B757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 24 Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2710 times:
What I find interesting is the article says the grounding of Concorde is due to the current economy and war in Iraq. I would think that if the only problem with Concorde was low yield, they would either reduce flights or return the fleet to service when the economy improved. There is more to this than the current state of the economy.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12970 posts, RR: 79 Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2662 times:
Certainly is, the poor and increasingly expensive support from the manufactures for one.
This new £40 million in increased maintenance is for things like a new GPWS, new INS, a lot of 'small ticket' items, rather than major stuff to do with the structure.
And that was in the near term.
But all the things that normal airliners encounter with mods, inspections, new avionics, keeping up with new work requirements and advances in airspace management are much more expensive on Concorde.
The article got one thing wrong, at least on BA aircraft, the liner mod did NOT cut payload, we flew (and will again in August) the LHR-BGI route post mod.
No change to the 80 pax restriction than before on that service.
When the mod was first revealed we all thought that was the end of BGI flights, it was not, and they are very profitable, though only flown once a week during the main December to April season.
But again in BA's case making a small profit overall has been deemed not to be enough to support the increasing costs of supporting the operation, these costs have jumped recently.
Another factor is Concorde's link to BA's first class product, which is in decline, on 6 routes 1st class cabins will be dropped, more will follow.
If AF had to cut 8 seats on their fleet was was probably to do with a heavier interior.
Gordonroxburgh From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2000, 550 posts, RR: 21 Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2539 times:
BA allegedly spent £31M including the interiors. 17 on safely and 14 on interiors (they have said though that the final cost was £47M...ouch)
Although for BA, Concorde was making a small profit it simply could not replay the investment or the additional investment so stop now. AF were loosing shit loads as the Americans stopped flying on AF.
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6136 posts, RR: 55 Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2486 times:
I don't think that the article mentiones the real reason for grounding the Concorde: It has become obsolete.
An explanation is needed here.
Developments are not always liniar. From a hundred years ago faster and faster and more luxury passenger liners were crossing the pond. Until it ended. Airliners took over. They were not nearly as lux as the ships, but faster and cheaper.
In the 60'es the Concorde was a natural development. All the speed we could possibly get was important for the busy few.
But already around 1990 the Concorde got somewhat "oldfashioned". It simply wasn't fast eneough, and it gradually was overtaken by video conferencing, email, document sharing on world wide data networks etc.
The Concorde lived on. It enjoyed a quite healthy charter business for the rich, which contributed significantly to its economy. The same way as the rich go on luxury cruise liner tours even if the ship has long time gone out of fashion as a means of passenger transport.
On 26th July - the day after the Paris tragedy - I wrote on this forum: "This is it, the Concorde will never fly again". I was too pesimistic. But as we can see today also realistic.
Supersonic business travel is a shrinking business. (In fact all business travel is shrinking). The supersonic charter business evaporated overnight on 25th July 2000. Up to that day, if you had flown on the Concorde, everybody would say, wow, wish it was me, tell me how it was? From 26th July 2000 they would instead ask: How dared you? The glory had evaporated.
The Concorde had it's glorious period, mainly the 80'es. Now it's an unneeded thing like Titanic, Queen Elizabeth II etc.
Sorry gents, but that's the way it is. We won't see supersonic travel again during the next one hundred years. Not because speed isn't needed, but because supersonic is too slow.
Regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12970 posts, RR: 79 Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2471 times:
A very good editorial in this weeks Flight, which I cannot link sadly.
Mainly about the huge industrial legacy to European collaborative programmes, out of all proportion to the actual aircraft built.
It also gave an example of the costs, those new blast proof cockpit doors? $25000 for the average Boeing, $300,000 for a Concorde.
Just 3 years ago this 'obsolete' aircraft in BA service was running two services each way between London and New York, mostly full, making a £15-20 million profit per year in the late 1990's.
Even with around 280 charters per year, they actually made up just 9% of Concorde revenue.
Now the industry has changed, Sept 11, the recession and other factors.
It flew during the post 1991 war and associated airline recession, but it's much worse this time, and costs have shot up.
RIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1785 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2409 times:
"Up to that day [25th July 2000], if you had flown on the Concorde, everybody would say, wow, wish it was me, tell me how it was? From 26th July 2000 they would instead ask: How dared you? The glory had evaporated." - no, Preben. I had my supersonic round trip to London in January, 2002. Since then during several months I heard only these "wow, wish it was me, tell me how it was?" The glory is there and, yes will stay there forever. The wonderful flying machine is not "obsolete because too slow". It is just "too slow for what it costs", or "too expensive for how fast it flies". But as soon as there is a way to significantly decrease the costs (aerodynamics, engines, totally new kind fuel, whatever else ... - and, please, forget saying "this will never happen" - those guys who lived in caves were definitely sure such a thing as TV "will never happen"!), we'll see the supersonic flight again. May be, yes, in 100 years. May be more. May be much less. But if M0.9 is not too slow (otherwise how all those ocean liners disappeared?), then how M2.0 can be too slow? Just way too expensive. So far.
Many thanks to the marvelous flying machine for it happened during our lifetimes...
AvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2445 posts, RR: 9 Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2368 times:
"I would expect a supersonic business jet to fly well within 100 years, maybe within 10. That would satisfy the need for those few who must make that trip to do so. But that is just my opinion..."
You're probably right. From what I've read, it's much more likely that a supersonic biz-jet will be developed way before another SST will. Dassault had an active program for an SSBJ but I believe it's now on hold. Boeing is probably doing studies for one, perhaps based on Sonic Cruiser architecture but there's really nothing in the pipeline, right now. Perhaps in another 10 to 15 years, one of these will become a reality.