Firstly, Temptress, you heard of the 2003 'Concorde Alliance' effort by top Conc pilot and all round good bloke, Les Brodie tried, as well?
Not many did you know!
Sadly, it wasn't to be, since we have mentioned BS
Branson, was he offered a role in the Alliance? If so, why did he not put his money where his mouth is?
Save-Concorde Group, well I've had the dubious pleasure of running into them a few times.
Oh dear.....they've not a clue, none, for a start, add at least a zero to that £14M figure.
They turn nasty too, when someone who was actually experienced on the type presents a reality check.
have told them several times, including recently, that it is not going to happen.
For reference, £14M was also about the cost of three Concorde 'Inter Checks'.
That's a C check to the rest of the world.
When it was in revenue service.
When it had the complete, highly experienced, workforce and facilities, including the now scrapped heavy maintenance dock in place.
When the full support network from industry was in place, had been for over two decades too, like most BA
's still owned Concorde fleet, were decommissioned for long term storage /display issues.
Every day they are in this state, the difficultly and cost of reversing this, increases.
(The Duxford one hasn't flown for more than a quarter of a century! And BA
were not adverse to robbing the odd part off it).
Back to the beard, note he made much less of a play for AF
aircraft in 2003, you'd have thought with their lower hours and cycles he's prefer them.
Oh wait, less of a stick to beat BA
with, to convince Richard and Judy viewers BA
are the bad guys.
No C of A, no support network, most parts auctioned off or being used for 202's rebuild (this one was cut in several pieces for transport from Filton to Brooklands-so don't even think about it!)
Simulators decommissioned, the list goes on.
Had 'Concorde Alliance' been a go-er I'd have been proud to have been a small part of it.
It wasn't, neither was BA
's investigation of a 'Heritage' aircraft.
(Costing almost as much as a full fleet to run, but only for the summer airshow circuit remember, not revenue service, so who would be paying?)
Not that I personally cared to see a denuded, subsonic only Concorde doing the airshow circuit, for me, it was an operational supersonic airliner, or not at all.
Ignore muppets like SCG, ignore an MP
who has recently managed to try and support a hopeless piss head to retain his party leadership.
Lemit Opik MP
, a genuine fan of the aircraft true, does not know the issues, only what Save-Concorde told him, which is laughable nonsense.
Lembit to stick to warning about asteroids, being a replacement on chat shows for now his ex leader.
We knew in 2003 that Concordes retirement would be the end, full stop.
It was always going to be that way.
Don't bash BA
(who under Lord King in 1982-4, took the threat of the ending of government support, government taking 80% of any profits for their trouble, by taking on the support burden, AF
would have re-jigged their support costs too).
not done this, taken this risk, Concorde would have been in museums 15-20 years ago.
Never would have survived BA
going private, which soon enough would have made AF
's operation un-viable too, not with having to take on the whole support burden, which BA
itself faced in 2003.
in particular made it's operation highly profitable.
It would remain so until 2000.
If you'd asked me before then, Concordes likely retirement date, I'd have said 'when costs consistently exceed revenue'.
We reckoned then that this could likely occur in the 2005-7 timeframe, assuming the general level of profits in the late 1990's, but still, as aircraft age, maint costs go up, so our rough 2005-07 estimate was based on that.
You can technically fix issues from an accident (BA aggressively pushed and led the way with this in 2000/2001 too).
What you cannot do is technically fix your main market after an event like Sept 11.
While support costs soared at the same time.
on average, ran 30-40 LHR
-LHR charters per year, until 1999, since the early 80's, allowing many to go supersonic at much less cost.
Not counting all the other cheaper charters we did too.
But at best, charters only made up 9% of BA
Concorde revenue, rather more for AF
I think, who had a smaller scheduled operation, with no extra 'nice little earners' like BA
's scheduled, seasonal BGI
And most of the charter revenue were from ones like IMF charters, 'Round The World' charters etc.
I still really miss it.
Though I feel sorry for those who feel robbed of a chance to fly on it, even see it, well I was too young to go see a Saturn V launch.
Life's like that.