srilankan_340
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Branson At It Again With Concorde

Thu May 22, 2003 7:05 pm

He was all over the TV channels here last night with his propaganda bandwagon about Virgin operating Concorde.

These are some of the main points :

He and a team met with Airbus officials (Airbus does the Concorde maintenance) yesterday for an initial meeting to "get an accurate idea of the cost of spares and so on and hopefully that will provide us with more ammunition in our campaign. "

Virgin if successful plan to fly it to JFK, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

(Note that BA are currently flying to JFK and Barbados and Concorde's inaugural flight was to Bahrain.)

He further commented "Hopefully we'll be able to embarrass BA into not scrapping Concorde"
- Aha.... So that's your motive, not about saving one of Great Britain's icons and possibly the only supersonic passenger aircraft to grace our skies ever?

He appeared on ITV's This Morning programme yesterday,did an interview, and came back into the studio after his interview has finished on hearing that BA's CEO Rod Eddington was on the phone to the programme. He then accused Rod E of making a phone call to Airbus to tell them not to support Virgin's move!! When the show's host asked how did RB know about the phone call, RB replied that Airbus told him!!

In my opinion,that answer shows how childish his behavior is, not at all like a chairman of a large company. Even a child of 10 would see through that answer!!

He wants to show BA as the Big Bad Bully at each and every opportunity!

He had also visited the Imperial War Museum's aviation branch at Duxford, Cambridge, where he toured one of the early models of Concorde, which is on show in a hangar.

Call me a cynic, but if that wasn't done for a Photo opportunity I'd be dammed! One does not need to go look at an early prototype to see what the real thing is. All he needs is to buy a ticket and travel on the real thing! But then, how can he get his photo taken standing next to it?
I am afraid as things are at present, the only chance that he will have to board Concorde is the prototype model !

Just my tuppenny's worth.....


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self- centered: Forgive them anyway - Mother Theresa
 
mirrodie
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Thu May 22, 2003 11:49 pm

I don;t knowif that's his intention. I meant, think about it. It sucks now that the trip across the pond will take 7 + hours. That 3+ hour time shaved off was TRULY remarkable.
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
fritzi
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:00 am

First he will have to draw up a new Virgin C/S because the one he has now will not be able to be painted on Concorde.

Dream on Richard......................
 
777236ER
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:05 am

BA should offer him the airworthy frames, at a reasonable cost obviously. If he wants the slots and engineering facilities he'll have to pay more of course. BA really should call his bluff.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:13 am

Go Branson! Go Branson. I really hope he gets those planes. If he does, I'm so there!
Go big or go home
 
Shamrock_747
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:37 am

At least now he seems to be doing the right thing by having meetings with Airbus managers. Branson trying to get British Airways to sell him their Concorde fleet is pointless without the backing of Airbus.

If BA said today that Virgin are getting the Concordes on November 1st, but Airbus maintain theie position of not supporting any operator after October 31st, we'd end up with seven grounded Concordes parked at LHR.

If Branson can get the support of Airbus and comes up with a decent plan to keep some of the aircraft flying that would be great, but if he can't get a deal with Airbus then I think he should just drop it and let BA get on with their retirement plans.

Shamrock_747
 
airman99o
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:45 am

funny they think that the Concorde was the only SST in service ever. I happen to recall the Tupolev 144

Airman99o
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aa61hvy
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:57 am

If I recall the Tu 144 crashed in testing, and never actually entered service.
Go big or go home
 
Shamrock_747
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 1:03 am

A Tu-144 crashed at the Paris Air Show in 1973, but eventually a limited passenger and mail service began within the USSR. Flights were stopped in the early 1980s.

Shamrock_747
 
GDB
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 1:05 am

The TU-144 never carried commercial pax, basically the thing did not work.

