Setjet From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1130 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2712 times:
When the Concorde was re-introduced after the crash in Paris British Airways was going to equip the Concorde with newly designed lavatorys by a company called Britax. I think the designer was Terry Conran and the images that were released beforehand were stunning.
After the decision was made that the Concorde would be retired obviously no modifications were started anymore. The only question remaining:
Why weren't they installed in the first place?
Where are they now? (I have a little space left in my attic... )
Are there any published images anywhere?
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13448 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2551 times:
The advent of a new Engineering Manager at BA in late 2001, who disliked Concorde and those who worked on it, had the chance to wield the axe in the wake of the Sept 11th downturn.
So about 50% of Concorde Engineering staff were transferred to plug gaps elsewhere in Engineering caused by mismanagement.
The result being that not only were we limited in the amount of flights we could run (which after the retirement announcement with the very high loads that followed, meant that BA could not take full advantage of this, we did well, making £5 million per week, but previous flying rates, double daily scheduled and charters, could have doubled that).
Also an effect on downtime, on scheduled checks and this new job of fitting new lavs and galleys, which BA had brought and paid for.
Inevitably the new lavs, being the first vacuum type on Concorde, had glitches and delays, nothing new really but now we could not do both this and the routine work, unlike in the past.
G-BOAB, which had not had the tank mods, (but was expected to eventually get this done and return to service by the fall of 2003), was chosen to test out the fitment of this new equipment, not being operational we could take our time and work through the problems making operational aircraft quicker to do.
But the staff cuts made that difficult, as well as new requirements like the April 9th 2003 deadline for fitting new cockpit doors.
So halfway through the test fit on OAB in November 2002, it was abandoned.
The better part of £14 million pissed away.
But hey, they can spend £100 million on an IT system massively delayed and still not working.
I understand the lavs were sent back to Britax, some parts may be used on other BA types.
Our esteemed Engineering Manager could not believe his luck when AF pulled out, unlike his predecessors he did absolutely nothing to back the BA case for Concorde.
He undemined the stand alone relaunch 'Concorde Alliance' as proposed by some current and former BA Concorde people and under active consideration by Eddington right up until October, I never mentioned it on here before recently as that would betray a confidence and raise people's hopes.
At the end of the day, if BA had a united front, they could have maybe made Airbus more reasonable by threatening never to buy any of their aircraft again, AF pulling out would still have been terminal for the BA operation as it was, we all knew that, but we could have got longer support from Airbus as Eddington wanted, (until April or maybe October 2004) and possibly given 'Concorde Alliance' a chance.
(Flight International has reported on this proposal on page 7 of the current issue).
Too late now though.