ren0312
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Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:31 am

If you can get the Concorde to fly again, how much would you have to charge to break even if you were BA or AF? What are its economics vs. modern transatlantic jetliners? As for the interior, since you are only talking about a 3 hour hop, you could still keep the same seats, except for the addition of inflight VOD and wifi.
 
sonicruiser
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:52 am

Concorde had nothing to do with economics. It was unparalleled in the fact that efficiency was completely irrelevant, it was deafeningly loud, sleek with an air of sophistication, and totally impractical, but that's what made it so awesome. It was a massive middle finger to NIMBY's and environmental stooges in Greenpeace everywhere waking up entire neighborhoods with 150K pounds of thrust and producing air shattering sonic booms in its wake while passengers sipped champagne as they glanced out over the curvature of the earth, to the rising sun, the stars, the horizon of space, and further to the heavens. Nothing mattered except supercruising through the sound barrier at 60K feet in impeccable elegance courtesy of four gas guzzling afterburners and arriving in style before you departed. It was a legend of the 70's that gave us a glimpse into the future and was far ahead of its time. Subsonic travel was for plebeians, supersonic travel was for the jetsetters of tomorrow. It defied logic and will forever remain a powerful symbol of what humanity can achieve in the face of adversity and those who say you can't. She is truly a pinnacle of engineering and an enduring triumph to the spirit of resilience.
Last edited by sonicruiser on Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:13 am

The Concorde carried 95T of fuel and only around 100 seats that are premium economy by todays standards. With a range of 3900nm most of this fuel was consumed flying transatlantic.

Cabin area would be similar to an A320 and looking at the payload range chart the A320 would burn slightly over 20T of fuel on a similar trip.

So the concorde burns 4 times the fuel of the A320 over the trip to carry the same payload. I would assume maintenance of a new build concorde would also be more over 4 times the cost of an A320. Staffing costs costs would be similar, airport fees based on weight would be roughly double for the supersonic aircraft.

Seat prices for a supersonic aircraft would easily be $2000+ for London to New York.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:36 am

RJMAZ wrote:
The Concorde carried 95T of fuel and only around 100 seats that are premium economy by todays standards. With a range of 3900nm most of this fuel was consumed flying transatlantic.

Cabin area would be similar to an A320 and looking at the payload range chart the A320 would burn slightly over 20T of fuel on a similar trip.

So the concorde burns 4 times the fuel of the A320 over the trip to carry the same payload. I would assume maintenance of a new build concorde would also be more over 4 times the cost of an A320. Staffing costs costs would be similar, airport fees based on weight would be roughly double for the supersonic aircraft.

Seat prices for a supersonic aircraft would easily be $2000+ for London to New York.


Excellent analysis until the last sentence. Fuel only accounts for ~1/4 of the total cost of running an airline (and presumably a similar proportion of average airfare across an airline's system). However, the tickets for Concorde were not just expensive because of fuel. Most of what passengers were paying for was the experience. Concorde only had one competitor...and that was Concorde, AF vs BA.

The issue with flying at M=2.0 is that whether your engines burn coal, kerosine, or compressed natural angel farts, you need to burn 4-5 times as much of it to carry a given payload over a given distance at that speed. And whether your aircraft is made of titanium, CFRP, or nanotube-reinforced unobtanium, you need 2-4x as much of it to handle the stresses of flying at those speeds.

Until we have something like a fusion-powered aircraft, practical SSTs for mass transport just won't be a thing.
-Doc Lightning-

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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:30 am

DocLightning wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
Seat prices for a supersonic aircraft would easily be $2000+ for London to New York.

Excellent analysis until the last sentence.

Fairly certain that he mistakenly left a 0 off of that...
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Arion640
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:04 am

LAX772LR wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
Seat prices for a supersonic aircraft would easily be $2000+ for London to New York.

Excellent analysis until the last sentence.

Fairly certain that he mistakenly left a 0 off of that...


I don’t think they were ever that expensive. £6000 one way i seem to recall?

Plenty of high up Business executives who’s time really was money used it as a commuting tool. Plus various celebrities who just used it because they could.
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:13 am

sonicruiser wrote:
Concorde had nothing to do with economics. It was unparalleled in the fact that efficiency was completely irrelevant, it was deafeningly loud, sleek with an air of sophistication, and totally impractical, but that's what made it so awesome. It was a massive middle finger to NIMBY's and environmental stooges in Greenpeace everywhere waking up entire neighborhoods with 150K pounds of thrust and producing air shattering sonic booms in its wake while passengers sipped champagne as they glanced out over the curvature of the earth, to the rising sun, the stars, the horizon of space, and further to the heavens. Nothing mattered except supercruising through the sound barrier at 60K feet in impeccable elegance courtesy of four gas guzzling afterburners and arriving in style before you departed. It was a legend of the 70's that gave us a glimpse into the future and was far ahead of its time. Subsonic travel was for plebeians, supersonic travel was for the jetsetters of tomorrow. It defied logic and will forever remain a powerful symbol of what humanity can achieve in the face of adversity and those who say you can't. She is truly a pinnacle of engineering and an enduring triumph to the spirit of resilience.


What a piece of poetry!!!
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:19 am

Arion640 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
Excellent analysis until the last sentence.