On Channel 4 news last night, he was at the UK pre-production aircraft at Duxford.
I spotted a retired senior BA E/O in his 'team'.
But, it will take a whole lot more than a few retired flight crew.
We have just, after a considerable effort, got some final agreements with Airbus relating to support until October, even so, it will be tough, we also got a feel of future requirements, believe me, that much talked about £40 million is just the start.
The danger is that if Branson takes this too far, goes to court, it will actually endanger BA's operation of the aircraft, even for the 5 remaining months.
BA have tried to keep it as a commercial argument, the initial announcements spared both AFs and Airbus's blushes, that will change if it gets into a technical argument.
BA are still clear on this, they want a great send off for Concorde, plans are at an advanced stage now, will the bearded one f*** it all up?
 
Stretch 8
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 1:09 am

I still don't know how and why this guy was knighted. I have to take as gospel the opinions of Concorde experts herein (such as GDB) about the immense difficulty, practically and economically, of continued Concorde operations by any carrier. Just let it go.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
User avatar
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 1:34 am

The TU-144 never carried commercial pax

It did, but for a VERY short time. Moscow to Alma-Ata, I believe. Shortly thereafter it was relegated to mail service, and then withdrawn from the fleet entirely.

Since the plane was a commercial failure, the Soviet government, as it did with Josef Stalin, actually went as far as to attempt to eradicate all traces of its existence, making it look like the TU-144 never existed.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
AvObserver
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 8:47 am

Username: AA61hvy
"Go Branson! Go Branson. I really hope he gets those planes. If he does, I'm so there!"

I hope you're right and I wish Branson luck, assuming he's serious-a BIG question mark! I so don't see this happening but if he could pull it off, I'd shake his hand. I hate that the SSTs will be mothballed before their time-the sad fact that Concorde has never been truly economically viable, notwithstanding!


 
micstatic
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 9:19 am

Does anybody have a photoshop of concorde wearing a va scheme?

dg
S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90
 
gigneil
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:37 pm

Why can't the current VS color scheme be painted on?

Anyone remember the Pepsi concorde? Duh.

There are many photoshops of it around.

N
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:45 pm

Gigneil,

As far as I remember, the Pepsi scheme could not be a long term scheme and more importantly, it could not fly supersonic for long periods purely because of the paint scheme. It was not a possible scheme if AF wanted to keep the aircraft in regular service and fly supersonic trips with it.
 
dc863
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 12:49 pm

I've seen a Space Models Concorde 1/100 scale with the full Silver Bullet scheme. However due to the high temps the Concorde generates at altitude i doubt the Concorde would appear in the fleetwide Virgin scheme. Branson would have to operate the Concorde at a loss just like BA. It's simply too expensive to operate and the ticket prices reflect that.
 
GDB
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 4:01 pm

That truly vile Pepsi scheme was very temporary, limiting both supersonic speed (Mach 1.7) and endurance.
Branson's silver Concorde model? Shows how little he knows.
Still carry on Rich, screw up the retirement plans, stop loads of people from getting a chance to fly on it, as long as you get your face all over the press.
He knows that the average person has not the slightest grasp of what is involved, they think you can just stick fuel on it and off it goes.
How many Concorde pilots (not retired) and licensed Concorde engineers has Virgin got exactly?
 
manzoori
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 5:31 pm

As requested:


Cheers!

Rez
 Big thumbs up
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VS601
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 5:40 pm

Come on guys, lets just see what happens. On the off chance, slim as it is, that Branson does pull this off, wouldn't you all be pleased to see Concorde flying for a little longer?
As an employee of VS I have serious doubts it will happen, but you never know. When VS operated their first ever flight back in 84, everyone said this airline will be gone in 6 months. So my point is lets see what happens..
 
lmml 14/32
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 7:23 pm

Branson is doing it for publicity. I don't think he seriously believes that Virgin will ever fly Concorde. On the other hand he can put a lot of pressure on Airbus. Then again Airbus will not want to make BA angry at them again. As much as I admire Branson for his flair, I think Concorde should be retired with dignity. This "war" can only harm Concorde's image. The only person set to gain whatever the outcome is RB.
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 9:05 pm

If Brason was just doing it for publicity, do you still think he'd be going on about it almost 6 weeks later ?, or that he'd bother to set up a meeting with Airbus ? and go to all this trouble of getting these experts assembled ?.

