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Topic: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: SSTsomeday
Posted 2008-11-15 08:37:51 and read 9797 times.

Looking back at the discontinuing of scheduled Concorde service, it seems to me that there would have been the resources, and that some organization could have taken the initiative to keep one Concorde in serviceable condition for airshows and other demonstrations, and/or perhaps as a test bed.

Further, I understand that if you only use necessary personnel for such flights, and don't fly paying passengers, you don't have to maintain the same level of safety certification (for example, but not limited to, when you put an "Experimental" sticker on the fuselage of an A/C by the door.) So couldn't most of those pending and cost prohibitive safety/overhaul directives that helped to ground them been circumvented if one or two birds had been destined to become only demonstration or promotional A/C?

Also, if I recall how things went, it seems to me that British Airways and Air France were extremely possessive about their birds at the time when the axe fell, and took the attitude of "if we are not going to fly them, nobody is going to fly them." I wonder if it was therefore somewhat conspiratorial that the A/C were made unserviceable so quickly

I find it very short-sighted that the Concordes were all so quickly and unceremoniously hobbled. Because of this haste and disrespect, I understand that none of them could be resurrected now (due to drained hydrolics, un-maintained or removed engines and avionics.) without major expense.

Does anyone know what condition the one is in that they tow around at CDG and have washed, etc?

I know that it's not nearly as expensive to keep an old Connie flying, for example. (There is a beautiful one in TWA colors in this database.) Perhaps I can't accept the realities of the expense of such an endeavor with regard to Concorde, because I am still so stunned by the loss.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Sandyb123
Posted 2008-11-15 08:38:40 and read 9800 times.

Short answer.... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Sandyb123

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-15 08:57:53 and read 9753 times.



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
Does anyone know what condition the one is in that they tow around at CDG and have washed, etc?

The Concorde displayed at CDG is F-BVFF (cn 215). It was retired from service by AF in June 2000 for a "C " check. Just like BA's G-BOAA / AB, It was never modified with the tank liners when the other Concorde returned to service in 2001.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Divemaster08
Posted 2008-11-15 09:02:34 and read 9732 times.

Well BA were soo against VS getting their aircraft that they made sure that when they were retired, all the hydralics and parts were disconected and drained to make sure that VS couldnt get its hands on them.

Also as Airbus wasnt going to be making anymore parts for the concordes (Aerospatile and BEA were absorbed into Airbus). so getting parts was going to be very expensive!

I however think that this was a shame. The only supersonic aircraft that flew in commerical service and it is now kept to the ground where she will spend the rest of her days.
I mean we have lancaster bombers and spitfires flying around (along with older aircraft) for display purposes and yet this magnificent bird is kept to the ground!

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Tdscanuck
Posted 2008-11-15 09:11:15 and read 9709 times.



Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
I mean we have lancaster bombers and spitfires flying around (along with older aircraft) for display purposes and yet this magnificent bird is kept to the ground!

A Lancaster or Spitfire takes a crew of, say, half a dozen volunteers with some time and tools to keep running. They were built using 60 year old technology and to function well in war time.

The Concorde took a significant chunk of Airbus, BA, and AF engineering and maintenance to work, plus an absolutely outrageous fuel bill. If anyone was willing to cough up the $$$, sure, but it's a *huge* $$$.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-15 09:18:41 and read 9677 times.



Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
Well BA were soo against VS getting their aircraft

In any case, VS proposal to operate Concorde was nothing but a big joke !

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: David L
Posted 2008-11-15 09:22:57 and read 9659 times.



Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
Well BA were soo against VS getting their aircraft that they made sure that when they were retired, all the hydralics and parts were disconected and drained to make sure that VS couldnt get its hands on them.

They stopped VS getting their hands on them by saying "thanks for asking but... no".  Smile

Let's not forget that BA and AF own the aircraft so its really up to them what happens to them. From what the experts here have said, it wouldn't be able to operate supersonically and many feel it's better to retire them than parade them has tired old has-beens, "limping" around airshows.

Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
The only supersonic aircraft that flew in commerical service

The only supersonic aircraft that flew in significant commercial service. The Tu-144 did it for a short while.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Spencer
Posted 2008-11-15 09:37:28 and read 9631 times.

It wouldn't be impossible considering what they've done with the Vulcan. But yeah, it would be a severe dig into someone's pocket. I really do miss the old girl and am very glad I got to shoot her. Just wished I had flown her....
Spencer.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: David L
Posted 2008-11-15 09:52:54 and read 9590 times.



Quoting Spencer (Reply 7):
It wouldn't be impossible considering what they've done with the Vulcan. But yeah, it would be a severe dig into someone's pocket.

It's not just the money, it's the expertise, too. The Vulcan wasn't supersonic, wasn't variable-geometry, wasn't FBW, didn't have fuel trim and computer-controlled variable intakes, for example. Plenty of people from Avro and the RAF with Vulcan and general experience were around to help.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Aircellist
Posted 2008-11-15 09:55:55 and read 9585 times.

Not to be lacking respect to these machines, and to the ones that conceived, built, flew and maintained them, but Lancasters, Spitfires, DC-3s and the like, and even the Vulcan are much simpler machines to be kept flying.

Look up for threads that appeared sooner after Concorde ceased flying, or just before it was retired. There is a member here, GDB, who whas an engineer at BA, overlooking Concorde's return to service after the AF accident, and also Concorde's retirement too soon after. He explained in depth why, what, how and the like about the necessity to retire Concorde... And not without emotion, sometimes.

And believe me, when the space shuttle is retired from service, quite soon, there will not be an example kept fit for flying.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: AF2323
Posted 2008-11-15 10:19:03 and read 9524 times.



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
I understand that none of them could be resurrected now (due to drained hydrolics, un-maintained or removed engines and avionics.) without major expense.

Actually, there is one Concorde still "alive", F-BTSD, at the air and space museum of Le Bourget. Although not in flying condition, the plane is kept in good condition by the "ME-QN" Concorde mainenance group. I think this is the only one that could be flying someday, but money is still the problem here.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: David L
Posted 2008-11-15 10:23:54 and read 9510 times.



Quoting Aircellist (Reply 9):
And believe me, when the space shuttle is retired from service, quite soon, there will not be an example kept fit for flying.

 checkmark  That would be a sight at airshows. Of course, you'd need a 747 to tow it.  Smile

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Divemaster08
Posted 2008-11-15 13:38:34 and read 9379 times.