Fairly certain that he mistakenly left a 0 off of that...

I don’t think they were ever that expensive. £6000 one way i seem to recall?

You missed the gist of what he was trying to say: he's projecting what the prices would have to be to justify a modified Concorde in today's environment.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:42 am

sonicruiser wrote:
Concorde had nothing to do with economics. It was unparalleled in the fact that efficiency was completely irrelevant, it was deafeningly loud, sleek with an air of sophistication, and totally impractical, but that's what made it so awesome. It was a massive middle finger to NIMBY's and environmental stooges in Greenpeace everywhere waking up entire neighborhoods with 150K pounds of thrust and producing air shattering sonic booms in its wake while passengers sipped champagne as they glanced out over the curvature of the earth, to the rising sun, the stars, the horizon of space, and further to the heavens. Nothing mattered except supercruising through the sound barrier at 60K feet in impeccable elegance courtesy of four gas guzzling afterburners and arriving in style before you departed. It was a legend of the 70's that gave us a glimpse into the future and was far ahead of its time. Subsonic travel was for plebeians, supersonic travel was for the jetsetters of tomorrow. It defied logic and will forever remain a powerful symbol of what humanity can achieve in the face of adversity and those who say you can't. She is truly a pinnacle of engineering and an enduring triumph to the spirit of resilience.


Enjoyable bit of bombast there - convincing! You're right, Concorde never made any sense except as an incredibly -- astoundingly -- impractical show-project. Which is exactly what the Apollo program was, too. And both programs were very valuable culturally and industrially. They were about an almost vulgar show of power. But, that is what St Peter's Basilica was probably about too. Projects like that are cool. :thumbsup:
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:02 am

Arion640 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Fairly certain that he mistakenly left a 0 off of that...


I don’t think they were ever that expensive. £6000 one way i seem to recall?

Plenty of high up Business executives who’s time really was money used it as a commuting tool. Plus various celebrities who just used it because they could.

The Concorde back in the day would have required lots of maintenance. So most of the £6000 would have gone towards the purchase price and maintenance.

A Concorde style and capacity aircraft built today would be fairly straight forward with current technology. With digital design and testing it would be quicker to develop. With a carbon fuselage it would be quicker to assemble. New engine technology will allow for very durable engines despite the unusual thrust requirement. This would allow the purchase price and maintenance to be much lower allowing tickets to be less than the original concorde.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:16 am

Flighty wrote:
sonicruiser wrote:
Concorde had nothing to do with economics. It was unparalleled in the fact that efficiency was completely irrelevant, it was deafeningly loud, sleek with an air of sophistication, and totally impractical, but that's what made it so awesome. It was a massive middle finger to NIMBY's and environmental stooges in Greenpeace everywhere waking up entire neighborhoods with 150K pounds of thrust and producing air shattering sonic booms in its wake while passengers sipped champagne as they glanced out over the curvature of the earth, to the rising sun, the stars, the horizon of space, and further to the heavens. Nothing mattered except supercruising through the sound barrier at 60K feet in impeccable elegance courtesy of four gas guzzling afterburners and arriving in style before you departed. It was a legend of the 70's that gave us a glimpse into the future and was far ahead of its time. Subsonic travel was for plebeians, supersonic travel was for the jetsetters of tomorrow. It defied logic and will forever remain a powerful symbol of what humanity can achieve in the face of adversity and those who say you can't. She is truly a pinnacle of engineering and an enduring triumph to the spirit of resilience.


Enjoyable bit of bombast there - convincing! You're right, Concorde never made any sense except as an incredibly -- astoundingly -- impractical show-project. Which is exactly what the Apollo program was, too. And both programs were very valuable culturally and industrially. They were about an almost vulgar show of power. But, that is what St Peter's Basilica was probably about too. Projects like that are cool. :thumbsup:


While Concorde in service was not a very practical proposition, many technologies developed for Concorde have seeped into later airliner projects. The tech development alone probably returned more in advancement than the cost of development. For example, transfer of fuel for trimming, developed for Concorde, was used in the A330/A340 and the A380. This feature allows significant fuel savings.

The Apollo program was also not an economical proposition in isolation, but it spawned myriad technologies that have been immensely useful. Fly by wire and miniaturisation of computers come to mind. The economic returns on space exploration have historically been excellent taken as a whole, even though individual projects haven't paid for themselves in a direct sense. NASA even has a website dedicated to technnologies spun off from space exploration: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:29 am

RJMAZ wrote:
With a carbon fuselage it would be quicker to assemble.

It'd also likely 1) melt and 2) disintegrate in midair due to the 10inch stretch generally incurred in 3hr+ supercruise... in both cases killing all pax aboard.

So yeahhhh, probably a better idea to stick with titanium+aluminum with limits on the composites.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:14 am

It’s difficult to compare Concorde to the airliners of today. It very much held its own niche and did so very well for a number of years.
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:17 am

SpaceShip Two is made of CFRP and good to go to Mach 2+.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:47 am

LAX772LR wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
With a carbon fuselage it would be quicker to assemble.

It'd also likely 1) melt and 2) disintegrate in midair due to the 10inch stretch generally incurred in 3hr+ supercruise... in both cases killing all pax aboard.

