Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3 Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7235 times:
Actually, a Mercure did cross the Atlantic. There was one at Eastern's Miami facility in the mid 1970's (summer 1974, I think) on a demonstration flight. I talked to Eastern's manager of DC-9 flying and he said that it was an excellent flying airplane.
CF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 885 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7181 times:
Too bad it didn't do better in the market. I have some old Mercure sales lit and the interior was nice. It featured the enclosed overhead bins (new at the time) and was billed as being wider than the Boeings. In fact, this may have inspired the A320's cabin 15 years later.
It sounds like Hughes Airwest was interested but some unfortunate circumstance with the dollar vs. the franc made the plane too expensive. Perhaps this fact, as much as the range, made it a non-player in North America. EA could probably have made good use of them out of ATL or the northeast US, where the 150 pax capacity with only two engines instead of three would have been cheaper to run than a 727-200.
IslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7126 times:
Dassault Mercure WAS a joke. A 737-200 copy (same engines even!) that, as the joke says, could barely leave France. A nice, well-built plane that was totally useless outside of Air Inter.
That's what happens when you let socialist governments bankroll and control private industry. No private endeavor would build ten planes and call it a day. You'd think they would have learned their lesson from the VC-10 and Trident fiascos, but no. Finally with the Airbus, the socialist governments allowed them control over the design, even if they bankrolled the development...and we see the success it is now.
Why is there still no Mercure history in the listing on a.net?
DaV From Italy, joined Jun 2001, 669 posts, RR: 10 Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7031 times:
You'd think they would have learned their lesson from the VC-10 and Trident fiascos, but no.
I was almost sure that both the Trident and the Vc-10 were British design...
Dassault Mercure WAS a joke. A 737-200 copy (same engines even!)
Simply put: it wasn't. The Air Inter requirements was for a B727 dimension aircraft with B732 economics to be operated on domestic routes. Dassault performed exactly the task. For your information, also the Dc9 used the same P&W JT8D engines... that should advice you wich was the most popular engine on short haul aircraft at the time.
I suggest you to read carefully the article posted by Alain.
Doug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3303 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7007 times:
both the trident and VC-10 were created as private endeavors to meet the requirements of BEA and BOAC respectively. BEA asked HS or avro or whoever it was at te time to shrink their original design and reduce its range to lighten it. After they began operating, they complained it didn't have the range or payload neccesary for profit! The VC-10 was designed and built with long haul flying and short field operations in mind. These incongrous tasks ended up making a rather heavy aircarft. BOAC then cancelled half their VC-10 orders and started buying RR powered 707-420s, then gave up completely on the homeland, and bought PW powered 707-320s. Both aircraft were victims of their poorly run lunch customers, not any "socialist state"
Thomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3781 posts, RR: 24 Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6983 times:
It never ceases to amaze me how someone will speak negatively on a subject they know very little about and or did little or no research on the given subject. Personally I have always been intrigued by this plane and I am glad to see that it is a object of discussion.
Let's not turn this into a US vs Europe' debate. That is what the 'non-aviation' forum is for.
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3211 posts, RR: 4 Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6892 times:
Interesting article there Alain. Yes, the Mercure intrigued me as well and since it quietly disappeared from the radar screens 8 years ago little had been published about its history. All talk about governments aside, Mercure is a lesson showing what happens when a company devotes itself to designing an aircraft with just one customer in mind (contrast planes like A320 and 777 where several customer potentials were consulted). One may then say that planes like TriStar and DC-10 were also built to 1 customer's specs (AA in that case) but, as Alain mentions, the radical shift in the market in the mid 70s (following the oil crisis) which killed off the Mercure's chances actually favoured the two trijets, as they offered larger capacity with greater fuel economy over 707s and DC-8s and thus were highly viable planes. In like manner the A300 which was also in the works at the time gained a major boost as it too was a design well suited to those troubled times.
As to why no listing of Mercure exists in the data section, that seems to be because the listings include currently active types - which the Mercure is not. The book that the listings are derived from - namely International Directory of Civil Aircraft - is updated every 2 years and retired types are deleted.
Islandhopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6665 times:
I hadn't read that excellent article posted by Alain...as you might know info on the Mercure is hard to find, thus my request for an entry in the a.net airliner history section. I never represented myself as an expert...my apologies for my technical misunderstandings.
I actually like the Mercure, but still hold that it serves no use for anyone but Air Inter, and that a privately funded venture would not have built that plane. I had read that the Mercure project was 75% financed by the French government. Socialism at its finest.
>both the trident and VC-10 were created as private endeavors to meet the requirements of BEA and BOAC respectively
Come on, what private venture would design an entire plane for only one airline. There HAD to be major government/political control on these projects.
I did not intend for this to be a political US vs. whoever debate, simply making the point that the VC10, Trident, and Mercure wouldn't have been built by anything but a government controlled or funded enterprise.
Doug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3303 posts, RR: 3 Reply 18, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6656 times:
the expectation was that both e vc-10 and trident would be popular outside of britan and her (ex)colonies. BEA and BOAC were lunch customers, so they set forth the design requirements. At the time both seemed to know less about hte airilne industry than the airframe manufactueres.
DaV From Italy, joined Jun 2001, 669 posts, RR: 10 Reply 20, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6574 times:
Come on, what private venture would design an entire plane for only one airline
If I'm not mistaken Boeing started B737 production over an order for a dozen of aircraft from a single foreing airline -namely Lufthansa- before orders started to arrive for the bigger -200 version, wich was still under development.
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6131 posts, RR: 55 Reply 21, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6552 times:
The Mercure was a good plane, probably one of the best.
The prototype was somewhat shorter than the Air Inter production version and would have had a pax and range capability nuch the same as a B737-200.
No orders came up, mostly because it came too late. Airlines were already committed to 1-11, DC-9, 737 or F-28.
Then Air Inter asked Dassault to modify it for its needs, a high capacity short range plane tailored for their network. Dassault accepted that, still hoping for orders for the original more conventional version. But competition was too tough, and the Mercure came too late on the market.
Even the short fuselage prototype was rebuilt and put into service by Air Inter, of course with their standard fuel tank configuration - a separate certification for one plane would be pointless.
What other plane in the history of aviation can show the same record as the Mercure? Tailored exactly to the customers need every single example ever built made sterling service, accident free, with very high number of take offs and landings for 25 years.
Why did Air Inter keep them that long time? It cannot be because of "commonality" or because of simple and easy spare parts service. It can only be because...
The Mercure was a good plane.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm