Concorde doesnt crash?

Just watched show on Smithsonian channel. It said that the Concorde was held up for a few hours due to a technical glitch. What if the plane took off as scheduled and the 747 that carried the french premier took its take off slot. The 747 runs over the piece of metal on the runway and crashes.
Without the Concorde being out of service, would it survive the 9-11 slowdown and keep flying?
 
Highly doubtful. In a world where the Internet allows fast and instant communication between New York and London, and fuel prices are skyrocketing rapidly, Concorde's days are numbered. She may have kept flying a little longer without the stigma, but eventually the price of keeping it fueled for a dwindling group of passengers, combined with 9/11 a year later, would have seen it grounded.
 
Highly doubtful. In a world where the Internet allows fast and instant communication between New York and London, and fuel prices are skyrocketing rapidly, Concorde's days are numbered. She may have kept flying a little longer without the stigma, but eventually the price of keeping it fueled for a dwindling group of passengers, combined with 9/11 a year later, would have seen it grounded.
My sources lead me to agree.
 
Just watched show on Smithsonian channel. It said that the Concorde was held up for a few hours due to a technical glitch. What if the plane took off as scheduled and the 747 that carried the french premier took its take off slot. The 747 runs over the piece of metal on the runway and crashes.
Without the Concorde being out of service, would it survive the 9-11 slowdown and keep flying?

The odds of the 747 crashing are astronomical. That piece of metal proably would not even cut the tire in your car. It was just a case of everything bad happening on the Concorde at a bad time.
 

Delta Force

Banned
Apart from people flying Concorde for the experience, its customer base was drawn from a small group of people in the financial service industry, many of whom were killed on 9/11.
 
Apart from people flying Concorde for the experience, its customer base was drawn from a small group of people in the financial service industry, many of whom were killed on 9/11.

To clarify, are you arguing that the 3,000 or so people killed on 9/11 made up most lf Concorde's customers, and their deaths would make the plane unviable?
 

Delta Force

Banned
To clarify, are you arguing that the 3,000 or so people killed on 9/11 made up most lf Concorde's customers, and their deaths would make the plane unviable?

The regular customer base for the Concorde was rather small, and I've read that several frequent fliers of the Concorde were killed in the attacks. They also tended to be higher level executives who were proponents of Concorde and would bring lower level employees with them on flights and otherwise encourage their companies to support flying Concorde.
 
Delta Force is correct. I forget the exact number, but a lot of the executives and the like who were killed in the World Trade Center were frequent Concorde fliers. Their death, coupled with the stigma of the Paris crash, the downturn in flight after 9/11 and the problems I mentioned in my first message sealed Concorde's fate, essentially.
 
Just watched show on Smithsonian channel. It said that the Concorde was held up for a few hours due to a technical glitch. What if the plane took off as scheduled and the 747 that carried the french premier took its take off slot. The 747 runs over the piece of metal on the runway and crashes.
This is actually two premises, (1) Concorde takes of earlier and doesn't come down, (2) the 747 takes the damage and is downed. Now while #1 is plausible, #2 is debatable, I'd say there's a good chance of that aircraft either not getting damaged beyond the tyre, or if it does take damage, surviving long enough to come around for an emergency landing.
 

Devvy

Donor
I remember reading somewhere that Concorde (because of it's supersonic engines which were not designed for low speeds) used absolutely loads of fuel while on the ground taxiing. Seems a bit of waste.....I've seen suggestions/concepts for electric motors on planes for taxiing in order to save fuel. I'm not a plane guy, so I have no idea if that saves enough fuel to make a difference to operating costs though!

And with regards to the clientele - new people would have been rising up through the ranks. Sure there would have been a lul post 9/11. But give it a few years, by maybe 2005-2006, you would have had a new generation of financers who have more money then sense and would be flying on Concorde again.

I guess the most important question is age; I guess the plane is going to be end-of-life anyway soon, and will need a major refit?
 

Delta Force

Banned
I guess the most important question is age; I guess the plane is going to be end-of-life anyway soon, and will need a major refit?

The Concorde was a supersonic commercial airliner that first flew in March 1969, only a month after the Boeing 747. There aren't too many 747-100 airliners flying anymore, certainly not in passenger service. The Space Shuttle first flew in 1980, and the fleet was undergoing a major modernization at the time. Armoring the fuel tanks and improving the tires was simply one of a number of improvements that would have been required to keep the Concorde fleet safely flying, because while modern, the aircraft certainly wasn't on par with new generation of airliners that were entering service around the 1990s.

In a way the Concorde was the Space Shuttle of civilian flight, and even supersonic flight in general. The Concorde fleet flew more hours at supersonic speeds than any other aircraft type, perhaps even the majority of all hours ever flown at supersonic speeds. Everything about it was a first. The fact that it only suffered one fatal crash during its career, and it was foreign object damage of all things instead of ABS, structural failure, or anything else, really is amazing when you think about it.