Quoting David L (Reply 6):
The Tu-144 did it for a short while.

Ok i didnt know that.
I thought that the Concordski never got into commerical service. Thinking of the incident at the paris airshow and that it was still in testing so hence why i said concorde was the only supersonic aircraft in commerical service. My Bad

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2008-11-15 13:53:45 and read 9354 times.



Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
Well BA were so against VS getting their aircraft that they made sure that when they were retired, all the hydraulics and parts were disconnected and drained to make sure that VS couldn't get its hands on them.

I imagine draining the systems of their fluids would be more an act of long-term preservation then one of "active denial" to a potential suitor.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: LHR27C
Posted 2008-11-15 13:57:22 and read 9349 times.



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):

Also, if I recall how things went, it seems to me that British Airways and Air France were extremely possessive about their birds at the time when the axe fell, and took the attitude of "if we are not going to fly them, nobody is going to fly them." I wonder if it was therefore somewhat conspiratorial that the A/C were made unserviceable so quickly

This is completely untrue. BA were always very supportive of Concorde and tried very hard to get Airbus to continue providing the necessary technical support for the operation after AF decided to retire their fleet in early 2003. Airbus refused to do so, and were not going to allow any other manufacturer to provide the support either, so BA had no choice but to retire the fleet.

BA also investigated, at great length, the possibility of keeping an aircraft flying for airshows etc, but came to the conclusion that it would be economically out of the question.

Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
Well BA were soo against VS getting their aircraft that they made sure that when they were retired, all the hydralics and parts were disconected and drained to make sure that VS couldnt get its hands on them.

If VS had got their hands on the aircraft, they would be in museums right now, just in VS colours. The entire VS proposal was a massive publicity stunt with no proper backing and just another attempt by Branson to gain some more media exposure. Branson even went to Airbus himself and was told they would not be providing technical support, whatever the airline... yet continued to bleat on knowing full well his airline would never be able to fly the aircraft.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: PGNCS
Posted 2008-11-15 14:03:56 and read 9323 times.



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
Perhaps I can't accept the realities of the expense of such an endeavor with regard to Concorde, because I am still so stunned by the loss.

That is the closest you have come to the right answer, sadly.

Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
I mean we have lancaster bombers and spitfires flying around (along with older aircraft) for display purposes and yet this magnificent bird is kept to the ground!

All of which are orders of magnitude cheaper to maintain and operate.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 4):
A Lancaster or Spitfire takes a crew of, say, half a dozen volunteers with some time and tools to keep running. They were built using 60 year old technology and to function well in war time.

The Concorde took a significant chunk of Airbus, BA, and AF engineering and maintenance to work, plus an absolutely outrageous fuel bill. If anyone was willing to cough up the $$$, sure, but it's a *huge* $$$.

 checkmark  Ghastly expensive.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Ambanmba
Posted 2008-11-15 14:52:25 and read 9234 times.



Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 12):
I thought that the Concordski never got into commerical service.

It did indeed go into a brief stint of commercial service.

A few years ago I read a fascinating book about the Tu-144 by Howard Moon. The book also included some great photos. I did a quick check on Amazon and it's out of print, but there are plenty of copies floating around.

http://www.amazon.com/Soviet-SST-Tec...UTF8&s=books&qid=1226789184&sr=8-3

Would be a great book for anyone interested in the Tu-144 and also the "Techno Politics" of the cold war era.

I am in no way related to the author/publisher and stand nothing to gain from sales of this book  Smile

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: JetJeanes
Posted 2008-11-15 15:02:24 and read 9220 times.

Are there not still 2 concordes that are in a hangar and can be in flying order within a short time.And is there still not a sim that crews still train in???

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-15 15:19:05 and read 9183 times.



Quoting LHR27C (Reply 14):
BA were always very supportive of Concorde and tried very hard to get Airbus to continue providing the necessary technical support for the operation after AF decided to retire their fleet in early 2003.

Wrong.
The decision to retire Concorde from service was taken jointly by AF & BA after Airbus announced their intention to stop their technical support.
AF decided just to stop 6 months before BA.
During the 27 years they operated Concorde, BA & AF worked in close cooperation and agreed from the very beginning that if Concorde would be retired from service, both airlines would do it at the same time.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: LHR27C
Posted 2008-11-15 15:41:17 and read 9155 times.



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 18):

Wrong.
The decision to retire Concorde from service was taken jointly by AF & BA after Airbus announced their intention to stop their technical support.
AF decided just to stop 6 months before BA.
During the 27 years they operated Concorde, BA & AF worked in close cooperation and agreed from the very beginning that if Concorde would be retired from service, both airlines would do it at the same time.

This isn't true. Why would Airbus suddenly announce their intention to stop technical support if both airlines were happily operating the aircraft? Can you imagine the reaction if BA and AF were running a successful Concorde operation, and Airbus turned round and said sorry we're not going to support it any more?

The events are complicated, but it was AF who set the early retirement in motion. They never really recovered after the return to service and were not running a profitable Concorde operation (various factors such as US businessmen boycotting AF over Iraq etc), also haunted by several mechanical failures. I believe it was one final technical fault that really worried AF and in early April they announced a very rapid retirement so that they ended Concorde operations in May 2003. Airbus were then unwilling to provide technical support for one airline operating five airframes.

BA, running a more successful operation since the return to service, immediately went to Airbus to see how long they could get support for. The latest they could get was October 2003.

It was definitely AF, not some random Airbus decision out of the blue, that was the first push to the early retirement. There is some evidence that Airbus were not too willing to keep supporting Concorde, but it was AF who made the first move.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: EDICHC
Posted 2008-11-16 01:22:22 and read 8935 times.



Quoting LHR27C (Reply 14):
and were not going to allow any other manufacturer to provide the support either,

Would such obstruction on the part of Airbus not constitute an illegal restriction of trade under EU law?

Quoting David L (Reply 8):
wasn't variable-geometry, wasn't FBW,

Neither was Concorde. Of course there were many areas where Concorde, even by today's standards represented a very complex piece of engineering, the cockpit technology however was in the main from an only slightly later era than the Vulcan.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: SSTsomeday
Posted 2008-11-16 01:30:18 and read 8916 times.



Quoting David L (Reply 6):
Let's not forget that BA and AF own the aircraft so its really up to them what happens to them.

