airbusA346
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Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:08 am

As the thread title says. "Why was Concorde taken out of service?"

I need to do a speech for my GCSE's and I wanted to do.
"Why was Concorde taken out of service?"

I would like information and photos if you can provide them for me, I am going to make a MS PowerPoint out of the info.

And I don't know what to search for on the internet, so can you please help me.

Here is the previous thread I did.
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_hobby/read.main/64521/


Tom.
Tom Walker '086' First Officer of a A318/A319 for Air Lambert - Hours Flown: 17 hour 05 minutes (last updated 24/12/05).
 
carduelis
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RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:18 am

Where have you been for the past 18 months?

Loads of threads here on airliners.net - just search for Concorde - probably in the archive section.

Apart from the above, you'll find all you'll ever need at:-

http://www.concordesst.com/

Good Luck!
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BCAL
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RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:30 am

http://www.concordesst.com/ tells you why Concorde was retired but there were other reason not mentioned on the site:

  • Airbus Industries informed BA/AF that they could not continue to maintain the aircraft for much longer. Spares were becoming scare but presumably there were also cost issues as between them BA/AF only had a handful of airworthy models and Airbus had many other (more profitable) projects. Why Airbus? Simply because Airbus was formed by an amalgamation between Sud Aviation and BAe, Concorde's developers and manufacturers.
  • After 9/11, Concorde was considered a "high" terrorist target.
  • MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
     
    SATL382G
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:32 am

    Quoting AirbusA346 (Thread starter):
    And I don't know what to search for on the internet, so can you please help me.

    Why won't you do a search? I typed your exact question into Google and got this: (and in far less time than it took you to type out your post I'll bet...)

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...+out+of+service&btnG=Google+Search

    Try a little harder next time....

    [Edited 2005-04-08 17:36:23]
    "There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
     
    GDB
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:50 am

    Take it from someone who was there, this 'terrorist target' and 'Airbus wouldn't support it any more' is just not the case.
    Doubtless there are any number of other theories that go beyond official statements, but they are all bunk.
    The truth is more mundane, as usual.

    The AF accident clearly shook AF, for BA it meant effectively losing a years service, some £30 million, add to that the £17 million for return to flight mods.

    But the return to flight programme was successful, more so than many expected, cost a lot less than many pundits were predicting too.

    But 6 days after the mods were finally approved, after successful testing on G-BOAF in July 2001, 11th Sept happened.
    That, not the accident, was the real killer, as least in BA's eyes.
    For BA had worked hard to keep Concorde regular pax in the loop, in March 2001, 100 of the top customers were even invited to the BA hangars to see the mods being worked, to check out the new seats (a temp fit in the fwd cabin of G-BOAE), have a talk with Chief Concorde pilot Mike Bannister.

    This led BA to think that 95% of regular pax would return, those we spoke to that day were certainly keen.

    The massive, unprecedented slump following the attacks did not stop the reintroducing to service on 7th November 2001, but it became clear in the year that followed, that First Class travel had taken a huge knock.

    But on BA at least, loads were pretty good in the latter half of 2002, but the slump meant BA were only doing 1 flight each day and back to JFK, so overall, BA were earning half what they were before, but costs were not halved, they were increasing.

    Various pieces of new leglislation, about aging aircraft, (much not Concorde specific, plenty however was TWA800 fallout), along with the usual issues of running a tiny, specialized fleet, meant that for BA and AF, in the two years following 2003, costs would rise by £40 million.

    AF had very sharply decreasing loads in early 2003, BA too to a much lessor extent, AF were losing a lot of money, for them it was a clear choice, end Concorde operations soon, some technical issues they suffered only hastened this.

    Which meant BA would soon be bearing the whole costs of Concorde, this situation, at any time in Concorde's history at BA, would be the end, even if it had happened in the highly profitable period from the mid 80's to 2000, then maybe BA would have run it on their own for a year, 18 months maybe, but the effective doubling of support costs would be terminal, at any time.

    In the far more difficult situation of 2003, it was more terminal, more quickly.
    Concorde also suffered in that most of the regular users were writing Concorde out of their contracts from 2003, not only Concorde, why else do you think BA terminated 1st class on six routes in this period?
    BA overall had a massive drop in premium travel, as premium contracts were renewned in 2002/3, or not in most cases.

    In time, maybe this market would have recovered, but in 2003, BA did not have that time, not while carrying the whole support burden once AF finished.

    Forget charters, (at best they provided 9% of Concorde revenue), BGI was good, but you cannot run Concorde profitably on one, or at most two, services per week.
    It was the core business market on the JFK route, for the most part twice daily, that was BA Concordes lifeblood for years.
    Undermine that, there is only one way to go.