So yeahhhh, probably a better idea to stick with titanium+aluminum with limits on the composites.

Quite the opposite. Carbon fibre has a higher heat tolerance than aluminium and has one of the lowest heat expansion rates.

You wouldn't even need titanium on the leading edges until you got to mach 2.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:51 am

RJMAZ wrote:
The Concorde carried 95T of fuel and only around 100 seats that are premium economy by todays standards. With a range of 3900nm most of this fuel was consumed flying transatlantic.

Cabin area would be similar to an A320 and looking at the payload range chart the A320 would burn slightly over 20T of fuel on a similar trip.

So the concorde burns 4 times the fuel of the A320 over the trip to carry the same payload. I would assume maintenance of a new build concorde would also be more over 4 times the cost of an A320. Staffing costs costs would be similar, airport fees based on weight would be roughly double for the supersonic aircraft.

Seat prices for a supersonic aircraft would easily be $2000+ for London to New York.


I'm on that flight tomorrow at that price
 
rivetremover
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:55 am

This is off topic but roughly how long did it take for it to reach Mach 1, cruise speed, and its initial cruise altitude?
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:03 am

We are having twin engine wide bodies fly SIN-SFO cheaply for the consumer. I don't think supersonic flight will be far behind. As much as I hated/enjoyed the flight OAK-LAX-HNL, I think it will be affordable and shorter for the consumer in the very near future.
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:25 am

RJMAZ wrote:
Quite the opposite. Carbon fibre has a higher heat tolerance than aluminium and has one of the lowest heat expansion rates.

The aluminum isn't the part of concern..............

RJMAZ wrote:
You wouldn't even need titanium on the leading edges until you got to mach 2.

..............which is exactly where a modernized Concorde would spend the majority of its operation, hence the statement.



rivetremover wrote:
This is off topic but roughly how long did it take for it to reach Mach 1, cruise speed

Depends on where you departed from, and what restrictions that would impose.

From a coastal airport (e.g. JFK, BGI), assuming no ATC limitation, you could just let the aircraft go straight to M1.0, which it could ten min or less.
JFK required two short throttlebacks, but you were pretty much clear to turn&burn after passing the Rockaways.

From non coastal airport (e.g. LHR, CDG), you'd just trade speed for climb, until over the water, where you'd then flatten the climb and let the aircraft accelerate with a precalculated "limiting speed," where it'd be most economical at altitude.


rivetremover wrote:
and its initial cruise altitude?

Didn't really have one. Initial ATC restrictions aside, Concorde climbed continually as it supercruised, until it was ready to begin its descent/approach.
Last edited by LAX772LR on Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:35 am

DocLightning wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
The Concorde carried 95T of fuel and only around 100 seats that are premium economy by todays standards. With a range of 3900nm most of this fuel was consumed flying transatlantic.

Cabin area would be similar to an A320 and looking at the payload range chart the A320 would burn slightly over 20T of fuel on a similar trip.

So the concorde burns 4 times the fuel of the A320 over the trip to carry the same payload. I would assume maintenance of a new build concorde would also be more over 4 times the cost of an A320. Staffing costs costs would be similar, airport fees based on weight would be roughly double for the supersonic aircraft.

Seat prices for a supersonic aircraft would easily be $2000+ for London to New York.


Excellent analysis until the last sentence. Fuel only accounts for ~1/4 of the total cost of running an airline (and presumably a similar proportion of average airfare across an airline's system). However, the tickets for Concorde were not just expensive because of fuel. Most of what passengers were paying for was the experience. Concorde only had one competitor...and that was Concorde, AF vs BA.

The issue with flying at M=2.0 is that whether your engines burn coal, kerosine, or compressed natural angel farts, you need to burn 4-5 times as much of it to carry a given payload over a given distance at that speed. And whether your aircraft is made of titanium, CFRP, or nanotube-reinforced unobtanium, you need 2-4x as much of it to handle the stresses of flying at those speeds.

Until we have something like a fusion-powered aircraft, practical SSTs for mass transport just won't be a thing.


About the experience I tend to disagree. Most of the Concorde passengers were business people who flew Concorde because the speed.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:43 am

LAX772LR wrote:

rivetremover wrote:
and its initial cruise altitude?

Didn't really have one. Initial ATC restrictions aside, Concorde climbed continually as it supercruised, until it was ready to begin its descent/approach.


Wouldn't initial cruise altitude just depend on temperature and weight?

Side note. In an ideal world, all airliners would climb continually. As you burn off fuel your optimal altitude does continually increase. In the real world, temperatures vary along the route, plus ATC has a complicated enough job...
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:56 am

Starlionblue wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
rivetremover wrote:
and its initial cruise altitude?

Didn't really have one. Initial ATC restrictions aside, Concorde climbed continually as it supercruised, until it was ready to begin its descent/approach.


Wouldn't initial cruise altitude just depend on temperature and weight?