Well, I would argue that, if it is, this should not be the case. How is it that buildings/landmarks which are wholly privately owned can be deemed national monuments or part of national heritage whereby their owners do NOT have domain over whether or not they can be altered or destroyed? I can't imagine why the same kind of protection would not be afforded to Concorde.

Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
Well BA were soo against VS getting their aircraft that they made sure that when they were retired, all the hydralics and parts were disconected and drained to make sure that VS couldnt get its hands on them.

I have suspected something like this...

Quoting David L (Reply 6):
From what the experts here have said, it wouldn't be able to operate supersonically and many feel it's better to retire them than parade them has tired old has-beens, "limping" around airshows.

I would vote to have one operating, even sub-sonically, if a society or club of some kind could raise the money to do so... But I see their point.

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 9):
Lancasters, Spitfires, DC-3s and the like, and even the Vulcan are much simpler machines to be kept flying.

Yes - this is a reality.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
I imagine draining the systems of their fluids would be more an act of long-term preservation then one of "active denial" to a potential suitor.

Actually what I understood is that draining certain systems and keeping them that way for any length of time invites internal corrosion/deterioration that is very prohibitive/expensive to inspect and correct after the fact (but I am no engineer).

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 18):
The decision to retire Concorde from service was taken jointly by AF & BA after Airbus announced their intention to stop their technical support.



Quoting LHR27C (Reply 19):
I believe it was one final technical fault that really worried AF and in early April they announced a very rapid retirement so that they ended Concorde operations in May 2003.

What I recall is that Concorde had been struggling to make a profit post-911 due to fewer premium fliers and a sustained spike in fuel costs. THEN either Airbus or some governing body came up with a mandatory $200 million overhaul directive (this was post fuel tank lining) and both airlines threw in the towel rather than shoulder that additional, specific expense. Do I have that right?

What I DO remember is that I had about 120,000 Delta F.F. points and was saving to get 200,000 so I could fly AF Concorde to Paris... But - I'm not bitter...
 whiteflag 

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: B727LVR
Posted 2008-11-16 01:49:22 and read 8890 times.



Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
I imagine draining the systems of their fluids would be more an act of long-term preservation then one of "active denial" to a potential suitor.



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):
Actually what I understood is that draining certain systems and keeping them that way for any length of time invites internal corrosion/deterioration that is very prohibitive/expensive to inspect and correct after the fact (but I am no engineer).

Correct. Draining the system wether it be a fuel or hydraulic system is more detrimental to the system than leaving the system full. O-rings , hoses, and other sensitive componets will dry out and rot. The next time they are tried to be used, it will look like a fire sprinkler has gone off around it. Better bring some buckets and a lot of towles!!!

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: ConcordeBoy
Posted 2008-11-16 01:52:19 and read 8885 times.



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):

What I DO remember is that I had about 120,000 Delta F.F. points and was saving to get 200,000 so I could fly AF Concorde to Paris

...you would've only needed 40K more miles than you had, not 80K.

Quoting LHR27C (Reply 19):

This isn't true. Why would Airbus suddenly announce their intention to stop technical support if both airlines were happily operating the aircraft? Can you imagine the reaction if BA and AF were running a successful Concorde operation, and Airbus turned round and said sorry we're not going to support it any more?

FlySSC is correct.

AF got spooked after the F-BTSD (yes, I know what registration I just typed people, spare me) incident and more or less decided that they'd had enough. BA wanted to continue, true; but their decision to end the service, and their approach to Airbus, was indeed done jointly.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: B727LVR
Posted 2008-11-16 01:58:07 and read 8879 times.



Quoting LHR27C (Reply 19):
This isn't true. Why would Airbus suddenly announce their intention to stop technical support if both airlines were happily operating the aircraft? Can you imagine the reaction if BA and AF were running a successful Concorde operation, and Airbus turned round and said sorry we're not going to support it any more?

Isn't that basically what Boeing did when they took over Douglas? They basically stopped supporting the MD-11 line so they could promote the 747 or 777. Wouldn't be far fetched to see Airbus doing the same thing to promote some of their aircraft. Although I think Boeing is wishing that they hadn't done that now.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-16 02:29:40 and read 8832 times.

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):
What I recall is that Concorde had been struggling to make a profit post-911 due to fewer premium fliers and a sustained spike in fuel costs. THEN either Airbus or some governing body came up with a mandatory $200 million overhaul directive (this was post fuel tank lining) and both airlines threw in the towel rather than shoulder that additional, specific expense.

At the end of 2002, AF & BA studied the possibility to create a subsidiary airline (owned 50% by AF & 50% by BA) dedicated to Concorde operations. The purpose was to put in common their experience of supersonic flight, maintenance training, pares stocks, to lower the operation costs and maintain scheduled flight but also "organize" the profitability of Concorde with special flights, events, world tours (AF was much more into this kind of activity with Concorde than BA).
As a Concorde F/A, I was assiociated with some colleagues and Pilots to this pre-work.
They planned to keep only 8 aircraft active ( 4 AF a/c + 4 BA's). The other ones would be used for spares.
The project didn't go beyond as even under those conditions, AF/BA would need Airbus support and Airbus clearly said "No".
At that time, AF and BA took the final decision to retire Concorde.

[Edited 2008-11-16 02:39:01]

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-16 02:35:26 and read 9180 times.



Quoting LHR27C (Reply 19):
I believe it was one final technical fault that really worried AF and in early April they announced a very rapid retirement so that they ended Concorde operations in May 2003.



Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 23):
AF got spooked after the F-BTSD (yes, I know what registration I just typed people, spare me) incident and more or less decided that they'd had enough.

This incident on F-BTSD occured in Feb 2003 : important fuel leak, engine N°3 shut down, diverted to YHZ.

The decision to retire Concorde from service was already taken by AF & BA at that time. It is just one of the reason why AF finally decided to stop Concorde ASAP and not to continue beside BA until Oct. 2003.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: GDB
Posted 2008-11-16 03:48:08 and read 9063 times.

As one was in the BA Concorde Engineering operation at the time, I can state with confidence, from what I saw and heard, not from any bullshit from Branson, that BA did indeed fully investigate the possibility of running, perhaps with other sponsorship, a demo Concorde.
Which would have been G-BOAG - since that was one of the 'newer' airframes in terms of hrs/cycles in the BA fleet and was not due a heavy maintenance input.