From what I recall that has been said on here before, Airbus would support the a/c if 2 carriers continue to operate it. SRB has offered to operate it alongside BA, so if i'm wong that is still 2 carriers operating the a/c, but what I don't understand is why he's not going after the AF aircraft, as most of these have lower hours than the BA machines.

I think that had it not been for Air France announcing their intention to drop the fleet, then BA would still continue to operate it, but as the announcement had already been made that they too would cease operations, they don't want to loose face by saying that they will continue to operate it along with VS. Especially considering the so-called rivalry between BA and VS, which I must add is just another publicity thing in itself as BA and VS co-operate alot on the actual operational side of things, not so much in the UK, but at the outstations. BA cover alot of the VS engineering at overseas stations and they also fixed a flap problem a couple of weeks ago on one of the VS744's at LHR, and if one airline cancells a service, the other will take the pax for them - VS did this when I was in HKG at the end of Jan for BA (and I nearly didn't get on the flight because of it !!).

I think people need to look on the positive side of things, rather than just being negative about it. Some things are more important than money, and if there is still life left in those a/c and they can be operated safely for however many years, they should do so even if it is going to cost alot but if someone thinks it can be done and is prepared to spend the cash, then why not give them the support and keep the dream alive ?.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 9:23 pm

I don't care if he's doing it for publicity, if he can pull it off while getting a bit of attention then so be it.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
Alessandro
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 9:40 pm

Sure the Tu-144 flew commercial from Moscow to Alma Ata (nowadays independent Kazachstan) and I would love to see how long the Concorde could
fly so I hope that Virgin gets them.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
GDB
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 10:53 pm

That's a myth, the TU-144 had to use reheat in supercruise (unlike Concorde) so either range or payload, but not both at once, plus the intake system did not work, plus the wing was the wrong shape, plus it landed too fast, and much more besides, if it had worked, why did Aeroflot not use it on international routes? Say Moscow-Shannon-Havana/New York?

As for VS, it would have to be a joint BA/VS operation.
AF Concordes? Fewer hours but heavier interiors, (post mods only 92 seats), plus the only reason they've been able to fly at all these last few weeks is with BA support spares wise, they are totally out of serviceable rudders for one, good job they are stopping soon, as we need those parts and back and access to their spares generally, otherwise we'll be grinding to a halt pretty soon.

So how long could a BA/VS operation run for? Probably not much longer than late 2005, VS reckon they can do all that they've claimed with 3 aircraft (yeah right), but of the 5 flyable BA aircraft, 3 are not too far off 24,000 hrs, then a very extensive D check is needed, along with new components, all very, very expensive, also an acute lack of qualified people, both in BA and Airbus, a lot of retirements since the last big D checks were done from 1988-1995.
10 years ago, we had to get retired BAe people out of retirement for the new rudders, that and much more is needed for the 24,000 hr checks.

No one wants to see Concorde carry on more than I, it affects me personally remember, none of the above problems are insurmountable, but they need £, and lots of them.


 
Bellerophon
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Fri May 23, 2003 10:58 pm

Leezyjet

...From what I recall that has been said on here before, Airbus would support the a/c if 2 carriers continue to operate it...

No, not correct. I don't know how many times we have to say this, but let's try just once more. Here is a recent quote from Noel Forgeard, Airbus Chief Executive, in the Financial Times:

'We will absolutely not support any initiative to put Concorde back into operation by any other operator."

If it is just BA who are blocking the Virgin attempt to fly Concorde, I can't understand why Virgin are not trying to buy the lower-hour AF Concordes, available from the end of this month.

They could then start operations much earlier and possibly run a service in direct competition with BA.

If this is not all a publicity stunt, why aren't they?