Indeed, thus the "really" sandwiched in there ;)



Starlionblue wrote:
Side note. In an ideal world, all airliners would climb continually. As you burn off fuel your optimal altitude does continually increase.

but also keep in mind that Concorde's cruise-climb wasn't slight... it began its crossing at similar altitude to other traffic, but went to twice that height by the time it began its descent. Yes, having its performance type and "designated lanes," helped, but still.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:57 am

LAX772LR wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
Quite the opposite. Carbon fibre has a higher heat tolerance than aluminium and has one of the lowest heat expansion rates.

The aluminum isn't the part of concern...............

You clearly dont know much about aircraft materials.

A modern day concorde could easily and would most likely have 99% of the exterior surfaces made out of carbon fibre. It could be built in large sections/barrels just like the 787. It will not melt or disintegrate in midair due to the 3 hour supercruise. So you are 100% wrong.

This is what you posted about a carbon fibre.

LAX772LR wrote:
It'd also likely 1) melt and 2) disintegrate in midair due to the 10inch stretch generally incurred in 3hr+ supercruise... in both cases killing all pax aboard.

It is actually the exact opposite. A metal design is far more likely to stretch and melt due to temperature. Also a metal design is far more likely to fail due to pressure fatigue of cruising at 50,000+ft.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:23 am

RJMAZ wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
Quite the opposite. Carbon fibre has a higher heat tolerance than aluminium and has one of the lowest heat expansion rates.

The aluminum isn't the part of concern...............

You clearly dont know much about aircraft materials.

A modern day concorde could easily and would most likely have 99% of the exterior surfaces made out of carbon fibre. It could be built in large sections/barrels just like the 787. It will not melt or disintegrate in midair due to the 3 hour supercruise.

1) I've made no claim to extensive knowledge of design materials, but 2) I'm far more inclined to take the word of those with actual expertise/accreditation --this excludes you-- on the matter: specifically, Lockheed's Don Kinard, in his explanation of why heavier metals are still used in the proportions that they are for supersonic designs, as opposed to going all composite at this point in time.

In his answer he states that while it's theoretically feasible, it's not marketable, because in addition to weight, the strengthening required for (among other things) heat exposure is still impractical and (even for a military application) uneconomic, compared to the alternative. The expense of tolerate resins doesn't make that equation any more favorable, either.

"Can we make an all-composite fighter jet?” asks Kinard. “Sure, but we don’t do something just because we can. Everything is a cost-benefit analysis. Where are the best places to most efficiently use composites?” He notes that composite substructures were evaluated for the F-16, F-22 and F-35, but didn’t provide the weight savings needed to justify cost. “We needed to save a lot more weight for composite substructures to make sense,” he says. Also, he notes, in composites substructures, “z-directional properties are the problem. The strength of resin will have to be significantly improved. There’s a lot to overcome.” Kinard notes that Lockheed, wherever in-flight service temperatures allow, uses carbon fiber/epoxy from Cytec Engineered Materials (Tempe, Ariz.), but much of the plane’s skin requires higher heat resistance, where Cytec’s CYCOM 5250-4 bismaleimide (BMI) is used. Although Lockheed is evaluating the new crop of out-of-autoclave (OOA) resins for special applications, Kinard foresees no near-term changes in the matrix."

In essence: you want the most strength, at the lowest weight, while maintaining optimal heat tolerance-- you still go for the metals.

And keep in mind that's for smaller aircraft, with less surfaces exposed, and far shorter time expanses spent at those temps. Thus to reiterate, in Concorde proportions, there's no way you're getting the strength/shielding needed for that thing to maintain structural integrity for that manner of mission profile, with modern all-composite technology, relative to what you can already have with metal.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:50 am

ren0312 wrote:
If you can get the Concorde to fly again, how much would you have to charge to break even if you were BA or AF? What are its economics vs. modern transatlantic jetliners? As for the interior, since you are only talking about a 3 hour hop, you could still keep the same seats, except for the addition of inflight VOD and wifi.


Not an answer to your question but wasn’t the Concorde sold to BA for one pound sterling per plane by the UK Govt? if I remember correctly? That should make it competitive with everything.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:45 am

snasteve wrote:
ren0312 wrote:
If you can get the Concorde to fly again, how much would you have to charge to break even if you were BA or AF? What are its economics vs. modern transatlantic jetliners? As for the interior, since you are only talking about a 3 hour hop, you could still keep the same seats, except for the addition of inflight VOD and wifi.


Not an answer to your question but wasn’t the Concorde sold to BA for one pound sterling per plane by the UK Govt? if I remember correctly? That should make it competitive with everything.


Myth generated by Branson, BOAC, BA's predecessor company, did buy 5 aircraft which when ordered in 1972 prices, were about 20% more expensive than a 747 at the time. This does not count development costs though not the first pioneering airliner to have done that.

In 1979/80, BA took on airframes 214 and 216, (later registered G-BOAG and G-BOAF), these were given for a nominal sum but this does not count BA's own money spent in getting these white tails to BA standard.
In 1984, BA and the UK government, ended an agreement that BA had when taking the aircraft in 1975/6, BA by then had merged and quite a few of a the board, some but not all from the short haul BEA predecessor, were reluctant to take on Concorde, government also wanted at least a bit of that development money back, if possible.
So 80% of what BA earned off Concorde went back to the government.

