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Concorde - A sucess?

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posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by deckard83
 


I live in Reading, Berkshire, so we're pretty near Heathrow. I remember you could set your watch by the flights of Concorde. You would always have one just before 11 AM overflying our area and the sound was incredible!! Used to shake the windows and door frames in the house quite a bit!

A great plane, a great success but a shame there weren't more of them.

On a side note, the Soviet "Concordski" never was a success as when they stole the plans off us for the Concorde (they were virtually identical) we deliberately let them have some plans that were "wrong". Unfortunately, the problems this caused on the aircraft led to disaster and loss of life. But at least the Russians never figured it out!




posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by waynos

A NASA scientist was quoted many years ago as saying that building Concorde and making it work was harder than putting a man on the Moon, maybe people should think about that?


Yes, I heard that quote before, and who is asking if sending a man on the moon was profitable?, almost nobody.

It was obviously quite an achievement for mankind to send a man on the moon, the famous photo of our planet surrounded by the black of the universe, that photo is priceless, because it give us a perspective of our place in the universe.

But at the same time, the space program was politically motivated (a USA / USSR confrontation) and therefore, money was no object.

For France & UK, the Concorde was their mean of maintaining their aerospace industries.



posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 06:32 AM
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reply to post by what-lies-beneith
 





The reality was the jet age itself was in its infancy, people were just getting used to the idea of traveling at close to Mach 1, was there there really a demand for a Mach 2 transport?


Reading contemporary accounts, without the benefit of hinsight, is the way to judge this question and the answer is unquestionably yes. That is why som much effort went into these projects from EVERY major manufacturer with studies into passenger carrying versions of the B-58 and even XB-70 being mooted in several sources. As far as everyone was concerned this WAS the future. You know what they say, hindsight is always 20/20. The reality, as it appeared then though was that the first company to deliver a practical working SST was in for big rewards. Clearly this did not materialise but it does not devalue the achievement of the technical goals in any way. As we also know with 20/20 hindsight, this vision was not, in itself, wrong. It was the way the world changed in 1973 that made it unattainable with the massive and shocking rise in fuel prices (nothing like it had happened before so how could anyone see it coming?)




Of course noise with an SST is an issue. Flying over the Atlantic at Mach 2 is a lot different than flying over continental airspace where there's no way to avoid disturbing people with the sonic boom. I don't know about Europe but there's a constant battle here in North America around the needs of people living in residential areas near airports and the desire to bring in ever more aircraft. Noise has always been an issue since the start of large scale air travel and the Concord was one of the loudest aircraft built.



It is an issue TODAY, not then. People were becoming aware of it as an issue, but it was a long time before this gathered any real pace. Concorde was not born into a world of quiet high bypass fans, in which it stood out (as it would in its operational life). But a world of Conway and JT-8 powered 707's and DC-8's or even Spey powered Tridents and One Elevens, all of which were IMMENSELY noisy. It was the gradual tightening of noise restrictions which gradually forced these planes out of service, so again you are accusing the design team of ignoring concerns that were simply not present at that time.

The Sonic boom hysteria in America during Concordes early days had to be seen to be believed as people though it would shatter every window in NY for instance but this was whipped up by the press who resented this foreign jet coming over and making American jets look old fashioned, it was all very parochial and silly but it did have a long term effect. The fact was that Concorde was never intended to fly supersonicvally over inhabited areas, sonic boom research had been going on in Britiain just as long as it had in America and the perils were known about, however as a trans oceanic transport it has never been bettered.

I think the thing that ultimately made it obsolete was the internet, more than anything else, as 'Mr Yamamoto' or 'Sir Charles Carruthers' or whoever didn't actually NEED to be in New York in three hours time anymore



posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by stumason
On a side note, the Soviet "Concordski" never was a success as when they stole the plans off us for the Concorde (they were virtually identical) we deliberately let them have some plans that were "wrong". Unfortunately, the problems this caused on the aircraft led to disaster and loss of life. But at least the Russians never figured it out!


Uhm, no - great urban legend tho.

The Soviets did get Concordes plans, and they also got fake scrapings of the tyre residue off the runways at Le Bourget, but the Tu-144 and Concorde were far from 'virtually identical'.

The engine pods were totally different, with a different intake system.

The wings were totally different, and the Tu-144 utilised canards for low speed flying.

The Tu-144 was 4 metres longer than Concorde, and had a 3 metre greater wingspan. The Tu-144s fuselage was over a metre wider in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the final design iteration of the Boeing 2707 was not all that dissimilar to both the Concorde and Tu-144 visually either.

Neither of the crashes the Tu-144 suffered were the result of western subterfuge during the development of the aircraft, although it is highly debatable whether the Paris Airshow crash was the result of French intelligence gathering (they had a Mirage in the air at the time, and one of the theories is that it got too close to the Tu-144 during its demo flight, causing the Soviet pilot to carry out the drastic downward pitch which caused oxygen starvation in the engines). The second crash was the result of a fire breaking out in a poorly manufactured part, and certainly not a design failure.

There are many, mainly unfair, legends about the Tu-144 program.



posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 08:57 AM
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You guys should check out the latest issue of Popular Science. There is an article about a new plane that will be built that will be hypersonic and burn hydrogen. Sorry there is no online link. The engines switch between conventional to scramjet and so is fuel efficient at both slow and supersonic speeds, which is what they said was the downfall of the Concord. Another flaw was that it didn't have the fuel capacity for Pacific flights. The article said the designers are taking a lot of the previous experience from the Concord and building on that. Looks promising.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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For anyone that's interested, the new plane that I mentioned before that was in the February issue of Popular Science is called the A2 hypersonic plane. They say it will surpass the Concord in speed flying at Mach 5 and have longer range burning hydrogen so it will also be environmentally friendly. It is being funded by the EU and includes the British company Reaction Engines. Here is some info on it.

www.theregister.co.uk...

www.goodcleantech.com...



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 07:38 PM
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A quick link to details about Concorde B, a possible upgrade that could have made the plane more of a commercial success.

www.concordesst.com...

[edit on 20-1-2008 by Nacnud]



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by Nacnud
 


Its neat info that I've read before the problem of cost per seat and so on still remained though and that is the driving issue since you can only generate as much as you can charge per seat so number of seats and speeds. Neither of which was going to be that much different then the A model so the statement that

If the additional range and performance had been available many more airlines might have purchased Concorde and air travel as we know it today might have been completely different.
is not that realistic though its right to say the plane would of been in terms of spec a better plane.



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