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Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:33 am

Imagine, if you will…

You could happily and successfully argue that Concorde had numerous qualities and competitive advantages, three of which being speed, the ‘wow’ factor and quality. I suspect the main advantage was its speed: it was far quicker than any alternative. But if Concorde just-so-happened to be roughly the same speed as its competitors, so did not have speed as an attribute, but its quality was far better than any first-class section of any airline, would it have been less, equally or more successful? In short:

1) How important was speed in the popularity of it (for those who could afford to fly)?

2) In a made-up scenario, could unbeatable quality offset the fact that speed is about the same as most other aircraft?
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miles_mechanic
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:41 am

To me, I think speed was the biggest selling feature of the concorde, the fact that anyone who flew on her was doing something that very few people are capable of doing outside of the military. The concorde did have fantastic service onboard, but of course for anyone paying the huge price tag for a ride on the aircraft I think they would expect nothing less. The aircraft as what I have heard from people was fairly cramped inside so if it didn't have the speed advantage, I think you would have seen a lot of those people traveling on concorde riding on one of the big Jumbo jets, as it was far more roomy, if you were going to be onboard for 5 or 6 hours.
I have the concorde on my flight sim program, and I did some flying around the pacific, and thought it was surprising that BA or AF didn't try to find a market for the concorde over the pacific, even if they had to stop in Hawaii for fuel on-route it still would have been quicker I would think.

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Miles
 
Shamrock_747
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:53 am

Speed was everything for Concorde.

The regular full fare pax who made the BA operation profitable of course appreciated the luxury of the experience, but their prime reason for choosing Concorde was the time saving - the aircraft was the ultimate business tool, enabaling passengers to depart from London at 1030 and arrive at JFK in time for a full days business.
 
Bigginhill
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:39 am

Definately speed.

There was no real need for comfort on board. But the onbord service was equal to any first class in the world.
 
CPH757
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:06 am

Sure speed...

Even though the service was good, it wasn't exactly the most comfortable aircraft, was it?

Last summer I was in the old BA Concorde at the USS Intrepid museum in Manhattan (or actually in the Hudson river  Smile) I was surprised how crampy the cabin felt like, and as far as I remember, the seating looked closer to regular economy than business class. But perhaps someone who actually flew the Concorde can give a comment on this issue?
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c680
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:11 am

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
I suspect the main advantage was its speed

From those of us who used to fly it regularly: you are correct.

The service was good enough to justify the price. It was all about speed.

There was also something about Concorde which prevented Jet Lag. That, in and of itself, could be a whole new thread.
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rossbaku
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:30 am

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
would it have been less, equally or more successful?

Definately less sucessful! I imagine some huge business deals have been closed due to the speed of Concorde....arrive before you left?! Amazing. Without Concorde's speed, it would have just been like every other conventional aircraft...it wouldn't be a gem in millions of hearts without it's speed and gracefulness of the skies....

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CORULEZ05
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:35 am

As mentioned above, SPEED SPEED SPEED SPEED!!!!!!!!  Big grin

Quoting CPH757 (Reply 4):
I was surprised how crampy the cabin felt like

It was a more "narrow" cabin and thus giving a more cramped feeling. The seats weren't really nothing to write home about either....when compared to current seating in First Class.

If it wasn't for the speed of it, the Concorde would of been a huge failure.....wait....it was a failure........  duck 
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comorin
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:39 am

I was fortunate enough to take a few trips on BA(2) and AF(1):

1. Speed (and altitude) were an important part of the mystique of Concorde. You were paying for for the ultimate 'rush' - cruising faster and higher than even most military aircraft.
1a. Speed also translated to Quick - LHR to JFK in less than 3 hours made the 747 trip feel like a long, droning experience.

2. Luxury: The feel onboard was totally different from the 747 experience, especially since it was all one class. You felt like you were in a very exclusive club, reminescent of the old 'jet-set' days. The food, drink, and service was out of this world. After Concorde, First Class definitely felt plebian!