The reason why it did not happen was that it was determined that having to maintain such an aircraft, would also mean maintaining much of the support operation which was required for full airline service.
This was extremely costly and increasingly so.
Therefore there was absolutely no way this was affordable, remember this was not to be a pax revenue service, reckon asking for literally millions of £ for EACH airshow appearence would have been viable?
Because that was what would have to have been done.

There was no way it could have been run without this level of technical support.
In the same way, for all his PR fluff, Branson was told, to his face, in May 2003, by both the CAA and Airbus, that even if BA and AF were selling, he could forget operating a Concorde.
(The meeting where he emerged to the cameras saying it had been positive and still not shutting up. So a liar then).
The expertise was just not there for him - I suspect he knew this, his aim, apart from PR, was probably limited to getting some in museums painted in VS colours so he could fool people into thinking he ever had anything to do with this amazing aircraft.
After all, latching himself on to the achievements of others is not so unusual.

I know some like to attack BA on Concorde, I just wish that those that did would just stop looking at this the wrong way around, like peering down the wrong end of a telescope.
BA saved it in the early 80's, when prior to privatisation most thought they'd scrap it, indeed a legacy from the 1970's, government support for the operation (in exchange for 80% of any profits made), was to end as well.

Well Lord King thought differently, so he directed that the operation be made into a profit centre which also allowed BA to buy out this government support.
This did make Concorde, at last, a great commercial success in service, it would spearhead the privatisation, not be killed by it.
AF would do something similar a few years later.

BA in the wake of the AF accident, pushed hard for the programme to return it to flight, which then was a technical unknown with significant commercial risks.
In this they had the backing of the then French transport minister as well as another organisation those who think Concorde was 'murdered' have little time for. Airbus.
The reason, or the main one, that the fruits of this effort would only last two years, was down to Sept 11th 2001, Bin Laden in other words.

BA also began, many years before, the charters that allowed many people, who otherwise would never have the chance, to experience supersonic flight.
AF followed this with great success for them too.
BA persisted with these right up to 2000, though the most common one, the LHR-LHR 'Round The Bays' brought in little profit.
(All charters, including the more complex, expensive ones, at their peak, only provided some 9% of BA Concorde revenue).

So call us the bad guys.

There was no single organisation out to 'kill' Concorde in 2003, the truth is more dull I'm afraid, it's just that a succession of events, not all directly Concorde related, combined to make the operation look unviable with no immediate prospect of improvement.
There was always going to be a point when the costs exceeded revenue, we reached that in 2003, not as some had thought, in 2005, 2007 or more optimistically, 2010.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Hoppe777
Posted 2008-11-16 04:14:02 and read 8875 times.

Great posts guys, although saddening it does bring some clarity to me as to why things happened the way they did.

I stilll remember walking to work and seeing the Concorde coming into land and also being there for the final flight  Sad Its what got me into plane spotting. I was in constant awe being in another country and seeing this great bird coming into land.

R.I.P CONCORDE

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-16 05:47:12 and read 8733 times.



Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
There was always going to be a point when the costs exceeded revenue, we reached that in 2003, not as some had thought, in 2005, 2007 or more optimistically, 2010.

In 1999, several events were organized to commemorate the 30 years of Concorde 1st flight ... In this occasion, I remember we were told during a meeting that AF & BA agreed to operate Concorde until 2007.
Then, technical investigations would decide possiby to continue Concorde operations until 2011.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: David L
Posted 2008-11-16 06:10:38 and read 8558 times.



Quoting EDICHC (Reply 20):
Quoting David L (Reply 8):
wasn't variable-geometry, wasn't FBW,

Neither was Concorde.

Which part? It had a moving nose/visor and was FBW.

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):
Quoting David L (Reply 6):
Let's not forget that BA and AF own the aircraft so its really up to them what happens to them.

Well, I would argue that, if it is, this should not be the case. How is it that buildings/landmarks which are wholly privately owned can be deemed national monuments or part of national heritage whereby their owners do NOT have domain over whether or not they can be altered or destroyed? I can't imagine why the same kind of protection would not be afforded to Concorde.

But that isn't the case.  Smile

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: LHR27C
Posted 2008-11-16 09:47:53 and read 7435 times.



Quoting EDICHC (Reply 20):
Would such obstruction on the part of Airbus not constitute an illegal restriction of trade under EU law?

To be honest, with the level of technical knowledge required to support the Concorde operation, and the amount of information Airbus had about the aircraft (having essentially been born out of the collaboration between BAC and Aerospatiale), I wonder if it would have been altogether feasible for another manufacturer to provide the technical support anyway.

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):
How is it that buildings/landmarks which are wholly privately owned can be deemed national monuments or part of national heritage whereby their owners do NOT have domain over whether or not they can be altered or destroyed? I can't imagine why the same kind of protection would not be afforded to Concorde.

All Concordes, certainly on BA's side, are well preserved (or supposed to be well preserved in the case of one or two...) in museums and BA keep a careful eye on them. Particularly in the post 2000 events, BA showed enormous commitment to Concorde, as GDB has said - it is difficult to see how any other airline could have operated the aircraft more successfully or been more passionate about it.

Of course there were some doubters within BA, such as the Head of Engineering at the time of the retirement, but the CEO in the early 2000s, Rod Eddington, was a huge Concorde supporter.

It would be fantastic to keep an aircraft flying and airworthy but the amount of money needed to do so is just too great. Any sort of operation would have needed a lot of BA backing, and if BA, with 27 years' experience with the aircraft, concluded that it could not be done, I think we should trust them.

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 23):
BA wanted to continue, true; but their decision to end the service, and their approach to Airbus, was indeed done jointly

Maybe I should have rephrased, AF and BA indeed jointly announced the retirement, but I would strongly argue the decision was kick-started more from the AF side than BA's.

Quoting B727LVR (Reply 24):
Isn't that basically what Boeing did when they took over Douglas? They basically stopped supporting the MD-11 line so they could promote the 747 or 777. Wouldn't be far fetched to see Airbus doing the same thing to promote some of their aircraft. Although I think Boeing is wishing that they hadn't done that now.

I don't think this really has much relevance, not least as Airbus do not offer a supersonic aircraft in their product line  Wink. With so few airframes, the support operation was very much a niche one, and only going to get more difficult as time went on.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: SSTsomeday
Posted 2008-11-16 10:25:51 and read 7321 times.



