy Concorde wan't just a technological flagship, but also operated profitably for its reluctant foster parents.

This new found desirability towards the early 1980's didn't change the fact though that it was still unnattainable for any airline that didn't already have it, and Singapore Airlines, Braniff, Iran Air and B.Cal all made efforts to acquire them in some way during this period with the first two actually getting as far as joint operations of the aircraft for a brief time.

Please forgive (and correct) me if I am wrong but you appear to be equating 'success' with 'making an overall profit' in your entire appraisal of the type. I accept that this is essential, for sure, but it is not the whole story. Perhaps an American wouldn't understand the subtle difference? Concorde was an operational success, Concorde was a technological success, Concorde was a commercial failure. These three statements are all 100% true, but the last one doesn't negate the first two. It is just a fact of life and a matter of history. The basic fact remains that Concorde was the only SST ever built that genuinely worked.



In the aviation industry, the margins are so close that often a flight flies at financial deficit. For a company to rely on this aircraft for anything other then a novelty would be a financially fatal mistake.


Of course that is absolutely true, but again you seem to be criticising it for something that it never was. In a total BA fleet numbering hundreds of aircraft there were precisely seven Concordes, with a similar number in the Air France fleet. There was never any question of them being 'relied upon' or of being more than a novelty as you put it, so whats the beef?



So was it successful in its role, yes, was it effective, nope…

I would have thought it was better put the other way around, as a mach 2 people carrier it was *completely* effective, in attracting commercial airlines to part with money for it, it was a complete disaster, through no real fault of its own as it performed exactly as it was always intended to.



The only thing that this plane does that is worthy of note is that it flies fast over the areas that it is allowed to do so.


Thats seems quite a churlish line to come out with, so much so that I can almost imagine the words "and it was built by foreigners" being tagged on the end.




Considering that a large amount of the revenue produced by a flight is dependant on freight and mail, it makes it an ineffective unviable aircraft for normal airline operations.


But thats exactly the point, there were plenty of other aircraft in the fleet for that sort of thing, Concorde was never, ever about 'normal airline operations'. Thats why the ticket prices were so high, freight could ride with the riff raff, all Concorde had to carry was champagne.




I guess since BA is government subsidized, to them it makes little difference. Remember though that’s someone’s tax dollars are paying for that lost revenue.


Actually thats not right. It was true when Concorde was brand new of course, as I said earlier, but BA is a private company now and has been for many many years, hence the push to get Concorde flying profitably. For the last 20 years of its service career BA only kept it in service because it made money as well as being the flagship. Lord King went on record as far back as 1985 saying that when Concorde started to cost the newly privatised airline more than it brought in it would be retired. That day came in 2003.



Well the same way that 80% of the earth is water, about 80% of your flights spend as little time over that 80% as possible. Aircraft have to have a completely different set of “No-Fly’s” when they have to cross a body of water, which is an additional maintenance cost. So even if EVERY aircraft was super-sonic, they would seldom be allowed to fly that fast, and it would be an utter waste of money.


My apologies, but I completely fail to see the relevance there. I am talking about Concorde specifically, as a one off, not if every other airliner was an SST.



Maybe you should stop thinking about this topic in military terms, the military has a much different mission in life then a civilian airline does.


Not at all. The comparison with military equipment perfectly illustrates the magnitude of the technical achievement of what was a commercial programme with 400 orders until it all went sour. The subsequent commercial failure does not diminish the technical greatness of what those designers achieved.



Well first the speed of sound is not a constant: .........lengthy explanation


And what pray has a 757 (or whatever) momentarily slipping beyond 650mph at precisely the right altitude and weather conditions *in a dive*(!!!!) got to do with an aircraft cruising at 60,000ft (up to 20,000ft higher than said 757 entered its dive) more than twice that speed for over two hours? It is completely irrelevant. If you are trying to say its the same thing then that is utter bollocks. Other than that what are you trying to say?

Thanks for the lecture on why airliners need to be efficient and what the difference between supersonic and transonic is - like I've never heard of such a thing before




That said, breaking the sound barrier is not something that the airlines are going to be wasting much time on in the near future, I guarantee you that.


Of course they're not. Where did I ever say they would? In fact did I not make this exact point right at the very beginning of my post?



I am afraid that when it comes to the priorities of what it takes to operate within the industry, you are the one that has no idea.


What, because I said that Concorde was a brilliant achievement? How do you work that one out?