    Airbus would support Concorde, for BA and AF, but at a price that was reasonable to them, they of course had to incorporate new airworthiness requirements, operational experience etc, into maintenance planning, then name the price.

    Had the AF accident not happened, I am convinced, from what I saw day in day out for a couple of years, that Concorde would almost certainly have finished this year, probably at the end of the recently finished winter season.

    That's the truth of it, anything else is just ill informed speculation.
    Some airlines, some airliners, have been a victim of Sept 11th, so why is it so hard for some not to accept that Concorde was one of them?
     
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    Starlionblue
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:00 am

    Great info as usual GDB.

    What is your opinion on the following? Anyone else should feel free to jump in (yes, Lehpron too  Wink )

    - Assuming Concorde had not had a (loud) boom, would it have been so succesful as to still be flying?
    - If the Concorde-B had been built, would Concorde still be flying?
    - So when is the next SST coming and will it be executive or commercial?
    - Will it be a suborbital or a more traditional one?
    - Will propulsion be turbofan, turboramjet hybrid (SR-71) or dual propulsion turbofan/ramjet?
    - Assuming transpacific range and 200-250 pax, how expensive could a commercial SST ticket to make the SST commercially viable? Current first class or business class?
    "There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
     
    GDB
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:45 am

    Phew! Questions, questions!

    Being as we are only now looking at a reduced boom for maybe Mach 1.4-1.6 biz jets, I cannot see how Concorde, whose basic design was frozen in 1964/5, could ever avoid it.

    Concorde B, somewhat lower costs, a bit more flexible had it happened, only if some others had brought it (say LH as it could do FRA-JFK non stop) SIA on routes to Japan and HKG), just one or two extra customers would have made supporting Concorde as a whole, much easier.
    Maybe post Sept 11th, remaining 'A' models would have been phased out with operators consolidating on B models, but this is wild speculation, we'll never know.

    Next SST, if it happens, really a SSBJ, slower than Concorde but if boom reduction works, and/or something like the Aerion is built that can maybe operate efficiently enough in transonic too.

    I cannot see suborbital for a long, long time, the Rutan machine is maybe the Wright Flyer 1 of suborbital, it took decades after 1903 to see regular airline services, helped by technology advances from WW1.

    The only half detailed future SST engine was the R/R Snecma MCV-99, from the early/mid 1990's, just on paper.
    SSBJ's are looking at modifying existing engines, such as JT8D-200 series, hence one reason for Mach 1.4-1.6 max, (Concordes complex variable intakes started working at Mach 1.7).

    Being as the much less ambitious Boeing Sonic Cruiser could not get launched, which presumably would have had a smaller premium than Concorde, hard to see any new SST, air travel is getting cheaper, that helped do for Concorde sales too.
    Hence any work now being at the very top end, executive jets.
     
    gokmengs
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:53 am

    Quoting GDB (Reply 4):
    Take it from someone who was there, this 'terrorist target' and 'Airbus wouldn't support it any more' is just not the case.
    Doubtless there are any number of other theories that go beyond official statements, but they are all bunk.
    The truth is more mundane, as usual.

    Wow GDB that post just added you to my respected list. Looking forward to your posts.  bigthumbsup 
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    AC787
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:54 am

    Great info. GDB.

    Quoting BCAL (Reply 2):
    After 9/11, Concorde was considered a "high" terrorist target.

    Is there any truth to that statement? I've never heard of that and it doesn't rlly sound like itd be true imo.
     
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    Starlionblue
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:58 am

    Thanks for taking the time GDB. Most kind of you.

    I guess I'm a wide eyed dreamer but I'm always optimistic.
    - Technology can always surprise us.
    - It's been 40 years since the Concorde design was frozen. You'd think someone has thought of something since then. After all, we have supercruise, possible quiet supersonic regimes, (decent) computers, fluid dynamics, (more) advanced materials, no need for a drooping nose, variable camber wings, (modern) wing warping, composites.
    - Rutan + The Flying Beard = who knows what can happen?
    "There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
     
    GDB
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:01 am

    All airliners are terrorist targets, Concorde had a largely known customer base and security was tight.

    I found this myself before boarding a BA002 in September 2002, I got the full TSA treatment at JFK, I might have been staff, but the ticket was commercial, though a heavily discounted one.

    We had to fit the new standard cockpit doors by April 2003, on other commercial aircraft the standardized designs cost around $30,000 each, while on Concorde, each one cost $250,000, this difference in cost was very typical.

    One problem might have been fitting countermeasures against heat seeking man portable missiles, El Al have done it, though it's gone very quiet after noises about fitting them across the world airline fleets, as discussed in the wake of the attack on the Israeli 757 in Kenya in 2002.

    So while fitting Concorde with this gear would have been very difficult, it has not happened with other airliners generally, won't have done even if Concorde had made it to the unofficial 2006/7 retirement date.
     