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 25):
At the end of 2002, AF & BA studied the possibility to create a subsidiary airline (owned 50% by AF & 50% by BA) dedicated to Concorde operations.

Seems like an appropriate effort. Many airlines who operate similar A/C types collaborate on maintenance, training, etc. I remember the KSS group in the 70s. KLM, Swissair and SAS I believe?

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
As one was in the BA Concorde Engineering operation at the time, I can state with confidence, from what I saw and heard, not from any bullshit from Branson, that BA did indeed fully investigate the possibility of running, perhaps with other sponsorship, a demo Concorde.

I am heartened to know that such an attempt was made.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):

The reason why it did not happen was that it was determined that having to maintain such an aircraft, would also mean maintaining much of the support operation which was required for full airline service.
This was extremely costly and increasingly so.
Therefore there was absolutely no way this was affordable, remember this was not to be a pax revenue service, reckon asking for literally millions of £ for EACH airshow appearence would have been viable?

A very informative post. Thank you.

Quoting Hoppe777 (Reply 28):
Great posts guys, although saddening it does bring some clarity to me as to why things happened the way they did.

Here here. Thanks everyone for your feedback.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Sevenforty
Posted 2008-11-16 11:35:51 and read 7188 times.

Well I just think it's incredible that an aircraft that cost so much to develop and construct and was so technically advanced (even to this day for a large commercial) was not kept operational for future generations to enjoy.

It's all about money I know but it all seems like a bit of a paradox to me but I suppose Concorde was before its time and that's why it was doomed. Can you imagine the hourly fuel bill at 1400 miles an hour with oil at $145 !! (and probably only at 40% passenger capacity)
The afterburners on for 5 minutes probably would of wiped out any profit !! lol

In a perfect world the British and French governments would of stepped in and kept one going from each fleet given that the aircraft was such an icon.

I was lucky enough once to sit on the flight deck of Concorde out of Kennedy and it was fantastic.....watching the crew ignite the burners, then the nose being raised and that turn just after rotation was quite an experience.

Anyways she's gone and it was always on the cards I guess with things being the way they are now. Just think some things are worth keeping no matter what the cost !

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: GDB
Posted 2008-11-16 12:03:33 and read 7141 times.

Sevenforty, when the retirement was announced on 10th April 2003, one post on here I think said it the best, from an enthusiast too, rather than an insider.

It said that Concorde retiring was like the death of a much loved, but elderly relative.
You knew it was coming, but it's still a shock.

But this also described how many of us inside the operation, or just at BA (and AF) felt too.

I prefer to look at it the other way, few expected back in the 70's or early 80's, for Concorde to last much more that 16-17 years.
Not counting any commercial issues - like the prospect of BA privatisation, which as I mentioned, could have been terminal for the aircraft too, had not Lord King been prepared to think out of the box.

With a revived BA operation into the mid/late 80's, it was expected by then for Concorde to last until the late 1990's/turn of the century.

After the 'Re-life 1' programme, technically at least, Concorde was expected to go to - allowing for utilisation at the then levels, to around 2005-2007.

After the AF crash in 2000, most thought that was the end, myself included.

Few aircraft have proved it's detractors wrong for so long in so many ways, but everything comes to an end, in the end.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Tdscanuck
Posted 2008-11-16 12:46:10 and read 7076 times.



Quoting B727LVR (Reply 24):
Isn't that basically what Boeing did when they took over Douglas? They basically stopped supporting the MD-11 line so they could promote the 747 or 777.

Boeing still supports MD-11's today. I think you're confusing supporting the production line with supporting the aircraft in service. Boeing still provides supports for DC-8's (and even DC-3's, I think).

I'm not sure about EASA, but the FAA requires that the TC holder provide support as long as there are N-registered aircraft of the type in service. The only thing the OEM can do is sell the TC to someone else.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: B727LVR
Posted 2008-11-16 16:27:28 and read 6868 times.



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 35):
Boeing still supports MD-11's today. I think you're confusing supporting the production line with supporting the aircraft in service. Boeing still provides supports for DC-8's (and even DC-3's, I think).

You are correct sir, I was confusing the two different lines.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: SSTsomeday
Posted 2008-11-16 16:45:04 and read 6871 times.



Quoting GDB (Reply 34):
I prefer to look at it the other way, few expected back in the 70's or early 80's, for Concorde to last much more that 16-17 years.

But what I expected, though, was a successor to Concorde, notably the 2707, to take supersonic flight to the masses as well as finally bring a profit to an A/C manufacturer. When that project was canceled, I expected another one to eventually be initiated. That seems to be increasingly unlikely - which is such a paradox, at face value, as we advance technologically.

But environmental issues, and the reality of fuel prices staying at high levels as India and China come on line as major energy users, renders supersonic airline travel something only in our imaginations for the foreseeable future. It seems like such a step backwards, but an inescapable one.

I'd like to see the day when fossil fuel resources are not used as much for ground-based consumption, thus reducing overall demand and taking price pressure off of the airlines, who have no alternative even though they only represent a fraction of fossil fuel use.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Mortyman
Posted 2008-11-16 17:02:26 and read 6839 times.

I remember in the late 90's or early 2000's there were two Concorde's at the same time at Sola Airport, Stavanger in Norway. The ques were loooong to see them. Not one, but two. A rare sight in my part of the world. There was actually 3 Concorde's visiting sola airport that same day... I beleave they were charter's flying passengers to and from the Queen Elisabeth 2 cruiseship.


Great pictures here:

http://home.chello.no/~skjold/STP/Visit/Concorde/concorde.htm

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Sevenforty
Posted 2008-11-17 02:33:09 and read 6515 times.



Quoting GDB (Reply 34):
Few aircraft have proved it's detractors wrong for so long in so many ways, but everything comes to an end, in the end.

I know GDB, you're right. I suppose it's just because I'm still reasonably young (!!) and not very practical. Concorde was just such an exciting aircraft to fly on. It was the only aircraft that you ever got a real sense of speed !

I loved the nudge back in your seat on take-off and over the Bristol channel with the afterburners. Then on landing being pushed forward against your seat belt when the brakes were put on. (No wonder the tyres were always knackered !)

It was just so much damn fun...and what a way to arrive in a town like NYC.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Cpd
Posted 2008-11-17 04:07:27 and read 6378 times.