The combination of speed and luxury made the Concorde a unique experience, which justified its price.

Would the same luxury at subsonic speeds be worth it? I don't know, but don't think so. Since you are giving up the exotic nature of SST travel, you would have to compensate by having an all luxury-class flight. However, the time-is-money premium, a significant part of the purchasing decision, would no longer apply.

The corporate argument was that if the opportunity cost of your billable time, or deal costs for the one day advantage was greater than the premium over business class, you flew Concorde. There were plenty of lawyers, bankers, models, and actors to whom this was sufficient reason.


And nobody, and I repeat nobody, slouched around in tracksuits on Concorde...
 
Glom
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:57 am

Quoting C680 (Reply 5):
There was also something about Concorde which prevented Jet Lag.

How much jet lag would there be between London/Paris and New York?
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:13 am

Concorde would not have worked without speed, around 10% of passengers used it to do London-New York roundtrips in a day.

To be honest while Concorde was fun, I am glad I did it the once. My time certainly isn't valued in factors of thousands per hour and I'd rather spud out in First. As for service 2 FAs for maximum of 14 passengers in First compared to 6 FAs for 100 passengers; when First is done very well I'd say it was better than a plane full on the Rocket.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 8):
And nobody, and I repeat nobody, slouched around in tracksuits on Concorde...

They did  Big grin Although you did see more pinstripe than on most flights not everyone who flew Concorde was suited and booted...and I'm talking about the pre-Disney-esque fun flight crowds of the last few months.
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Legallykev
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:15 am

Quoting C680 (Reply 5):
There was also something about Concorde which prevented Jet Lag. That, in and of itself, could be a whole new thread.

Flying between NYC and LHR on a 747 or on Concorde is still 5 hours time difference no matter how fast you travel. The travel time / speed of a journey has nothing to do with Jet lag; it's your body clock that needs adaptation.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:20 am

Quoting CORULEZ05 (Reply 7):
seats weren't really nothing to write home about either

If you actually go into the cabin of Concorde, then you will realize that the seats are not very good at all. The Embraer 170's cabin is nicer than the Concorde. The seats are narrow, the aisle is incredibly narrow, and seat pitch is not that great either.

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
its quality was far better than any first-class section of any airline

Concorde is hardly an all first class airplane! The service was top notch, but apart from the wow and novelty factors, that plane had nothing going for it other than speed, and if speed was taken away, then the novelty and wow factors would be gone. People whine about the 757 flying transatlantic, can you imagine an E170? The Concorde was not a comfortable plane to be in, especially first class. Business class on a 747 is way more comfortable.
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FlyingViking
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:47 am

Concorde was the best, from the lounge in JFK to the service and food onboard, we did Continental First Business EWR - FRA last year (767-400), and while still good there was no comparison. The word no did not exsist on the Concorde, the cabin was about the same width and hight as a CRJ, the pitch was greater though, the seat was snug but totally comfortable, the noise was the only negative, it was so, that my wife and I coculd not hear each other across the aisle! We left JFK at 0916 and arrived at LHR at 1750, Concorde was all about time and exclusivity. Even with our conncection to CPH we still saved some time vs. a non stop JFK/EWR - CPH.
 
AvObserver
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:45 pm

I've taken only one flight on a Concorde, on BA's G-BOAC back in July, '03 when they were in phase-out mode but really, the number one by far reason anyone would pay those elevated ticket prices (steep for me, even at a nearly 50% discount) was SPEED. The relatively cramped cabin and seating pitch certainly didn't befit the exclusively first-class status, although I found it hardly uncomfortable. The unbelievable (by my humble coach standards) non-stop wine and dine service, however, surpassed my wildest 1st-class aspirations. The number two reason to fly Concorde was, undoubtedly, exclusivity; rich status-icons flocked to it in droves in the salad years. I guess it was worth it, if you could afford it. That certainly wasn't the case for average Joes like me who could never make a sound rationale for spending multiple times a normal NY-London fare to fly only about twice as fast, overall. Nevertheless, I'll never regret splurging for that one grand flight because I'll never take another one like it. A wonderful memory I'll carry until my dying day.
 
