AZjetgeek From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 235 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1629 times:
I recently watched an episode of NOVA on PBS that featured the Concorde and how it came about. I would have given my left leg (maybe) to have flown on one. It was truly a marvel of engineering and design. It's truly a shame it never panned out financially for the Aerospatiale-BAC consortium. I believe the U.S.' effort to launch the Boeing SST and our jealousy because England and France beat us to the punch contributed to the Concorde's eventual downfall, especially when Pan Am withdrew its order.
But then the U.S. has Robert McNamara and the environmentalists to blame as well. McNamara never believed in the project and I suspect, but could never prove, that his hand in the development of the SST was intended to sabotage rather than encourage the project.
Many of Boeing's earlier jets (707, 727, 747) as well as the Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880 and 990 were enviornmentalist's worst dreams, but you didn't hear the outcry about these aircraft the way the U.S. protested the Concorde's sonic "boom". But then the U.S. didn't build the Concorde, did we?
RIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1785 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1580 times:
US "jealousy" or "boycott" have nothing to do with Concorde not built in large numbers. All the problems with American market were solved to 1977 when the bird finally landed in NY (and had already a year and a half of service to Washington). But it took several more years before a decision was made to destroy the production tools. Why no more orders during this period, when American market was widely open? For sure, something else is to blame. Same as for why no successor is built. As for American role in Concorde story - without US market and American passengers it would be rather closer to "success" of Tu144. JFK is "the most supersonic" airport in history, and, AFAIK, majority of the passengers - at least, on regular routes - were Americans (while charter flights played much less role in commercial success - 9% of profit for BA, apparently not much more for AF). It was our economy and our market that allowed the Anglo-French marvel to grace the skies during more than quarter of a century...
Iwok From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 1106 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1568 times:
an interesting, yet little know fact about the Concorde, is that the test pilots were trained partly by flying the XB-70 supersonic bomber. This was an experimental plane that was eventually able to cruise at over Mach 3, and used compression lift technology.
Note how the wingtips fold down during level flight for the compression lift, and return to horizontal on takeoff and landing. There are some great videos and pictures in the attached link.
One of the reasons that the US did not build the SST had to do with the experience gained by the XB-70 showed that it was not a practical aircraft.
Felix From Ireland, joined Jan 2005, 12 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1528 times:
I also never had the oppurtunity to fly on her. Last time I saw here was out of a South African B747 at LHR Terminal 1. She seemed holy-like in the early morning sun. A beautiful change to the in-flight entertainment on the long flight from JHB