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What Comes After Concorde?  
User currently offlineARGinMIA From Argentina, joined Nov 2001, 487 posts, RR: 5
Posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2335 times:

What are BA and Air France going to do once they have to get rid of the Concorde? Don't you think that after sooo many years and with all the new technologies we will be able to build a much efficient supersonic aircraft? What would the market for a Concorde replacement be.. And I'm talking Mach 2 no the Sonic Cruiser ... The bad thing about Concorde is that is to expensive to operate. I think that a 2006 version would be MUCH cheaper to operate.. So.. If BA can make a profit with Concorde.. Why not with a much cheaper aircraft.. I can see hundreds of markets where you can use it.. Charge the passengers First Class fares.. And for sure you'll get it full all the time


Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

All the major manufacturers have done extensive studies, but all show the same.

Major environmental problems, (and this time any project will want plenty of firm orders, not just a bunch of options like Concorde had pre-1973), so assume a big production run.
Concorde's tiny numbers and few flights mean no environmental problems that are at all noticeable, (unless you are under the flightpath on take off!)
Most people don't mind Concorde's roar once or twice a day, they look up and enjoy, that would not happen with several flights an hour.

So this would be a major problem, along with high altitude pollution, the inability to go supersonic overland and costs.
Quite simply designing an engine that combines the low-noise, low-emissions and fuel efficiency of a modern high bypass turbofan, then turns itself into something that can match Concordes Olympus 593 turbojets for supercruise, looks a very difficult, expensive challenge.
And you will need an engine that can match the Olympus engine's high efficiency at Mach 2.

There is work going on to design airframes that can restrict the sonic boom, but just 'restricting' the boom overland still may not be enough, besides a large airliner incorporating this design is many years away.
Even if something that could meet current environmental standards could be designed, by the time it entered service standards could well be tighter.

Even the term supersonic transport is controversial, hence studies being called things like High Speed Civil Transport, (by Boeing).
Will the airlines want a 200-300 seat 6000-mile range airliner (which any Concorde successor will have to be, if it cannot do trans-Pacific it's bust before it starts), even if you could have one which could meet the technical/environmental challenges?
Well no, it would suck first/business class passengers from conventional airliners, what airlines want that?
(Only BA have consistently said they want a Concorde replacement).

In 1999 Boeing ended it's HSCT studies, in 2000 Airbus chose to launch the A380, a large conventional airliner, this sealed the fate of any Concorde replacement before the aircraft is retired.
And now it looks like Boeing is abandoning even a Mach 0.98 transport, designed to avoid the problems of supersonic flight, so what chance a Mach 2 SST?

I know how strange it sounds that post 2010 it will take 7-8 hours to cross the Atlantic again, with all the technical advances since Concorde.
But Concorde was designed and built in a different age, less risk-averse, not so concerned with the environment, with most airlines being state-owned or heavily regulated.
In fact, it was designed in the same era as the Apollo programme, this month it's 30 years since the last men left the Moon, who would have thought that then?
Same applies to Concorde, it could well be a similar gap between retirement and replacement.




User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2296 times:

Its been generally proven that the "scientific proof" of high altitude pollution just didn't bear up under scrutiny.

The future... low-boom supersonic aircraft. Gulfstream is diligently pursuing it, as it Northrup Grumman. I'm obviously not a fluid dynamics expert, but the info is pretty convincing.

Someone posted about this few weeks back. Search for it there's a good link.

N


User currently offlineARGinMIA From Argentina, joined Nov 2001, 487 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2236 times:

If a plane that produces lets say 1/4 of the polution on the concorde an hour.. flies for 7/8 hours isnt that the same amount or more than what the concorde can produce flying only for 2 1/2 hours? Besides.. How loud can a sonic boom be when the plane is flying at 50.000 ft?


Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2215 times:

I believe we will see a Mach 1.7-1.9 200-220 seat SST derived from the research into the Sonic Cruiser and the sonic-boom reducing aerodynamics by at latest 2014.