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:23 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 12):
Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
its quality was far better than any first-class section of any airline

Concorde is hardly an all first class airplane!

Which, if you didn't misquote me, you'd have realised that I wasn't meaning that.

Quoting [email protected] (Thread starter):
But if Concorde just-so-happened to be roughly the same speed as its competitors, so did not have speed as an attribute, but its quality was far better than any first-class section of any airline

It's obvious, even to an American, that it was meant to be a hypothetical situation.
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fbgdavidson
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:11 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 12):
If you actually go into the cabin of Concorde, then you will realize that the seats are not very good at all. The Embraer 170's cabin is nicer than the Concorde. The seats are narrow, the aisle is incredibly narrow, and seat pitch is not that great either.

The overheads were really quite tiny (only time I've had hand luggage weighed and scrutinised), but the seats were rather comfortable. Very cushioning and they were cradle seats. The pitch was 38" the same as BA's Premium Economy offering, but then to be honest do you need to spud out on a 3hr 30min flight? But yes, in overall comfort terms BA F wins.
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sky0000547
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:14 pm

I flew on Concorde and it was definitely speed as the primary selling point. The onboard services were exceptional however if Concorde flew at the same sub-sonic speed as conventional airliner then I would rather fly First Class on a 747 than Concorde. At least F you get plenty of width, leg room and even flat bed which you don't get much of on Concorde.

Gotta love the take off on Concorde, nothing is comparable except for fighter jets.

Happy Flying  Smile
 
eg777er
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:20 am

Seat was perfectly comfortable, and a pitch of 38". Service was exceptional.

And the power to do a day trip to New York (in the pre-accident double-daily timetable) was unmatched.
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:08 am

Seats were comfy, (should have been they cost enough to develop), 38 in pitch but only 3.5 hours, (4.10 for BGI).
It was quite a thing to get to JFK before you left LHR.
This was generally why outbound flights were more popular than inbound.

BA spent a lot of time, money and effort on the cabin and the service, the vital regular business pax were well known to the airline.
In normal times, loads on the JFK route were generally 80% business, 15% famous celebs etc, 5% 'flight of a lifetime/upgrades/ID tickets'.

That ratio changed some in 2003 however!
 
David L
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:50 am

Quoting Comorin (Reply 8):
Speed (and altitude) were an important part of the mystique of Concorde. You were paying for for the ultimate 'rush' - cruising faster and higher than even most military aircraft.

Precisely. Speed was undoubtedly the main factor but it wasn't always from necessity. In some cases it was the aforementioned Wow Factor, which came about because of the speed/altitude and the exclusivity, not the need to cross the Atlantic in under 4 hours. Of course, for me it was an absolute necessity because it meant less time that I couldn't smoke.  Smile
 
Trolley Dolley
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:30 am

I was lucky enough to fly Concorde, and as a youth on exchange in the US, stay in the home of Concorde's most frequent flyer when she flew to Miami. It was speed all the way as her advantage. He said it was speed and the excellent service that bought him back. Still in terms of "quality" a first class sleeper seat with communitication connectivity, dinning on demand and AVOD exceeds the service offerings on Concorde by a large margin.

Concorde was also a great opportunity for passengers to network in circles that they were used to moving in. Indeed I was lucky enough to fly it when it had the "real" Concorde passengers aboard, unlike its last months when it was full of enthusiasts. You could detect the change in atmosphere the moment you entered the Concorde Room. It was one of the most exclusive clubs on both sides of the Atlantic and Channel.