Quoting AF2323 (Reply 10):

Actually, there is one Concorde still "alive", F-BTSD, at the air and space museum of Le Bourget. Although not in flying condition, the plane is kept in good condition by the "ME-QN" Concorde mainenance group. I think this is the only one that could be flying someday, but money is still the problem here.

Oh, that's never going to lift off again - there is no way it will happen. And even if it did look like happening, the powers that be would put a very swift stop to it. It wouldn't be politically expedient to support something like that.

Quoting Divemaster08 (Reply 3):
I however think that this was a shame. The only supersonic aircraft that flew in commerical service and it is now kept to the ground where she will spend the rest of her days.
I mean we have lancaster bombers and spitfires flying around (along with older aircraft) for display purposes and yet this magnificent bird is kept to the ground!

The Lancaster doesn't have:

- fly-by-wire
- reheated engines with computer controlled air-intake ramps and computer throttle control
- a 2000km/h plus top speed
- a 95.40T fuel load
- a complex fuel system
- a complex auto-pilot and auto-throttle system
- the Gonesse crash to its name

It might be the older generation of airliner, but in terms of complexity and advancement, it's right along with today's airliners - and that places it well out possibility for any average group to get it going again.

BA deserves to be commended for sending out the plane in a graceful and nice way, they retired it with some degree of dignity - and celebrated it for the wonderful thing it was.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-17 04:28:58 and read 6354 times.



Quoting AF2323 (Reply 10):
Actually, there is one Concorde still "alive", F-BTSD, at the air and space museum of Le Bourget. Although not in flying condition, the plane is kept in good condition by the "ME-QN" Concorde mainenance group.



Quoting AF2323 (Reply 10):
I think this is the only one that could be flying someday

F-BVFC stored by Airbus in TLS is also regulary maintained. But jut like SD or any other Concorde, it will never ly again.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: GDB
Posted 2008-11-17 10:22:57 and read 6116 times.

Funny you should mention the lack of a successor SSTSomeday, since it is nearly exactly 10 years since it became clear than there would be a big gap - maybe a permanent one - between the likely retirement date of Concorde and any new SST.

This is when Boeing and NASA ended their HSCT programme (part of which had involved getting a late production TU-144 flying for a time).
They just could not foresee in a realistic time-scale, for a new SST that had a sound business case and could even meet ever tightening enviromental demands too.
There was a big gap in even emerging technology needed to offset these issues.

Since they were looking at a date of no sooner than 2015 back then, for a operational aircraft, the gap between Concorde retirement (even with the most optimistic dates) and any new SST.

A smaller, lower key study by a European consortium had come to the same conclusions too.

But I would not call the B2707 any replacement for Concorde, rather it would have been rather like a supersonic 747 to Concorde's 767, in any fleet.
BOAC and AF had been on the 2707 options list too.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: MD-90
Posted 2008-11-17 10:39:45 and read 6068 times.



Quoting EDICHC (Reply 20):
Quoting David L (Reply 8):
wasn't variable-geometry, wasn't FBW,

Neither was Concorde.



Quoting Cpd (Reply 40):
- reheated engines with computer controlled air-intake ramps and computer throttle control

Would it be fair to call those intake ramps in the engines "variable-geometry?" Obviously the wing wasn't, but the nose and intake ramps were.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Theginge
Posted 2008-11-17 11:13:18 and read 6011 times.

Even if Concorde had been kept on beyond 2003 I think in the current climate it would have been grounded.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: David L
Posted 2008-11-17 11:45:55 and read 5954 times.



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 43):
Would it be fair to call those intake ramps in the engines "variable-geometry?" Obviously the wing wasn't, but the nose and intake ramps were.

Well, it was geometry that could be (had to be) changed in flight... complications that the Vulcan, Lancaster, etc, don't have.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Cpd
Posted 2008-11-18 02:11:59 and read 5735 times.



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 43):
Would it be fair to call those intake ramps in the engines "variable-geometry?" Obviously the wing wasn't, but the nose and intake ramps were.

Probably - depending on how strict you wanted to term variable geometry. Safe to say, any future SST (which I will refer to as ATSF) will not have those for reasons of reducing complexity.

I suspect a new SST will be around Concorde size, or a little bit larger (maybe 160 passengers) - and probably use some sort of Mid Tandem Fan engine, maybe like what Rolls Royce was proposing for the "Alliance" ATSF (future supersonic transport aircraft). Obviously now, we could improve on the idea even further.

Such an engine design would cut down that high exhaust velocity on take-off, making any ATSF a more reasonable proposition for airport neighbours.

The big problem now is the catastrophic state of the world's economies - and the delays inherent in building any modern airliner.

But I still suspect there is a small market for a well executed ATSF, and that the world economies will bounce back - and the oil price will not reach the giddy heights of $140+ per barrel. The other benefit is that supersonic transport flight is no longer a mystery. Airbus has tonnes of information and research to fall back on - and that should surely remove a large amount of the development cost and shorten the development time frame.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: SEPilot
Posted 2008-11-18 03:10:06 and read 5683 times.



Quoting B727LVR (Reply 24):
They basically stopped supporting the MD-11 line so they could promote the 747 or 777.

They just stopped building them; they have not stopped supporting them.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 35):

I'm not sure about EASA, but the FAA requires that the TC holder provide support as long as there are N-registered aircraft of the type in service.

I was told some time ago that if you called Pratt & Whitney about a radial engine you would get the answer "That thing is obsolete and you shouldn't be flying it. Goodbye." And yet there are still N-registered aircraft with P & W radials on them. There are many aircraft out there (such as the Beechcraft Musketeer) where the original TC holder is still in business but it is difficult if not impossible to get parts for. One of the last things I did when I ran the local airport was to inspect a Musketeer for the insurance company that had had a mishap at another nearby airport to see if we would repair it; my mechanic (who bought the business from me) was not interested in doing it after I described it to him. Turns out he was right; the landing gear had been damaged to the point that it needed new parts, and they were absolutely unobtainable. The plane ended up being scrapped, even though there was no structural damage, just landing gear. But Beechcraft is not making parts, and used parts are just not available.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: GDB
Posted 2008-11-18 12:15:25 and read 5482 times.

Well the Air Intake Control Units on Concorde, did have variable inlet ramps.
They affected, as in slowed down, the air going into the engine, since variable control surfaces alter airflow I'd call that a VG system, just not as externally obvious as swing wings!