By 1984, with BA going private approaching, with new management, John King and Colin Marshall, not from inside BA (or airlines in general), with a mission to slash costs, (20,000 staff went in the early 80's), the writing was on the wall for Concorde, surely?
King looked at the aircraft in 1982, saw it was almost unique and gave a newly formed Concorde Division two years to make it a profit centre. Many will know the stories, how fares were adjusted upwards when customers, largely on corporate accounts were asked what they thought they were paying! Marketing was changed etc.

At the core of this was ending that crippling agreement with the UK government, BA payed a lump sum of some 10's of millions in exchange for than keeping what they earned off the aircraft.
This also affected support from industry too.
Now with an incentive to make the aircraft pay, BA certainly did just that. It became the flagship, in a way it was not before, including going private in 1987. More routes, more charters, new interiors, everything refreshed.
(G-BOAG had been grounded and used for spares in 1982, it was brought back into service, first with a major overhaul of the interior and the Landor livery).

I also heard comparisons with the Apollo Programme, from NASA when they visited BA Concorde Engineering in December 1998, the purpose was to compare notes on maintaining a very small fleet of unique air vehicles, long out of production, (such as the Space Shuttle), maintaining links with vendors when you only have small orders, often years apart.
As far as they were concerned, even at that point, Concorde for them was still 'the most advanced airliner in the world', their exact words!

A note on something above, you would not feel the reheat at Mach 2, just on take off, then two slight bumps, maybe, if down the back really, at transonic going to supersonic, until Mach 1.7 when they were switched off.
Worth remembering that Mach 2/50,000+ feet, the aircraft was very efficient, just not at lower speeds, lower altitudes, all airliners are like that, Concorde just took it way further, all part of having that much greater flight envelope, which is why comparing to subsonic airliners is a bit pointless.

I recall our Olympus 593 rep from RR saying that issue, for any new SST, would not be beating Concorde on efficiency at Mach 2/50,000+ feet, where it would be unlikely to better Concorde, it's the rest of the flight envelope, the emissions, noise, fuel useage, for that you need a high bypass turbofan, incompatible with the demands of a SST.
Which is why even initially promising concepts like Aerion have stalled.
Boeing could not even sell airlines on a bit more speed for a bit for fuel use with the Sonic Cruiser.

Gordon Roxburugh's superb site has all you need to know and probably more, here the efficiency of the aircraft in supercruise is well explained and illustrated;
http://www.concordesst.com/powerplant.html
 
snasteve
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:33 pm

GDB wrote:
snasteve wrote:
ren0312 wrote:
If you can get the Concorde to fly again, how much would you have to charge to break even if you were BA or AF? What are its economics vs. modern transatlantic jetliners? As for the interior, since you are only talking about a 3 hour hop, you could still keep the same seats, except for the addition of inflight VOD and wifi.


Not an answer to your question but wasn’t the Concorde sold to BA for one pound sterling per plane by the UK Govt? if I remember correctly? That should make it competitive with everything.


Myth generated by Branson, BOAC, BA's predecessor company, did buy 5 aircraft which when ordered in 1972 prices, were about 20% more expensive than a 747 at the time. This does not count development costs though not the first pioneering airliner to have done that.

In 1979/80, BA took on airframes 214 and 216, (later registered G-BOAG and G-BOAF), these were given for a nominal sum but this does not count BA's own money spent in getting these white tails to BA standard.
In 1984, BA and the UK government, ended an agreement that BA had when taking the aircraft in 1975/6, BA by then had merged and quite a few of a the board, some but not all from the short haul BEA predecessor, were reluctant to take on Concorde, government also wanted at least a bit of that development money back, if possible.
So 80% of what BA earned off Concorde went back to the government.

By 1984, with BA going private approaching, with new management, John King and Colin Marshall, not from inside BA (or airlines in general), with a mission to slash costs, (20,000 staff went in the early 80's), the writing was on the wall for Concorde, surely?
King looked at the aircraft in 1982, saw it was almost unique and gave a newly formed Concorde Division two years to make it a profit centre. Many will know the stories, how fares were adjusted upwards when customers, largely on corporate accounts were asked what they thought they were paying! Marketing was changed etc.

At the core of this was ending that crippling agreement with the UK government, BA payed a lump sum of some 10's of millions in exchange for than keeping what they earned off the aircraft.
This also affected support from industry too.
Now with an incentive to make the aircraft pay, BA certainly did just that. It became the flagship, in a way it was not before, including going private in 1987. More routes, more charters, new interiors, everything refreshed.
(G-BOAG had been grounded and used for spares in 1982, it was brought back into service, first with a major overhaul of the interior and the Landor livery).

I also heard comparisons with the Apollo Programme, from NASA when they visited BA Concorde Engineering in December 1998, the purpose was to compare notes on maintaining a very small fleet of unique air vehicles, long out of production, (such as the Space Shuttle), maintaining links with vendors when you only have small orders, often years apart.
As far as they were concerned, even at that point, Concorde for them was still 'the most advanced airliner in the world', their exact words!

A note on something above, you would not feel the reheat at Mach 2, just on take off, then two slight bumps, maybe, if down the back really, at transonic going to supersonic, until Mach 1.7 when they were switched off.
Worth remembering that Mach 2/50,000+ feet, the aircraft was very efficient, just not at lower speeds, lower altitudes, all airliners are like that, Concorde just took it way further, all part of having that much greater flight envelope, which is why comparing to subsonic airliners is a bit pointless.