[edit on 21-10-2006 by waynos]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:50 PM
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The Concorde is a beautiful plane and it would be nice to see it flying at airshows etc. again, but it's just unprofitable to fly it commercially. Hopefully someday a new design for a supersonic plane that can be profitable will come out of Boeing or Airbus or someone else.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:57 PM
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Or someone else indeed. Wouldn't it be funny if the next SST was made by Embraer?

Maybe not as ridiculous as it sounds, the company was founded building light aircraft in the Cessna/Piper class as recently as 1970 and the twin turboprop Bandierante, 19 seater, was a major risk programme when it was launched, but now they are building 100 passenger twinjets of their own design and selling them to airlines all over the world only 30 years later. They really impress me and who knows, a Japanese/Brazilian collaborative venture may shock us all and leaving both Airbus and Boeing weeping floods of tears?



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 06:09 PM
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Hmmm, Embraer and Honda? That'd work, same with Kawasaki, both already have small-ish "assembly" plants in Brazil. Folks underestimate Brazil. I live in Canada and I do not underestimate Brazil. They could be the "sleeper" tiger of the West and not just in aviation.

Concorde was cool, and if they haven't cut them up, still is... I know it's impossible but a high-security nostalgia-platinum service would be so cool... so Sir Richard-doable... maybe with a fighter escort?

Victor K.

43'



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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Concorde has proven itself to be nearly as huge a failure as Airbus is and just as tacky and dangerous. I think people would think twice before ever setting foot in that death trap again well if they value their lives anyways.

Overall a failure the worlds better of without.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 06:58 PM
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Shamantor, flame baiting is immature, pointless, and not wanted on this site. If you haven't got a genuine point to make, like the rest of us on this thread, this board even, then why not stop wasting your own time posting idiotic remarks designed to do nothing more than start a flame war, eh? That sort of stuff is for little kids.

Even worse, of course, would be if you were dumb enough to really believe what you just wrote



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 07:00 PM
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its just one beautiful aircraft - one plane down in a fleet so small is in my book a pretty good average - Boeing and Airbus have many more crashes.

Its interesting if the French do this - BA have their I guess last bird parked by the maintainence hangers in Heathrow - every time i pass I slow down to look at the old speedbird - and i never fails to thrill me. She was an icon of her timmes like the comet, the harrier and one day the 747. Simply a an engineering icon - the Ray Ban, Zippo and Porsche 911 of her day. That day passed but when we race the Masserarti 250f at Silverstone each year we dont refer to it as a deathtrap - we call her she and respect a venerated lady.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 07:10 PM
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My only point is the last time it flew it crashed and killed 113 people as far as I know granted I may be wrong but i believe that is the reason behind it's demise.

It isnt like it was scrapped for no reason It is an unsafe Airplane I'm sure they tried to fix the problem before cancelling it and failed. It wasn't an economical plane and it couldn't be guaranteed safe.
I can understand you feeling sentimental about it but seriously if it can't be made safe then it can't be made safe and i for one would not fly in it knowing that.

[edit on 21-10-2006 by Shamanator]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 08:12 PM
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As usually, you have no idea what you are talking about. How about doing just a LITTLE research on the topics you decide to post in?

The Paris crash did NOT happen because the Concorde is an unsafe design. It DID happen because a large chunk of metal (coincidentally from an American airplane) triggered an unforeseeable chain reaction at the worst of times, and that was the fully-loaded takeoff. Had the Foreign object damage happened 500m earlier, the plane might have been able to make a safe stop. Had it happened 500m later, it might have had enough speed for a more controlled emergency landing.

And yes, it was scrapped for a reason. But no, that was NOT because it is unsafe. Not a SINGLE airfame was lost due to a technical flaw. Try and find me one other Mach 2 aircraft that accomplished that in a 34 year history, hmm?

There is no doubt that the Concorde is a bit more sensible to unexpected circumstances, thats a necessity of the extreme way it operates. Nevertheless, this has been compensated by using only top-notch crews and maintenance personnel. An accident like the one in Paris is thinkable for almost EVERY airplane in a similar situation, and has happened more than once. There is no aircraft in this world that is a 100% safe. Even the simplest of "aircrafts" like kites and ballons up to the top-league of spaceships have had their fare share of accidents.