That said, the CEO of Qantas at the time it held options on the aircraft, was a bit sceptical about the comfort advantages that Concorde would have offered on the long, multi-stop route to Australia. He said something along the lines of Concorde being fine if you wanted to fly all the way from Australia to London in something the width of a "tube train"

(for international readers, tube train= London's cosy underground subway.)
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:17 am

Concorde was mainly designed for Transatlantic, I'm surprised that even prior to the 73 oil crisis, Pacific based airlines like Qantas even held options on it, or the B2707, which had a projected range not much more than Concordes.

Not doing Concorde B was sad, BA could have used some more airframes from the mid 80's, maybe LH could used the longer ranged, more efficient at lower speed B model, for a non stop FRA-JFK service, (because like London and to a lesser extent Paris, FRA had major business/financial links to NY).
http://www.concordesst.com/concordeb.html
 
bond007
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:25 am

hmmm... it seems those that HAVE flown on it say that seats were more than comfortable for a 3 hour flight! ...and service impeccable ... and I agree!

Sure, Business class on BA is better ... but if a current BA aircraft did JFK-LHR in 3 hours, you bet it'd be 99% coach ... and average service!

...and yes, I have flown on it  Smile


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comorin
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:00 am

Quoting Trolley Dolley (Reply 21):
Still in terms of "quality" a first class sleeper seat with communitication connectivity, dinning on demand and AVOD exceeds the service offerings on Concorde by a large margin.

You didn't need to sleep on a Concorde flight, so the seat is just fine for sipping Champange. Dining on demand is not meaningful on a 2.40 hr flight. AVOD/IFE was also not something you thought about during such a short flight - I don't think that crowd really missed it very much.

I'll have to disagree with other posters too on this topic. I really liked F when you didn't have the cocoons and dining on demand service. It was much more sociable that way, and felt like you were in an exculsive club in the nose of the plane. And then you could feast your eyes on the trolleys, the clink of china, like a party at 30,000 feet. Ah, the pleasures of anticipation...

Today, the front cabin has become a catacomb, and the F/As have become nannies. Granted, it may be what the first-class traveler wants, but there isn't much service offered when your customer is sleeping through the flight.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 12):
If you actually go into the cabin of Concorde, then you will realize that the seats are not very good at all

The Concorde seats were beautiful, in grey (nappa?) leather, much like in a posh European car. It was a little uncomfortable for my 6' plus friends, I'll concede. It's a little like saying the seats in the space shuttle were cramped...

RoseFlyer, comparing the Concorde to a E170 is asking for a Fatwa on you head!  Wink


Concorde, IMHO, was the only way to fly long haul. It was a real pity that we could not develop viable technology to evolve it into a people's plane like the 747. It took us only 50 years from Kitty Hawk to the Jet Age, but the next 50 years were all about economics and reliability (OK, I forgot about going to the Moon).
 
ikramerica
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:41 pm

Quoting Bigginhill (Reply 3):
There was no real need for comfort on board. But the onbord service was equal to any first class in the world.

Truish, but still, touring the inside of Concorde in Germany, the seats could have been a updated (on the AF version), and the pitch improved (but at the expense of numbers), but for a short flight, I've "suffered" through worse.

Heck, most domestic first products in the US have the same pitch, and only slightly wider seats, and nowhere near the service.
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fbgdavidson
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:21 pm

Quoting Comorin (Reply 24):
The Concorde seats were beautiful, in grey (nappa?) leather, much like in a posh European car.

 Big grin Connolly leather to be pedantic, and it was great because every time I climbed in the S Class it had the same smell as the Concorde seats.
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:42 pm

Concorde isn't Concorde without its speed. As for the comfort, yes it would have been nice to have had a slightly larger cabin, but although I knew it wasn't that spacious in board before I toured G-BOAC at Manchester, it was more spacious than I expected. Certainly fine for a 3.5 hour flight! I would have spent all day in there! However I was surprised how small the gangway to the cockpit was.
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Geo772
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:01 am

Speed without a shadow of a doubt.