I suppose major upgrades could have been done to some of the younger members of the fleet, perhaps even to the prototype and development aircraft, but those upgrades would still be to a Nixon era design that was never intended to be more than a first generation design. The Concorde fleet as we know it was to help develop the Concorde B, an enhanced variant that would have surpassed it in efficiency, range, and noise compliance.
 
I remember reading somewhere that Concorde (because of it's supersonic engines which were not designed for low speeds) used absolutely loads of fuel while on the ground taxiing. Seems a bit of waste.....I've seen suggestions/concepts for electric motors on planes for taxiing in order to save fuel. I'm not a plane guy, so I have no idea if that saves enough fuel to make a difference to operating costs though!

And with regards to the clientele - new people would have been rising up through the ranks. Sure there would have been a lul post 9/11. But give it a few years, by maybe 2005-2006, you would have had a new generation of financers who have more money then sense and would be flying on Concorde again.

I guess the most important question is age; I guess the plane is going to be end-of-life anyway soon, and will need a major refit?

Richard Branson via Virgin proposeed to do pretty much that, and offered to buy BA's fleet, first for 1 pound (the legendary and possibly apocryphal figure that BA supposedly paid for them after development costs were written off), then for 1 million pounds each.

What really killed this idea and Concorde continuing in service with anybody according to many accounts was Airbus' refusal to continue supporting the type maintenance and engineering wise. Thus it became arguably a political decision forcing retirement rather than a purely economic one.
 
Well, here's an idea - suppose that both BA and Air France realize in the mid-to-late '90s that Concorde is getting long in the tooth anyway, so they try to expand the clientele of the plane beyond the execs that preferred it. At the same time, because of some of the problems, like the fuel wastage, they decide that, with the help of Airbus and maybe others (Bombardier, anyone?*), that whilst they still have the chance, they could built a "next-gen Concorde" which would be similar but also different from the Concorde B. Considering it would be around the time of the Millennium hype, the new model would be called Concorde M. Compared with the 1970s design that was Concorde A, Concorde M would be a major improvement. The beauty of it, however, is that what Eurostar did to attract more people to use its train, the Concorde would open up for more people to use the supersonic plane whilst at the same time lowering the average cost of a Concorde ticket to make it affordable for more people to use the Concorde. Concorde M, whilst not only fuel-efficient, would also be able to take advantage of advances made since the 1970s, including much 1990s technology, which would help improve the Concorde experience and makes it much easier to assemble and produce the Concorde, instead of the problems that occurred during Concorde A production. 9/11 would delay the Concorde M launch, sure, so it gets pushed back to mid to late 2002 or even in 2003 (all contingent on no Iraq War, that's for sure). The Concorde M, of course, gets praised in the press, the "good times have returned", and this time (due to Concorde M designed to allow more ordinary people to use it, which means a more comfy economy class configuration) you'd have a wider range of people who want to fly Concorde.

How does that sound? Is it about right? Too optimistic?

*And no, I'm not picking on Bombardier due to Canadian official bilingualism or that Bombardier is a Quebec company. I'm only mentioning it because Bombardier has operations at Mirabel Airport, north of Montreal. Now, Mirabel Airport was originally built, IIRC, for the 1976 Summer Olympics, but Mirabel never really got the usage it wanted, so now (in OTL) it's largely restricted to cargo and general aviation flights. However, with the capacity constraints at Dorval and the possibility of replacing the original Concorde A, Mirabel Airport would probably deserve a lot of renovation work, particularly the passenger terminal. In addition, it would also work to finally get the planned HSR service, the TRAMM (Transport Rapide Régional Aéroportuaire Montréal–Mirabel), off the drawing board and into reality, not just between Montreal and Mirabel Airport but also as an alternative to the AMT commuter rail as well as a potential alternative for Ottawa-Montreal service, using the JetTrain HSR trainset from Bombardier. In the event, Mirabel Airport gets basically saved so that passenger service may continue at both Mirabel Airport and Dorval Airport.
 
Concorde was considered to be airworthy until at least 2025, if 9/11 did not happen (or the crash) how long with it to continue to by?

Personally I was very unhappy to see it withdraw before I could fly it...
 
Personally I was very unhappy to see it withdraw before I could fly it...

We all were very unhappy to see it withdrawn before we could fly it. And that's the shame - had the momentum toward supersonic air travel kept up, it along with expanded HSR would have made a perfect alliance.
 
Concorde was considered to be airworthy until at least 2025, if 9/11 did not happen (or the crash) how long with it to continue to by?

Personally I was very unhappy to see it withdraw before I could fly it...

I would be surprised to see Concorde make it that long. The airframes were starting to age from the increased wear and tear of supersonic flight, and Airbus balked at the idea of refitting them, since it would have involved literally dismantling the plane, servicing it, and putting it back together.
 
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