[edit on 21/10/2006 by Lonestar24]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 12:26 AM
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If you think being on a plane (of any description) for 8 hours or longer isn't a bind then think again. crossing the Atlantic at mach 2, arriving in NY *before* you set off, time wise, was well worth it and yes, losing this capability IS a step backwards. Imagine if the USN's next aircraft carrier was twice as big as the current ones but was sail powereed and took several days to get anywhere. Backward step? You bet.

It guzzled fuel, couldn't carry any cargo, it was maintainence heavy, the 20 planes built had 101 accidents, it was expensive to fly on, it didn't have much flight hours (the most one plane had was almost 23000 hours over 30 years service. You could expect a 737 to get 70000 hours in the same time frame). It also had fuel burn per passenger comparable to a buisness jet.

All them traits are terrible, and while it may have been a amazing technological leap, it certaintly wasn't a economical achievement. And THAT's what makes it a step backward from normal jets.

If it were economical, why wouldn't we all hire sr-71s for personal use? After all, it could go Mach 3? That would make lower performance Cessnas a step backward.


[edit on 22-10-2006 by PisTonZOR]

[edit on 22-10-2006 by PisTonZOR]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 04:23 AM
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Originally posted by Shamanator
My only point is the last time it flew it crashed and killed 113 people as far as I know granted I may be wrong but i believe that is the reason behind it's demise.

It isnt like it was scrapped for no reason It is an unsafe Airplane I'm sure they tried to fix the problem before cancelling it and failed. It wasn't an economical plane and it couldn't be guaranteed safe.
I can understand you feeling sentimental about it but seriously if it can't be made safe then it can't be made safe and i for one would not fly in it knowing that.

[edit on 21-10-2006 by Shamanator]


What can I say about this post that won't get me into trouble with the moderators?

Shamanator, you are obviously completely misinformed, overopinioned and genuinely have no idea what you are talking about at all.

Concorde returned to service after the one, single crash in Paris in 2000, and continued to fly for a further two years until 2003, before it was retired on economic grounds

By your logic all 747s (and in fact, every airframe in service of any type) are total death traps, as numerous ones have crashed.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 06:00 AM
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I've said all I'm going to say about Shamantors ramblings, I prefer to argue with people who have proper opinions, even if they are wrong. So, PisTonZOR, where were we....




It guzzled fuel, couldn't carry any cargo, it was maintainence heavy,


I was joking at the end there of course, and this quote is completely true and accurate, but I think, like the guy earlier, you are rather missing the point.

I don't think there is anyobody on the planet who would want to try to make a case for Concorde being a commercial success or something that the industry will be rushing to try and replicate, but 'progress' isn't all about making money.

Columbus finding America (even if he didn't mean to) isn't judged by the journeys profit. The Wright brothers only sought out commercial profitability AFTER the successful flight in 1903. Frank Whittle, famously, made very little profit out of his jet engine and how much of a commercial success were the Apollo flights. It is in this spirit that Concorde is to be admired. Not only that the thing was built and flown, but that it carried passengers succdfessfully for many years operating beyond the abilities of the worlds fighter jets (in terms of sustained performance).

The undeniable fact of the matter is that we cannot any longer provide the service that this aircraft supplied across four decades and it is the first timer in human history that our journey times have gotten longer rather than shorter. I am fully aware of the commercial limitations that make this so, but it is still very much a negative step, however it might be dressed up.

When the first steam trains appeared they were relatively slow, unreliable and expensive to ride on.
The first cars were terribly maintainence intensive and expensive, the first airliners were converted bombers which were cold draughty and expensive, and the Comet, leaving aside the technical disasters that befell it, was very much teh concorde of its day offering faster, higher, more comfortable journeys than any other airliner could offer but only for the very rich due to its tiny 36 seat capacity and its thirsty DH Ghost engines.

You see the parrallel?

In each and every case the desire to 'do more', to get there quicker, overrode the commercial vulnerability involved, to 'do it' was the thing and in each and every case the further advancement of technology made each one safer, more economical, more reliable, more attainable, the 707 and its generation following the Comet is the obvious example in aviation.

Only in the case of Concorde, or the SST in general, has this not followed. THAT is why the loss of the SST service in 2003 marks a backward step.



the 20 planes built had 101 accidents,


Well, it was 16 built actually but 101 accidents? are you sure? define what you mean by accident because these are almost entirely BFO's, which EVERY aircaft suffers and in this list of past accidents you will notice that an aircraft turning back and landing because a warning light came on in the cockpit is listed as an 'accident'. The stat that matters howerver is that out of those 101 accidents not a single passenger was harmed in 100 of them and in the one that did result in the loss of the aircraft and everyone on board it was caused by an outside force, namely a BFO incident for a Continental DC-10.