Her grace as a plane, the service levels from beginning to end and the comfortable albeit small seats were just additional bonuses tacked on.
Flown on A300B4/600,A319/20/21,A332/3,A343,B727,B732/3/4/5/6/7/8,B741/2/4,B752/3,B762/3,B772/3,DC10,L1011-200,VC10,MD80,
 
RAMPRAT980
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:36 am

Could an airline manufacturing company produce a supersonic airliner that would be profitable ?
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kaneporta1
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:36 am

Here's a photo I took inside G-BOAD. It looks like a CRJ. The seat pitch was probably around 34' so it was nothing like the F class seats we see today. I'm 6'3 and I had to bow in order to walk in that aircraft. The windows were also tiny, I'm not sure if anyone could see anything outside (and I don't mean at 50000ft).

I'd rather die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not terrified and screaming, like his passengers
 
GDB
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:52 am

Wrong, pitch was 38 inches, if you don't believe, me consider I worked on it for 7 years, flew on it 7 times.

In a museum, with the different lighting, in many cases changes to accomodate large numbers of visitors, you can get a false impression.

In a similar way, many people who visited operational BA aircraft, in the hangars, reckoned it was more spacious than they reckoned, in many cases they'd previously only been on development aircraft in museums, these aircraft had smaller, more austere cabins, the prototypes were shorter in fuselage length too.
 
Lurch
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:45 am

This is what MACH2.02 Looks like it was so fast and Enjoyable in Rocket Class!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v402/markredgwell/EDGEOFSPACE.jpg
 
aireuropeuk733
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:50 am

Quoting CORULEZ05 (Reply 7):
The seats weren't really nothing to write home about either....when compared to current seating in First Class.

As other people have said this was absolutely fine for 31/2 hours. I was lucky enough to fly on it twice and it was magnificent - sadly missed  Sad

AE733
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lapa_saab340
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:54 am

I don't think the comparison proposed in this thread is meaningful, given that Concorde was designed for supersonic cruise with transatlantic range. Speed was the driving factor behind the design, and naturally everything else is contrained to deliver the desired performance. If you took the high speed requirement away, then you could go ahead and enlarge your cabin and give yourself those first class seats with high pitch and private TV displays...and end up with a typical subsonic jet.

Keeping in mind that drag increases with the square of the airspeed (i.e. double airspeed=quadruple drag), and the host of challenges of designing an aircraft for supersonic flight that will still deliver acceptable performance on the low end of the envelope...I'd say the design teams on both sides of the Channel came up with a hell of a good compromise. Concorde's fuel burn figures were often criticized and compared to those of a 747, which could carry nearly 4 times the passengers for a similar fuel burn. Rarely was the distinction made that the 747 did so at a comfortable ~M0.8 cruise before drag divergence, while Concorde did it at more than twice that speed...frankly, I've always found those figures impressive rather than appalling, particularly if you keep in mind that the design dates from the 1960s!

The plexiglas panels added to some of the Concordes on display today (as in G-BOAD) have a tendency to give the cabin a more cramped look. That, added to the expectation by the average visitor that Concorde was some sort of aerial luxury yacht, leaves many with a disappointing impression of the plane's comfort. But as several of you pointed out already...for a 3.5 hr flight, a reclining bed and private TV display are hardly necessary!
 
Slarty
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:01 am

Quoting LAPA_SAAB340 (Reply 34):
Keeping in mind that drag increases with the square of the airspeed (i.e. double airspeed=quadruple drag),

I am not an aerospace engineer, but, I assume that the ratio holds with a fixed air density (such as that typically found at any fixed altitude)?

Perhaps that is why the Concorde flew at 57,000 ft, or the proposed Boeing sonic cruiser was to fly ~42,000+ ft? Bring on the sub-orbitals with almost 0 drag!  Smile
 
comorin
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:26 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 26):
Connolly leather to be pedantic, and it was great because every time I climbed in the S Class it had the same smell as the Concorde seats.

Thanks for clearing that up!

More pedantic stuff: On the Stateside S-class models, premium leather is standard on the S600, but optional on the S500. You were obviously in a 'better' S class!