Such a plane will likely have a range of around 7,000 nautical miles, more than enough to fly JFK-NRT non-stop. And because the shape of the new SST is derived from the new aerodynamic research into lowering the sonic boom levels, the plane will be able to fly at 60,000 feet at Mach 1.7 with no audible sonic boom on the ground. This could make it possible to reduce the transit times of LHR-SIN from 14 hours to just under 8 hours!  Big thumbs up

Of course, the plane will sport new variable-cycle engines that will meet ICAO Stage IV noise regulations on takeoff and landing but have enough power to propel the airliner to Mach 1.7-1.9 at cruising altitude.


User currently offlinePinsent From Canada, joined Jul 2001, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2207 times:

I can hear Concorde at 0930 AST and 1800 AST every day as it passes well east of Halifax NS (double boom). I see it on flight explorer and it must be 150-200 nm off the coast of Nova Scotia. The boom isn't that loud (really low pitch), but if there is a window open in the house, the curtains will move about 4 inches! Cool.

User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3402 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2170 times:

I think that a 2006 version would be MUCH cheaper to operate.. So.. If BA can make a profit with Concorde.. Why not with a much cheaper aircraft.. I can see hundreds of markets where you can use it.. Charge the passengers First Class fares.. And for sure you'll get it full all the time

The concorde will never make up for devolpment costs. So, actually, it will never make money. The costs for such an aircraft will be, as of now too high for just first class tickets prices.


User currently offlineARGinMIA From Argentina, joined Nov 2001, 487 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2138 times:

I really think that in 10 years a computer would be capable of doing a lot of the work involved.. and save a lot of money


Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2116 times:

You'll hear a sonic boom at high altitude, Concordes boom footprint is some 20 miles wide, anything like it will never be acceptable overland.
It is interesting that all the talk in the past 10 years or so of a supersonic business jet, has not produced an aircraft, or come anywhere near, so what chance an airliner?
Yes the UK and French governments bit the bullet and accepted that the economic situation in the 1970's meant that they would never get their money back, however for the past 20 years BA Concorde has been free of any kind of subsidy, and that's when BA sharpened up its running and at least found it profitable.
BA, private from 1987, then generated large tax revenues for government, Concorde played a small, but significant part in that.
For the industry, at least the UK and France got some technological progress from it, and it proved that European collaboration was essential for the future
The US government paid for 90% of the B2707's development costs, it was written off without an aircraft being built, the costs matched the UK's contribution to Concorde.
There is one other airliner that was built in fewer numbers than Concorde, and with 50% less operators, the Dassault Mercure, 10 of which were built for Air Inter.
But that was a much lower profile project!
And for those of us that remember the moves to try to block Concordes access to the US, (not so much the ill-informed protestors around JFK), but those at a political level who were motivated by sour grapes, every day it flies is like a big finger at them!


User currently offlineCatpac From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2102 times:

RayChuang,

What makes you think that by the latest 2014 there will be a supersonic airliner on the market? I strongly disagree. If by 2014 a new generation SST is to be flying, then the Research & development of it should be well underway by now. Even so, I don't think that an SST would be commercially viable, as the pressure is on the airlines to provide services with maximum efficiency, hence the development of Super jumbos.


User currently offlineContinentalEWR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3762 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2073 times:

What comes after Concorde?? A piece of the tail.



User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2066 times:

Catpac,

Because by 2014 the Concorde may have run up enough airframe life that a successor will have to be developed anyway.

Recent research has shown that it can be possible with the right aerodynamic profile to reduce the sonic boom to inaudiable levels; I don't think we'll see a future SST fly at Mach 2 like the Concorde does but even a Mach 1.7 "quiet" SST with 7,000 nautical mile range will be a major improvement over the Concorde, and unlike the Sonic Cruiser the "quiet" SST flying at Mach 1.7 will definitely offer very tangible time saving benefits (somewhere just under 40% less flight time). Imagine being able to fly from LHR to NRT in around seven hours instead of nearly twelve hours! Or fly LHR-JFK in 4 hours 35-40 minutes instead of over seven hours.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

Very droll ContinentalEWR!
But on that point, what if the papers were to heavily report every airline incident, including the vast majority that are not safety related, like the OAE tail incident?
Wouldn't be much room for any other news.