Often overlooked, in all the arguments about the lack of commercial sales and enviromental rows that dogged it's early service, is just how advanced many features on Concorde were for it's time.
Many, with the lack of a successor, have not been bettered,

Our R/R rep in BA Concorde reckoned that in any studies for a powerplant for any new SST, they knew long ago that they'd not better the efficiency of the whole propulsion package on Concorde - the intakes, engine, nozzles, when at Mach 2 / 50,000+ feet.
It was all about, effectively, trying to work out how to do an engine that could achieve the same, but also somehow be like a modern high bypass engine for take off, subsonic and landing.

This has been one of the major technical hurdles still not solved, quite apart from all the other issues.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Aircellist
Posted 2008-11-18 15:23:06 and read 5365 times.



Quoting GDB (Reply 48):
Our R/R rep in BA Concorde reckoned that in any studies for a powerplant for any new SST, they knew long ago that they'd not better the efficiency of the whole propulsion package on Concorde - the intakes, engine, nozzles, when at Mach 2 / 50,000+ feet.

That means this engine was quite an achievement, 40 years ago!!! I honestly would have believed that newer airfoils, higher temperature materials, new engine controls, higher loading of the stages, or whatever suitable, would have bettered the efficiency, even at design point, so much later...

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Tdscanuck
Posted 2008-11-18 18:22:34 and read 5287 times.



Quoting Cpd (Reply 46):
Safe to say, any future SST (which I will refer to as ATSF) will not have those for reasons of reducing complexity.

The problem is that a commercial SST is going to burn a lot of fuel, no matter how you slice it, so efficiency will be at a premium, and you just can't get the efficiency from a fixed geometry nozzle.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 47):
Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 35):
I'm not sure about EASA, but the FAA requires that the TC holder provide support as long as there are N-registered aircraft of the type in service.

I was told some time ago that if you called Pratt & Whitney about a radial engine you would get the answer "That thing is obsolete and you shouldn't be flying it. Goodbye." And yet there are still N-registered aircraft with P & W radials on them.

This is being discussed on another thread, and I've had to rethink what I said. I had been assuming it was a blanket requirement, but it may have been the specific circumstance that I ran into (the 707). They may let it lapse on other things, or it may just be SACO, rather than the whole FAA.

There is a FAR that requires that the TC holder provide instructions for continued airworthiness...I'm not sure exactly how you get out of that requirement, or if it even applies to engine TC's rather than aircraft TC's.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: David L
Posted 2008-11-19 05:45:17 and read 5127 times.

Just to be clear on this "variable geometry" business... I noted the intakes separately and was thinking specifically of the nose when I referred to variable geometry. Whichever way you look at it, these are two of the many unusual features not present on the "easy" restoration examples used in comparison.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: GDB
Posted 2008-11-19 11:49:04 and read 4973 times.

Aircellist, check this out, in particular the section on supersonic cruise, which shows just how the whole package of intakes/engine/nozzles was so effective at Mach 2;

http://www.concordesst.com/powerplant.html

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Leezyjet
Posted 2008-11-19 15:35:42 and read 4882 times.

GDB,

I'm surprised you don't have a standard answer saved on your computer with links to all the threads over the last 5 years on this very subject that you can just copy and paste.

I've just had a read of that link you posted and in all the years I watched Concorde, I never knew about that No.4 engine problem. I will now have to dig out my old videos and watch them closely to see if I can notice it.

Concorde is such (was?) an amazing machine that just when you think you know everything there is to know, something else comes along to surprise you.

 Smile

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Cpd
Posted 2008-11-20 01:18:49 and read 4756 times.



Quoting Aircellist (Reply 49):


Quoting GDB (Reply 48):
Our R/R rep in BA Concorde reckoned that in any studies for a powerplant for any new SST, they knew long ago that they'd not better the efficiency of the whole propulsion package on Concorde - the intakes, engine, nozzles, when at Mach 2 / 50,000+ feet.

That means this engine was quite an achievement, 40 years ago!!! I honestly would have believed that newer airfoils, higher temperature materials, new engine controls, higher loading of the stages, or whatever suitable, would have bettered the efficiency, even at design point, so much later...

And it was quite an achievement. I guess the higher temperature materials aren't the worry - that was solved adequately with what had been used already, and I suspect the shape was already quite efficient. The engine is the major stumbling point.

Did RR ever get any further than proposal/drawing-board stage with the MTF engine? (this is aimed at anyone who might know). That was the engine that had been proposed as the solution to some of the problems. One of the books I have here has some excellent diagrams of it.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 50):

The problem is that a commercial SST is going to burn a lot of fuel, no matter how you slice it, so efficiency will be at a premium, and you just can't get the efficiency from a fixed geometry nozzle.

I wasn't thinking of the nozzle/bucket system, but the intakes.

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 53):

I've just had a read of that link you posted and in all the years I watched Concorde, I never knew about that No.4 engine problem. I will now have to dig out my old videos and watch them closely to see if I can notice it.

You mean the engine 4 running at a lower speed until 80-100kts? That was quite a peculiar problem - which fortunately had fairly simple solution (with a side affect of some special trimming required).

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Airbus-Insider
Posted 2008-11-20 02:17:58 and read 4726 times.

Nobody knows that the Toulouse Concorde was the last to fly in the world....it was used for test flights for AIrbus and only flew at nights. I have personally seen (and heard...!!!) it...
This was in winter 2003.
Cheers

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-20 04:12:46 and read 4642 times.



Quoting Airbus-Insider (Reply 55):
Nobody knows that the Toulouse Concorde was the last to fly in the world....it was used for test flights for AIrbus and only flew at nights. I have personally seen (and heard...!!!) it...
This was in winter 2003.

F-BVFC never left the ground after it landed in TLS on June 23rd 2003.

It was ony used for ground test (acceleration, rolling) conducted as part of the invetigations on the crash of F-BTSC.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: LHR27C
Posted 2008-11-20 04:44:50 and read 4601 times.



Quoting Airbus-Insider (Reply 55):
Nobody knows that the Toulouse Concorde was the last to fly in the world....it was used for test flights for AIrbus and only flew at nights. I have personally seen (and heard...!!!) it...
This was in winter 2003.
Cheers

?? The last ever Concorde flight was G-BOAF from LHR to FZO on 26th November 2003.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Nomadd22
Posted 2008-11-20 05:08:43 and read 4556 times.