Cheers.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:36 am

Quoting RAMPRAT980 (Reply 29):
Could an airline manufacturing company produce a supersonic airliner that would be profitable ?

Concorde was profitable though parts were expensive.

There was an interesting analysis explaining that Concorde was profitable, but it was less profitable than flying the same pax in F on BA or AF, so the benefit of Concorde was waning as costs were going up.

Another way to put it was that the CASM of flying an F pax JFK-LHR on a 747 or 777 was lower than on Concorde, the fare was HIGHER for F, so the per pax profit was much greater on the slow planes.

It was also profitable in it's charter role, of which it flew a lot, including the fatal crash at CDG.

Had there not been an accident, Concorde would have been flying far into the future, but afterward, it became a safety issue for many, and combined with a rise in private jet partial ownership, the longterm prospects had dimmed enough that BA and AF could retire them gracefully without admitting it was because it was more lucrative to make people fly slower. After all, this was a british/french cultural icon, and you couldn't just cancel it without a fight had there been no crash.
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fbgdavidson
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RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:21 pm

Quoting Comorin (Reply 36):
On the Stateside S-class models, premium leather is standard on the S600, but optional on the S500. You were obviously in a 'better' S class!

It is the same over here, the one we had was an S500 although am not sure whether it had the premium leather! It was fairly tooled up with extras so it is quite possible.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:04 pm

Quoting Comorin (Reply 36):
More pedantic stuff: On the Stateside S-class models, premium leather is standard on the S600, but optional on the S500. You were obviously in a 'better' S class!

On all S-Class models in the US, including the S430 and new S350, leather is standard. There are options for 'better' leather on the S600 but they're all leather....not sure where you got that info from!

aaarrhh....edited to add: I see, you meant the premium leather  Wink Sorry!


Jimbo

[Edited 2005-09-29 14:06:04]
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
GDB
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:39 am

I have to disagree with Ikramerica, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, from what I saw while involved with the Rocket, it was expected, prior to the accident, prior to Sept 11th, that Concorde would retire around 2006/7.
This was when we expected AF to stop, making supporting the BA operation, in any market circumstances, unviable.
BA also by then would to a few years into 24,000 hr D checks, the question was, would we also do a 'Relife 2' programme of mods.

The grounding and much reduced post Sept 11th service, pushed decision making back a few years, but then we had the crappy post Sept 11 market, worse still for AF, they pulled out so that was the end.

Relife 1 in the mid 90's, due to the great condition of the then 20 year old airframes, was straightforward and inexpensive, Relife 2 would be more involved and more expensive.
But, the real problem was keeping up with the modern systems requirements, RVSM, EGPWS, unexpected ones like the new cockpit doors, ($250,000 per aircraft, $30,000 for mass produced conventional airliners, no corporate welfare paying BA for them either).

So as a result, even without future relife projects, maintenance costs were rising beyond what was expected less than a year before, all too much for AF.

For BA, charters could not fill the gap caused by the reduced JFK service, at best, charters made up 9% of revenue, at the cost of a lot of airframe life, BA had resolved to reduce charters even before the AF accident.
 
rtfm
Posts: 421
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:35 pm

RE: Concorde: Speed Vs Quality

Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:55 am

Quoting Comorin (Reply 8):
And nobody, and I repeat nobody, slouched around in tracksuits on Concorde...

Wrong!! First time I ever took the Concorde I remember getting on in my suit and tie, sitting down and then seeing a guy come through the door in a grey t-shirt, grey sweat-pants and a tatty pair of training shoes. All I could think was 'you know when you've made it because you don't even bother to dress up for Concorde any more...'  Smile

I agree with most others - it was the speed. Otherwise it was just a narrow-bodied a/c with decent seats, great food, great wine and good service. On that first flight I was sitting next to someone who had obviously flown Concorde many times. He admitted to me that BA First was far more comfortable and luxurious but he chose Concorde because it saved him time as he was back and forth across the Atlantic so much.

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