I recall our Olympus 593 rep from RR saying that issue, for any new SST, would not be beating Concorde on efficiency at Mach 2/50,000+ feet, where it would be unlikely to better Concorde, it's the rest of the flight envelope, the emissions, noise, fuel useage, for that you need a high bypass turbofan, incompatible with the demands of a SST.
Which is why even initially promising concepts like Aerion have stalled.
Boeing could not even sell airlines on a bit more speed for a bit for fuel use with the Sonic Cruiser.

Gordon Roxburugh's superb site has all you need to know and probably more, here the efficiency of the aircraft in supercruise is well explained and illustrated;
http://www.concordesst.com/powerplant.html


Thanks for letting me know, unfortunately to this date there are some fairly reputable places and people who are reporting this and they seem to believe it as well. I was actually told this by a pilot. I’m going to have to talk to that person.
 
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cpd
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:51 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
With a carbon fuselage it would be quicker to assemble.

It'd also likely 1) melt and 2) disintegrate in midair due to the 10inch stretch generally incurred in 3hr+ supercruise... in both cases killing all pax aboard.

So yeahhhh, probably a better idea to stick with titanium+aluminum with limits on the composites.


Agree with RJMAZ - a new one would use composite materials. Lockheed themselves did so for another fast aircraft in very hot parts of that plane.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:24 pm

cpd wrote:
Lockheed themselves did so for another fast aircraft in very hot parts of that plane.

...um, might wanna scroll up to Reply#24.

That's straight from Lockheed.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
B8887
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:06 pm

Concorde was actually meant, and in the end it was, economically viable for airlines, and it was originally designed to be produced in larger numbers.

What killed it were the oil shocks of the early 70's.

"Economics" and "Concorde" placed not far from in each other is a fairly humorous word combination.

Regards.

B8887
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:54 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
I'm far more inclined to take the word of those with actual expertise/accreditation --this excludes you-- on the matter: specifically, Lockheed's Don Kinard, in his explanation of why heavier metals are still used in the proportions that they are for supersonic designs, as opposed to going all composite at this point in time.

You can't be serious? So you are basing your argument on the fact the F-22 doesn't use a carbon fibre "sub structure"?

You do realise the production F-22 flew 12 years before the 787. The F-35 first flight was also before the 787.

Also neither the F-35 or F-22 have a long tubular pressurised passenger section like the concorde which is where composites work best. Despite this the F-35 still has 35% of its aircraft weight made out of composites. The 787 is 50% composite by weight. Even the 787 has 50% of its weight made out of metal yet we still call it a composite design.

Nearly the entire skin of the supercruising F-22 is composite.

So you are still 100% wrong that a carbon fibre Concorde would melt and stretch.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:12 am

LAX772LR wrote:
cpd wrote:
Lockheed themselves did so for another fast aircraft in very hot parts of that plane.

...um, might wanna scroll up to Reply#24.

That's straight from Lockheed.


I’ll take what they actually did do over what they say.

Composite materials stood up to 3000km/h+ temperatures quite well.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:38 am

RJMAZ wrote:
You can't be serious? So you are basing your argument on the fact the F-22 doesn't use a carbon fibre "sub structure"?

No, I'm saying you likely wouldn't be able to get something all-composite that'd be built with enough structure to maintain integrity in that kind of service profile, and yet not be so overbuilt (or require increasingly exotic materials as listed above) such as to be completely beyond both weight/cost effectiveness.

If you've got an authoritative source that shows otherwise, I'd be more than willing to retract such; but simply you saying it... not so much.



RJMAZ wrote:
Also neither the F-35 or F-22 have a long tubular pressurised passenger section like the concorde which is where composites work best.

"work best" in what regard, i.e. relative to what for doing what... or are we to just take that blanket statement as if it meant something?



RJMAZ wrote:
Despite this the F-35 still has 35% of its aircraft weight made out of composites. The 787 is 50% composite by weight. Even the 787 has 50% of its weight made out of metal yet we still call it a composite design.

*goalpost then* ---------> *goalpost now*



RJMAZ wrote:
Nearly the entire skin of the supercruising F-22 is composite.

And that spends how much time at supercruise, versus something that would spend 1/3 of every 24hr period for 20yrs+ subject to those conditions. You're going to sit here and say the design philosophy/materials would be equivalent? Seriously?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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cpd
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:09 am

Good grief- some of the hottest parts on the exterior of the most famous Lockheed plane of them all were composite materials. They stood up to the demands of M3.0+ flight, sometimes even faster for some incredibly long missions.

Missions that were far longer than any Concorde flight and had more heating/cooling cycles as well.
 
stratclub
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:48 pm

Maybe the companies that designed some of those exotic aircraft should fire their engineering departments and do their engineering here on A-Net. Apparently companies like Lockheed or Boeing have no clue what they were doing.
 
GDB
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:53 pm

cpd wrote:
Good grief- some of the hottest parts on the exterior of the most famous Lockheed plane of them all were composite materials. They stood up to the demands of M3.0+ flight, sometimes even faster for some incredibly long missions.