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 4):
The Concorde took a significant chunk of Airbus, BA, and AF engineering and maintenance to work, plus an absolutely outrageous fuel bill. If anyone was willing to cough up the $$$, sure, but it's a *huge* $$$.

I'm not sure it would happen with any amount of money. The legal liabilities the manufacturers and operators retired along with the planes would likely be enough to keep them from being reactivated. When people sue, they'll go after the company who supplied lunch for the outfit that mined the aluminum to make the plane.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Airbus-Insider
Posted 2008-11-20 05:22:19 and read 4545 times.

It did leave the ground again...the tests you mentioned were done during daylight.
I am living next to the airport at LFBO, you don't miss a Concorde take off.
Anyway doesn't change anything, does it?

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Aircellist
Posted 2008-11-20 09:36:27 and read 4383 times.



Quoting GDB (Reply 52):
Aircellist, check this out, in particular the section on supersonic cruise, which shows just how the whole package of intakes/engine/nozzles was so effective at Mach 2;

GDB, thank you very much! Very interesting read.

If I get it, then maybe (maybe...) the "engine" part of the engine could be improved, marginally, (like fewer stages for the same compression ratio?) from the '50s-'60s technology, but in fact the aerodynamic work done on the inlet ramps would still be quite up-to-date, is it? And with it goes 63% of the power in supersonic cruise...

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: GDB
Posted 2008-11-20 11:28:01 and read 4320 times.

Leezyjet, so true, also for people involved with her, not just johnny come lately's like me, but even for much longer term veterans.

In part, because it's vintage meant it had only very limited B.I.T.E. equipment, so it was really case of being as some said, the last true engineers aircraft .

Then of course the sheer hours of sustained supersonic flight over all those years, unmatched by anything else.

Airbus-Insider, good try, but give it up, you are talking to someone who eat, slept, drank Concorde in his working life.
There were further investigation related ground tests after G-BOAF's last flight 26/11/03.
Besides, it's a very distinctive shape and very...well.....loud on take off.
Nothing else sounded like it.

Aircellist, one improvement package was mooted, shame it never happened, we could have really exploited the improvements some of these could have made;
www.concordesst.com/concordeb.hmtl

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2008-11-20 15:36:42 and read 4225 times.



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 32):
I remember the KSS group in the 70s. KLM, Swissair and SAS I believe?

You forgot the U. It was KSSU, the carriers you mention plus UTA. They ordered DC-10-30s with similar specifications and agreed to jointly maintain them.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Aircellist
Posted 2008-11-20 15:43:24 and read 4223 times.

GDB, thank you again! This is very interesting too. I remember reading something about Concorde B in Science et Vie, a French magazine, maybe 20 years ago...

A shame indeed. If I understand well, again, this -25 engine would have allowed Concorde to supercruise?

Also, this is totally subjective, but I feel the enlarged wing plan form is even more beautiful than the original one... Is there any model of this plane in existence somewhere?

(well, I can always dream... Somebody with better connexions and/or deeper pockets will surely have gotten hold of it before me!)

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: Airbus-Insider
Posted 2008-11-20 18:03:05 and read 4158 times.

Concorde F-BVFC did fly again after it's last official flight on June 27th 2003.

Last time I heard it taking off was in early December 2003 at 2am. My girl friend (working as an engineer on the A380 project at that time) inquired as rumours had spread within Airbus that AI uses the Concorde for test flights.
It turned out to be true and that it was used for research on their future SST.
Apparently on it's last test flight over the Atlantic they had an complete electrical failure and the whole operation ceased immediately. I never heard it again and whether or not the electrical story is true I heard it twice during that period...and you are talking to someone who lived in the vicinity of airports all his life.

I don't know who has access to the flight logs of FC, would certainly make an interesting read!

I am just telling you what I know and what I have witnessed. I certainly don't want to start arguing with anyone or put his/her expertise into question.

If anyone disagrees just ignore this message and we leave it at that.

Thank you

Regards!

Chris

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: FlySSC
Posted 2008-11-21 02:21:55 and read 4054 times.



Quoting Airbus-Insider (Reply 64):
Concorde F-BVFC did fly again after it's last official flight on June 27th 2003.

Come on Chris ... what you may have "heard" can be anything but a Concorde taking off ! and unless you can show pictures or any official "proof" of this supposed flight, all this is bulls**t !

Technically, it is very unlikely and even impossible.
Then, Why would Airbus use one Concorde for one single flight, and at night ???
In what way one single Concorde flight could help Airbus in the developpement of an hypothetical future SST while Airbus has all the informations they need and all the background of 27 years of regular supersonic commercial operations ?

Why would they use a Concorde for a flight, just a few weeks after the entire is grounded and nothing more since then, 5 years after ?

Don't take it personally, but as much as I would love to see and hear again a Concorde in the air, this never happened after Nov.26th 2003 and this will never happen again anymore.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: GDB
Posted 2008-11-21 17:31:00 and read 3864 times.

Yeah, no one would have noticed those 4 reheats on a night T/O.
Give it a rest.

Aircellist, Concorde actually did not need to apply reheat for the transition from transonic to Mach 1.7, but, odd as it sounds, it was actually more efficient to do so.
Given the rather short duration of reheat use.

The B model was essentially a way to exploit normal developments in engines, the improvements cited cancelling the need for any reheat use at all.
But given the almost non existent sales prospects by the mid/late 70's, the B model had little chance, I doubt if they even got as far as making a scale model for wind-tunnel testing.

Lengthening the aircraft further, (which had already been done from the prototypes to production models), would have meant adopting an 'area-rule' config for the fuselage.
This would have meant a very major exercise in re-design and production re-tooling.

Topic: RE: Why Was One Concorde Not Saved For Demos?
Username: David L
Posted 2008-11-22 03:25:13 and read 3787 times.



Quoting GDB (Reply 61):
Aircellist, one improvement package was mooted, shame it never happened, we could have really exploited the improvements some of these could have made;

Yet more "what could have been" from our aviation history.  Sad

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 63):
If I understand well, again, this -25 engine would have allowed Concorde to supercruise?



Quoting GDB (Reply 66):
Concorde actually did not need to apply reheat for the transition from transonic to Mach 1.7, but, odd as it sounds, it was actually more efficient to do so.

And, to clarify, it already did supercruise above Mach 1.7. A lot of people seem to be under the impression that reheat was used for the whole of the supersonic phase.


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