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    HAWK21M
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:25 pm

    Economically difficult to Maintain  Smile
    regds
    MEL
    I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
     
    clipperno1
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:07 pm

    I just saw a documentary from 1999 on tv (zdf.dokukanal still re-runs it over the next few weeks I think). Being filmed before the crash in 2000, they had a Air France controlling officer, who stated that the Concorde wasn't even depreciated by half in the books and that a discussion about a phase-out wasn't coming up earlier then 2009. How things can turn around, eh?!
    "I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977
     
    TedTAce
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:35 pm

    It's really sad that Concorde is no longer in service, but what I think is more sad is that pre 9/11, everyone 'settled' on the fact that Concorde was it, and 'that was it'. I think Boeing should have gotten the Sonic Boom FAR re-written* (in the interest of preserving the company), and tried to make a cheaper/just a fast version, that might not have had quite the sonic signature the Concorde had.

    *Booms under a certain Db level allowed.

    This could have succeded the Concorde easily and while we would be mourning the loss of Concorde, whe wouldn't be mourning the loss of civil supersonic flight.
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    Ricci767
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:51 pm

    I heard that Richard Branson wanted to buy some from BA after they retired to add to the Virgin Atlantic fleet. That would have been a sight, such a sleek plane in VS's great livery. I wonder what slogan would be painted on the back on it? Maybe "Quick finisher". Surely they could have given at least one to him. Anyone know if he contacted AF for some?
     
    TedTAce
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:39 am

    Quoting Ricci767 (Reply 14):
    I heard that Richard Branson wanted to buy some

    The way I got it, I don't think he cared who's planes he got. I think the only hitch to his deal was that he'd keep them flying, but not give much (if at all) for the initial investment to acquire them. I think SRB would be PRIME MEAT for a Concorde replacement, too bad with rules the way they are he's the only one who could make such a thing work.
    This space intentionally left blank
     
    NWA1978
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:10 am

    Quoting Ricci767 (Reply 14):
    I heard that Richard Branson wanted to buy some from BA after they retired to add to the Virgin Atlantic fleet.

    From what I remember, he even offered to pay the origional price they (BA & AF) paid for the plane. I think it really came down to the fact they didnt want anybody else to have them. I think we all know Richard Branson has the money to keep them in the air. I recall hearing this on a show when the planes were were retired.

    I know that they are not in production, but one would have to assume all the origional plans are still there and the R&D is already done & paid for. So if Sir Richard really wanted a fleet of them, he would have them built.
     
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    Starlionblue
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:23 am

    Quoting NWA1978 (Reply 16):
    Quoting Ricci767 (Reply 14):
    I heard that Richard Branson wanted to buy some from BA after they retired to add to the Virgin Atlantic fleet.

    From what I remember, he even offered to pay the origional price they (BA & AF) paid for the plane. I think it really came down to the fact they didnt want anybody else to have them.

    Well, he offered to pay the £1 that BA nominally paid per plane, but the economics are much more complex. I don't know all the details but BA paid much more than thatt.

    As for building them, it's not quite as simple as getting the plans out. You have to tool the factories, find the engineers, etc etc etc. Cheaper to start from scratch.

    The same would apply to a Saturn 5. Sure, the plans are still around but that doesn't mean you can just make a new one.
    "There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
     
    GDB
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:33 am

    Branson? Don't make me laugh!
    You should see the letters he wrote to BA and AF, talk about taking the piss.
    He had no idea how much it cost and how tough it was to run that fleet, and at BA, we had a large core of people who'd been on the aircraft since day one, in many cases, before then but at BAC.

    CAA and Airbus told him to his face in May 2003, it wasn't going to happen, he had no experience on the type the CAA will have pointed out, his 'plans' were nonsense, so Airbus were not going to waste their time.
    (BA rebutted him on his false claims, AF didn't even bother to answer him).

    Yet still he persisted, proving it was all just cheap PR for the uninformed masses, clearly some on this site, by taking him seriously, as has happened before on here, are in that uninformed group too.

    BA's 5 original aircraft and AF's 4, cost 20% more than a 747 in 1972 prices, so Branson was lying about that, don't say he was unaware of that fact.
    It's always been in the public record.
    BA invested, from 1972 to 2003, approx £1 billion in Concorde, making some £1.5 Billion in revenue from 1976-2003.
    BA's efforts in making it commercially viable from the early 80's, probably extended Concorde's service life by 15-20 years.

    So who the hell was Branson, in all this?
    (Apart from being an occasional pax on BA Concorde, using an airline staff ID ticket of course).
     
    airbusA346
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm

    Quoting AirbusA346 (Thread starter):
    I need to do a speech for my GCSE's and I wanted to do.
    "Why was Concorde taken out of service?"