Regards

Bellerophon
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 1:12 am

Even if Virgin does not get the Concorde, and they do get mothballed, I bet someone will eventually buy one. Maybe JT?
Go big or go home
 
AvObserver
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 5:34 am

But AA61hvy, if they get mothballed, I'd think the chances of them EVER flying again will be even less. Someone might still buy one but only for static display. I also find it strange that if Branson were serious, why wouldn't he be looking into acquiring the Air France planes. So much of this doesn't seem to add up. Then again, maybe if can get Airbus to meet with him it isn't totally hopeless. Hard to tell whether this is for real or not. Lots of good insight here, particularly from GDB (as usual) and Leezyjet. Must admit, as much of a doubting Thomas as I am, I've gotten caught up in this fantasy and am pulling for Branson even though my logic says it won't work. I commented before about overemotionalizing Concorde's impending demise and here I am, getting caught up in that same said emotion. Guess that's just the effect it has on us!
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 6:30 am

I will still fantasize  Wink/being sarcastic If you look an Branson's past, he likes to go all out for many things he does. (A340-6 "Mines bigger than yours" etc.) I think this seems like something he may actually do. But who is stopping anyone from picking up a Concorde in 10 years? If I had enough $ I would go buy a moth balled 747SP. It is all a matter of money. If I become rich I will take some of you guys up  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Wink/being sarcastic
Go big or go home
 
737heavy
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 6:36 am

I can't see why so many people are against Branson have Concorde. If he wants it and can make a go of it good for him and let him have it. Yes he's got a few problems with support but these can be got over, eventually. And I, for one, would rather keep seeing Concorde flying than stuck in museums.

The UK gov should stop being a bunch of pussies and give Branson the option. It was the gov that put the rule in about another company taking it over and as per usual the gov is whincing out.

I don't have a problem with his unique brand of PR. It's good that someone in the UK is trying to make a go of it instead of doing the normal UK thing and just giving in.

 
David_itl
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 6:45 am


It was the gov that put the rule in about another company taking it over and as per usual the gov is whincing out.

If the clause was there that allowed them to "pull rank" on BA and force them to give VS the Concordes, why would they have stated that it had no say over what BA wants to do with them?

David
 
737heavy
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 6:49 am

I don't know but my understanding, and I could be wrong, was that when they were sold for £1 BA were told that when the time came to stop using them if someone else wanted to make of a go out of using them they could for exactly what BA paid for them.
 
David_itl
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 7:09 am


Check out gordonroxburgh's concorde website and look at the entry for 29th April.

David
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 9:03 am

BA blaming Airbus and Air France?
In Arsene we trust!!
 
GDB
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 9:11 am

If you actually believe all that BS about BA being 'given' Concorde, you'll believe anything.
Branson wants it both ways, firstly he says we were given the aircraft, then that we somehow screwed the UK taxpayer out of the profits, (forgetting that £900 million the government got from BA privatized in 1987).
Fact is, BA saved Concorde from an early demise 20 years ago, the government pulled out of supporting it, so BA had a choice, make it really work or scrap it.
BA shelled out the cash, put the effort in, the result being a 15 year golden age of Concorde operations.
So who does Branson think he is?

BA, with AF, put the aircraft in service.
BA made it profitable first and to a much greater extent.
BA have flown Concorde some 45% more than AF, so guess who lead the maintenance planning?
BA pioneered the charter operation.
BA carried out much more investment in Concorde, not only in the cabins.
After the 2000 accident, BA pushed the return to flight effort, prototyping the technically very challenging tank mods and much else besides.
BA tried innovative routes, some like LHR-BAH-SIA did not work, but LHR-BGI was a spectacular commercial success, in spite of the challenging operational and engineering considerations on the latter route.

So again, who does Branson think he is by demanding these aircraft, that are such a loved and important part of BA's history?
Tell you what, why don't BA demand some VS slots, or their shiny new LHR hangar, or their A380 delivery slots? Why not? How does this really differ from Branson's demands?


 
JAL
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RE: Branson At It Again With Concorde

Sat May 24, 2003 9:31 am

This is nothing but a publicity stunt on Branson part from the very beginning!!



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