Missions that were far longer than any Concorde flight and had more heating/cooling cycles as well.


Some of these materials would likely also have been used in the original Mach 3 B2707, there was a reason why they soon dropped the max speed down to Mach 2.7, the sheer expense and difficulty of working these exotic material back then.
Fine for a small number of highly specialised military aircraft, with an additional requirement in reducing radar cross section too, not so much an airliner Boeing intended to sell.
Even at M2.7 the challenges would have been formidable. Quite apart from anything else, all those pax and crew, not just two highly trained airmen in pressure suits.

Even Concorde dropped the Mach 2.2 to Mach 2.02, since the RR58 aluminum which made up the bulk of the airframe, would last longer at the lower speed. RR58 was developed to be both easier to work with and suitable for the heat/airframe stretching .
 
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exFWAOONW
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:04 pm

IIRC, one of the reasons Boeing dialed back on the 2707 was availability of Titanium to reinforce some of those hot parts. (couldn't/didn't want to buy from the USSR)
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
B2707SST
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:26 pm

When the SSTs were being designed in the 1960s, fuel prices were a much smaller proportion of total operating costs than they are now. Labor and capital costs were the main drivers, so there was great interest in larger (747) and faster (SST) aircraft that would spread these relatively fixed costs over more passengers per day. Boeing thought CASM for the 2707 would be fairly similar to the 707-320B, while the 747 would be at least 20% below them. Hence their outlook that freight and tourist traffic would fly by 747s while the SSTs would capture most passenger traffic, as the fare surcharge needed to make SST economics work was expected to be relatively small.

The 1970s oil shocks certainly changed this math, but it's a common misconception that they killed Concorde's sales prospects. Of the 74 orders and options placed during the development phase, by early 1973, all had lapsed or been cancelled except 5 for BOAC and 4 for Air France. Although oil prices were rising somewhat in the early '70s, the first great shock did not occur until October 1973, when OPEC embargoed the West for its perceived support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. By July 1974, Britain and France agreed to end the program after 16 production aircraft were completed, abandoning plans to build at least 6 more frames that had been authorized in September 1972. See http://concordesst.com/history/70s.html for a fantastically detailed timeline.

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Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:33 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
No, I'm saying you likely wouldn't be able to get something all-composite that'd be built with enough structure to maintain integrity in that kind of service profile, and yet not be so overbuilt (or require increasingly exotic materials as listed above) such as to be completely beyond both weight/cost effectiveness.


I think modern composite structures are just as strong, if not stronger than metal parts... with equal or less weight. The B787 and A350 seem to be just as capable as their metal counterparts and even handle a lower cabin altitude. Of course a SST aircraft made of composite materials would need to be further reinforced... but so was the metal fuselage of Concorde.

They might not be able to use the same materials like on the 787 or 350 as they use a plastic matrix to hold the carbon fibres together. I would assume that this matrix is indeed too heat sensitive. It wouldn't melt though, just burn.
But carbon carbon composites are very heat resistant. After all we use it for brakes. And it was used on the space shuttle at the hottest sections... wing leading edge and nose.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:13 pm

If they( the aerospace geniuses) can figure out to manage the sonic boom the test will fall into place.

What is the most precious commodity to people who make money?

Time!

In 10-20 years oil prices will be no higher than today and could be back to pre opec levels.

New forms of transport services will allow transit times to airports to be slashed addressing last mile travel times.

All of this with the pent up demand for reduced travel time will create a market for something like 400-800 ac if the sonic boom can be managed.
 
acjbbj
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:13 pm

ren0312 wrote:
Concorde Economics


What an oxymoron.
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Planeflyer
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:06 pm

acjbbj wrote:
ren0312 wrote:
Concorde Economics


What an oxymoron.


Certainly the program was a bust but the one flight I took sticks w me today. Never felt so good flying to Europe.

I think this is case where the pioneers got killed but what a battle.

I hope Boom figures it out. I’d certainly be a customer.
 
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cpd
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:07 am

acjbbj wrote:
ren0312 wrote:
Concorde Economics


What an oxymoron.



It isn't. At the time they were working on it, they were focusing on economics by the standards of the day. Many things were focused on, the ability to turn it around without drama at airports - that it should just blend in to the normal traffic patterns and that it should provide reasonable operating economics for the kind of plane it was. I'm rusty on all the details, but if someone really insists I could dig out the marketing materials of the time for it (I still have originals of them - in perfect condition).

It's easy to have 20/20 vision in hindsight, but at the time it was a realistic proposition and others clearly thought so too as they rushed to work on their own SST programs. Obviously we know differently now and that there will never, ever be another high speed aircraft in the future.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:42 am

LAX772LR wrote:
rivetremover wrote:
and its initial cruise altitude?

Didn't really have one. Initial ATC restrictions aside, Concorde climbed continually as it supercruised, until it was ready to begin its descent/approach.


Didn't notice this before - it did have a couple of initial cruise altitudes - its subsonic cruise altitude (usually 29,000ft) or around 49,000ft - the corner point. Look that up if you wish to. I'm fairly certain it didn't always climb at supercruise.