While I'm certain there will not be a proper Mach 2 SST replacement for Concorde when retirement comes, I'm saddened by that fact.
In today's airliner market, efficiency, down to the last %, is king.
But what will it bring us? More Mach 0.85 aircraft, oh but you'll have on-board internet access.
Big deal.

Think for a moment of the great technical innovations all around us, that we take for granted. Today's vast, bloated army of accountants, lawyers, 'consultants' etc, all would have cautioned against taking the risks to make these things happen, muttered about poor cash-flow potential and not of seeing a market, worse that mantra of 'poor shareholder value'.

Concorde was a financial disaster for the two governments of the day, but think of all the billions pissed away in Military/Industrial Complex failed projects, the untold millions that always seem to be spent on consultation fees these days, for the all but the simplest projects, (even a new sports stadium for Wembley, or worse doing some rail modernization, hardly rocket science are they?)

Sure we should learn from previous mistakes, be mindful of the need to control costs, properly evaluate risks, (and these factors do rule out a mass market SST in the foreseeable future, but if more research into solving the problems had been done by now, would a viable SST be so far off?).

I just cannot help thinking that we are more concerned now with the process of doing things rather than actually doing them, and a self-perpetuating industry, which does not create anything, has built up as a result.

If airlines were prepared to pay for a niche aircraft, serving a niche market, accept that despite big improvements from Concordes time, environmental considerations would limit a 200-250 seat, 6,000 mile, Mach 2 SST, building on Concorde experience, to say a 150-200 aircraft production run.

It would be expensive to buy, would really be optimised for overwater long-haul, with just First and Business class. It would resemble a stretched, aerodynamic improved Concorde, but most of the development cost would be put into developing the necessary Variable-cycle or Mid tandem-fan engines. But many of today's more efficient production techniques, newer and lighter materials and avionics, would of course have their part to play.

Something like the aircraft described above, (and I'm thinking of the 1990's Aerospatiale Alliance and BAe AST proposals here), is the only way a foreseeable Concorde replacement could emerge not too long after BA and AF retire their current SSTs.
But it absolutely won't happen, very probably it would be far too risky both financially and maybe technically, even with the attractions for the trans-pacific market.
But the point is, we are never going to know if that really is the case.





User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2038 times:

I don´t think the Concorde will be replaced by anything, "bigger is better" A380
and a larger B747 will replace them, the current Concorde passengers will have to stay at the spacious upper deck of these birds. It´s like the An225 nothing will carry as heavy cargo as this bird, sad but true....


User currently offlineARGinMIA From Argentina, joined Nov 2001, 487 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

What about a ConcordeNG ?? I guess they keept all the info on how to build the original? so just to updated a little bit like what boeing did with the 737.. ??


Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1989 times:
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I would dearly love to see a replacement for Concorde but as GDB pointed out, there are too many economical and financial obstacles in the way. And although Concorde wasn't a commercial success, it was still a engineering masterpiece.

Arsenal@LHR



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineJohn g From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1986 times:

Bits of the rudder..............

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1960 times:

The production equipment for Concorde was broken up, by both nations, the UK has a habit of doing this but an unusual move by the French.
So when new rudders were built by BAe in 1992/3, (and didn't they do a good job-not!) new jigs were needed, at considerable cost, (not that anything to do with customer support on this aircraft is ever cheap).
That's another issue with the supportability of the aircraft, it's not accurate to think that because some airframes could last until 2014, probably without significant modification, that this shows the out of service date.
You also have to throw into the mix the will and/or ability of the descendant companies of the manufacturers to provide support, the availability of engineering personnel familiar with the type, any likely system obsolescence and the cost of fixing this.





User currently offlineCatpac From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1908 times:

RayChuang,

I think your theory is based on speculation and personal opinion. And there is nothing wrong with that, because I have no factual information that such a project will not happen. What I am saying though, is that it will be hard for an SST to match the operating efficiency of B777/A340/A380. And we all know that todays airlines will do anything to provide their services with minimal expenditure.


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