Has a similar catalogue of incidents been complied for every other commercial aircraft, by which I mean EVERY single incident of a light coming on in the cockpit etc)? It would make an interesting comparison.



it didn't have much flight hours (the most one plane had was almost 23000 hours over 30 years service. You could expect a 737 to get 70000 hours in the same time frame).


But Concorde wasn't a 737 was it, the glitterati weren't queuing up to pay a couple of grand to fly on 737's. I dare say that Stretch Limos have a lower mileage than a London Bus over any given period too. Obviously Concorde frequencies are going to be much lower than your standard short range cattle truck taking chavs on their club 18-30 pillagefests. Come on dude.




All them traits are terrible, and while it may have been a amazing technological leap, it certaintly wasn't a economical achievement. And THAT's what makes it a step backward from normal jets.


How sad that only a commercial achievement deserves to be admired. I've never worshipped the god of money above all else myself, which is maybe why I can see things slightly differently.



If it were economical, why wouldn't we all hire sr-71s for personal use? After all, it could go Mach 3? That would make lower performance Cessnas a step backward.


Well, firstly no you wouldn't because the SR-71 would be mostly on the ground getting maintained and leaking fuel all over the place, plus you would have nowhere to sit unless you flew it yourself (which would be fun), which is a good example of Why Concorde was so brilliant. Secondly citing a Cessna as a step backwards is a misnomer, the backward step would be if Cessa withdrew its current product line and replaced it with 70mph biplanes because they're cheaper and make more money, that would be the backward step.

I fear I am about to be misunderstood again so just to spell it out in simple terms. The overall technology of civil aircraft has gone forward, not backwards, efficient engines, lightweight modern structures, fly by wire systems etc etc are all examples of the progression of modern technology. The backward step is purely in terms of what we can DO with it. We have been unable to replicate the abilities of Concorde in a bigger, fuel efficient replacement which is what should have happened according to historical precedent (ie every previous new form of transport). The technology of Concorde was firmly rooted in the 1960's, of course, its what we did with it that is so bloody amazing.

People, quite rightly, gush admiringly over the SR-71, XB-70 and many other exotic but very limited scope, high performance aircraft for their amazing technical achievement. But when it comes to an airliner carrying passengers at the speed of a rifle bullet on daily services for a quarter of a century these same people seem to be determined not to be impressed by it. Why on earth would that be? After all, nothing in its performance class has ever made money, but the praise is freely given to them, so it can't be that.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
I fear I am about to be misunderstood again so just to spell it out in simple terms. The overall technology of civil aircraft has gone forward, not backwards, efficient engines, lightweight modern structures, fly by wire systems etc etc are all examples of the progression of modern technology. The backward step is purely in terms of what we can DO with it. We have been unable to replicate the abilities of Concorde in a bigger, fuel efficient replacement which is what should have happened according to historical precedent (ie every previous new form of transport). The technology of Concorde was firmly rooted in the 1960's, of course, its what we did with it that is so bloody amazing.


Concorde was a great acheivement.


If legislation across the world were to define, today, an actual figure for acceptable sonic boom overpressures, and fuel prices were to drop significantly to a level where they weren't a massive factor in the DOCs of an airframe then we would see Boeing/Airbus/Embraer/Bombardier and whoever go design and build the 2nd gen SSTs.


Make no mistake, we can do it bigger, more fuel efficient and quieter before - however a supersonic aircraft will always compare poorly to a subsonic one in terms of efficiency - and fuel costs are the name of the game right now.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 01:59 AM
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Well, it was 16 built actually but 101 accidents? are you sure? define what you mean by accident because these are almost entirely BFO's, which EVERY aircaft suffers and in this list of past accidents you will notice that an aircraft turning back and landing because a warning light came on in the cockpit is listed as an 'accident'.

Sorry, I got the 20 planes built from Wikipeida, and the 101 accidents were mostly tires bursting things like that: aviation-safety.net...


Sorry. My point was meant to be that amazing performance while problems in nearly every single other category was kinda a step backwards.

Like yes it was an amazing acheivement to fly 100 people at mach 2, but that dosn't neceserally mean it's better than other jets.

[edit on 23-10-2006 by PisTonZOR]



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