I wanted to add that to my reply before but wasn't quick enough before the editing was stopped.
 
planecane
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:41 am

RJMAZ wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
With a carbon fuselage it would be quicker to assemble.

It'd also likely 1) melt and 2) disintegrate in midair due to the 10inch stretch generally incurred in 3hr+ supercruise... in both cases killing all pax aboard.

So yeahhhh, probably a better idea to stick with titanium+aluminum with limits on the composites.

Quite the opposite. Carbon fibre has a higher heat tolerance than aluminium and has one of the lowest heat expansion rates.

You wouldn't even need titanium on the leading edges until you got to mach 2.


I know it is delicate (see Columbia accident) but is the reinforced carbon carbon that was used on the space shuttle considered carbon fiber? How does it compare to titanium in weight and cost?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:44 am

cpd wrote:
I'm fairly certain it didn't always climb at supercruise.

:shakehead: :shakehead: :shakehead:

viewtopic.php?t=745353
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
B2707SST
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:38 pm

planecane wrote:
I know it is delicate (see Columbia accident) but is the reinforced carbon carbon that was used on the space shuttle considered carbon fiber? How does it compare to titanium in weight and cost?


Technically yes - RCC is carbon fiber in a graphite matrix. No idea about cost; it is light, but as you mentioned, it's also extremely fragile and has very little impact resistance. I have never seen it referenced for high-speed aircraft applications.

Within 7 years of the SST cancellation, Boeing was working on carbon and boron fiber materials for supersonic applications - see this paper from 1978: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a305026.pdf. Even at that early date, they found 10-20% weight savings were possible using carbon fiber instead of titanium for structural elements of a notional Mach 2.7 aircraft. Heat is certainly a problem - you can't just drop 787 materials into high-speed applications - but it's not insurmountable if you're willing to spend the money.

Beyond simple weight reduction, composites help solve another critical but poorly appreciated problem for SSTs: aeroelastic instability. The extremely slender fuselage and thin wing sections required by supersonic aerodynamics are inherently flexible, and this seriously exacerbates flutter and control problems. Tailless deltas like Concorde are less impacted since the wing braces the fuselage over most of its length, but new airliner-scale SST designs will almost certainly be larger than Concorde, have somewhat higher aspect ratio delta wings, and will need a separate tail to allow for flaps to meet noise criteria.

A key trigger for the weight spiral that killed Boeing's swing-wing design was the airframe's response to high tail loads at low speeds (e.g. go-around, wind shear). Stiffening the fuselage added tens of thousands of pounds that they could not claw back. Composites could be very useful for these applications since you can tailor the fiber orientation to optimize stiffness in particular directions.
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:43 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
cpd wrote:
I'm fairly certain it didn't always climb at supercruise.

:shakehead: :shakehead: :shakehead:

viewtopic.php?t=745353


You can head shake all you want, but it is the truth. If weather conditions intervened, it would and could drift back down to a lower altitude. That is the way it worked.

And a kudo to the post directly above - interesting.
 
B2707SST
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:37 pm

cpd wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
cpd wrote:
I'm fairly certain it didn't always climb at supercruise.

:shakehead: :shakehead: :shakehead:

viewtopic.php?t=745353


You can head shake all you want, but it is the truth. If weather conditions intervened, it would and could drift back down to a lower altitude. That is the way it worked.

And a kudo to the post directly above - interesting.


Glad you found it interesting! You're right regarding cruise-climb - it would be more accurate to say the aircraft climbed relative to a standard density altitude as it burned off fuel. Deviations in temperature from standard atmosphere could and did cause changes in absolute altitude, including descents if temperatures rose.

In fact, test pilot Brian Trubshaw recounts in his book that during a demonstration flight for the Shah, Concorde was cruising at Mach 2 when it suddenly encountered an unusually cold air pocket. "The autopilot could not compete with the change and commenced a rapid climb, followed by an even more rapid descent during which [indicated] air speed rose to 550 kt, 20 kt above the normal limit." This prompted a change in autopilot logic that increased the use of autothrottle and decreased the use of pitch to maintain Mach number following sudden changes in air temperature.
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
Phillipzu
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Re: Concorde economics vs. 787/A330/777/A321LR

Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:52 am

B2707SST wrote:
cpd wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:


You can head shake all you want, but it is the truth. If weather conditions intervened, it would and could drift back down to a lower altitude. That is the way it worked.

And a kudo to the post directly above - interesting.


Glad you found it interesting! You're right regarding cruise-climb - it would be more accurate to say the aircraft climbed relative to a standard density altitude as it burned off fuel. Deviations in temperature from standard atmosphere could and did cause changes in absolute altitude, including descents if temperatures rose.

In fact, test pilot Brian Trubshaw recounts in his book that during a demonstration flight for the Shah, Concorde was cruising at Mach 2 when it suddenly encountered an unusually cold air pocket. "The autopilot could not compete with the change and commenced a rapid climb, followed by an even more rapid descent during which [indicated] air speed rose to 550 kt, 20 kt above the normal limit." This prompted a change in autopilot logic that increased the use of autothrottle and decreased the use of pitch to maintain Mach number following sudden changes in air temperature.


B2707SST, as a person with no real knowledge about aviation, can you explain to me what a cold air pocket does to an aircraft?

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