    I need the speech written up by the 12th April 2005.

    Is there any more information you can give me.

    I would also like some ph.otos please, for example, the final flight, the AF Concorde crash etc.


    Thanks for you help.

    Tom.
    Tom Walker '086' First Officer of a A318/A319 for Air Lambert - Hours Flown: 17 hour 05 minutes (last updated 24/12/05).
     
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    Starlionblue
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:47 pm

    Quoting AirbusA346 (Reply 19):
    Quoting AirbusA346 (Thread starter):
    I need to do a speech for my GCSE's and I wanted to do.
    "Why was Concorde taken out of service?"

    I need the speech written up by the 12th April 2005.

    Is there any more information you can give me.

    I would also like some ph.otos please, for example, the final flight, the AF Concorde crash etc.

    Have you tried looking here: http://www.concordesst.com/? It's the definitive site.
    "There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
     
    Speedbird2155
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:22 pm

    If it was economical to continue to operate the Concorde and Airbus was willing to continue to support the aircraft, then you can be asured that BA at least would have continued to utilise them. However, once Airbus indicated that they would pull the plug, then that was the end.

    As for Branson and VS operating Concorde, well as has been said, that was merely a publicity move. If the 2 airlines that had the knowledge and expertise to operate these machines could no longer do so, then how could some other airline suddenly start? For those of you who keep saying that it would be nice to see the VS livery on the Concorde, that would never have happened. Concorde had to be white for a reason. The special Pepsi livery, that was once used meant that the aircraft could not fly supersonic.
     
    FlySSC
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:34 pm

    Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 21):
    The special Pepsi livery, that was once used meant that the aircraft could not fly supersonic.

     no  . Wrong.

    Contrary to press reports, this special paint withstood supersonic flight, and F-BTSD DID flew supersonic wearing this livery during the "Pepsi Tour", though it didn't fly Mach 2.00


    View Large View Medium
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    Photo © Stefan Bjärkemark

     
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    Braybuddy
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:09 pm

    Quoting Carduelis (Reply 1):
    Where have you been for the past 18 months?

    Give the lad a break! He's very young and we all have to start somewhere. Don't worry about the weirdos in your class Tom. People are always impressed by someone who has a keen interest in something and can talk about it in an interesting way. From my experience, people who are not usually interested in aviation usually love stories about crashes: the mistakes made and how they came about. Morbid I know, but if you want to grab people's attention. . .
    Good luck, and I've just added you to my Respected Users list.
     
    GDB
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:49 am

    The wings on the Pepsi livery were white, though it was still resticted to Mach 1.7.

    To quickly summarize why the aircraft was retired a few years early;
    Events, too many of them over too short a period between 2000 and 2003.

    If you'd asked me in late 2002 when the retirement was likely to be, I'd have said (but not on-line), between late 2004 as the most likely, best case with a pick up in demand would be up to early 2006.

    AF wanting to terminate early, for reasons already mentioned, meant BA had to look at late 2003, though had they known in April 2003 just how sharply demand would increase once the retirement was announced, they'd have pushed harder for finishing in April 2004, by the time the level of demand was clear, the running down of the support network was well underway.

    But a senior BA Concorde Capt was still allowed to investigate a possible consortium of airlines under a slimmed down, LHR centered management and maintenance operation, but the outside interest was not there, presumably including Branson?
    My understanding that this met with no resistance from Airbus/BAE etc, in fact they co-operated fully.

    Had this succeeded, it probably would have launched in April 2004, 6 months after BA retired the type (though they'd have been a major, perhaps the majority, shareholder in any such venture), this 6 month hiatus would allow maintenance of BA aircraft in particular (as at the end in October 2003, both OAD and OAF were due C checks, OAC was not far off one), as well as setting everything up, supply chain, liveries, cabin changes etc.

    But it was not to be, no interest from outside (including from some who bemoaned the retirement).
     
    Lurch
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:54 am

    Hi go to

    www.concordesst.com and then check out the forum as you will get all the answers on Concorde that you will ever need on the main site and on the forum.

    Several former BA Concorde pilots use the forum on a regular basis!
     
    VSIVARIES
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:19 am

    As this is 'another' concorde thread, I thought I'd throw this in.

    http://raf.union.rpi.edu/downloads/concorde.mpg

    For a suberb video about the history of concorde.

    Do a 'save as' because it's about 72mb.

    B/R
    For every action there is always an unequal but mostly similar reaction.
     
    carduelis
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    RE: Why Was Concorde Taken Out Of Service For Good?

    Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:16 am

    Lurch

    http://www.concordesst.com/

    Thank you for repeating my recommendation of two days ago!

    Great minds . . . !
    Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!