Anyone flown on Concorde.

FatCat

New member
#1
I saw that the transatlantic record for a commercial flight was broken this week assisted by the high winds, however this was still well short of the time it took Concorde.

does anybody know why we haven’t had a replacement for Concorde - I’m sure Concorde was around in the 70s/80’s - with technological advances surely we should have faster commercial flights these days ?

any body who knows more about aviation have any ideas why this is the case?
 
#2
i believe the discontinuation of supersonic transatlantic flight was purely down to cost, even with those technological advances it costs an enormous amount to fly that distance at that speed
 

SmallTown

Active member
#3
Cost, plus it was too slow. The advantage of high speed travel to get from London to New York has been negated by Skype and conference calls. No point spending a few hours in the air when you can do must of your business online.

Also I remember hearing that it never really recovered from 9/11 apparently a few regular customers were lost on that flight.
 

bear66

Active member
#4
Flew on Concorde to New York in 1997. Last minute meeting and the only flight I could get on! The ticket price was £5.5k with Concorde one way and 747 return the next day.

It was quite an experience. Quite cramped, but comfy seats with hand luggage only (smaller allowance than hand luggage on a 747). Small windows. Strange landing with the plane not wanting to be in the air at slow speeds. Strange to see the sun set twice on the same day.
 
#5
The accident at Charles de Gaulle airport must have hastened its demise. Incredible feat of design and one of those Anglo French collaborations that genuinely made your jaw drop open when you saw it.
 

TheFair86

Active member
#7
It had loads of problems. Costs, noise, design flaws, competition as low cost airlines became a thing. The global fleet was grounded iirc after an accident and was going to be too costly to resolve
 

bear66

Active member
#8
BA made a lot of money out of Concorde after it bought out the aircraft from the government. Previously 80% of profits went to the government.
 

bear66

Active member
#13
Nothing to do with that. Continental were found guilty for the loss of the piece of cowling that caused the Concorde tyre to burst that led to the subsequent problems.
 
#14
I never got a chance. However one of the directors at Reuters used to fly it regularly. Just about every week. Commuting between USA and the UK.
 
#15
Concorde was just too inefficient, but they're making strides to get back to supersonic commercial flight again. Won't be aircraft anywhere near that size though, probably half the size. I think Boom have something coming out in 2025, so we're not too long away.

Wasn't Concorde littered with Kapton wiring also, which had a tendency to degrade rapidly over time, and set itself on fire. Each jet would have need an effective full rewire and redesign (as Kapton was lighter than anything else), and it would have been quicker and cheaper just to build new aircraft.
 

bear66

Active member
#16
Did it use Kapton? Can't find any references to it. Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Hawker Sidley and Airbus were the major commercial users.

It was a very costly operation, but with large numbers of 'commuters' using it for London/NY at £6k a time it made a ot of money for BA. The flight I was on on a Sunday was full with 'commuters'.
 
#17
The flight was unremarkable, mostly in darkness. Of the other dozen or so passengers, there was a middle-aged man and his mother excitedly taking selfies, and at the other end of the scale, two young Armani clad arab guys who looked totally bored and immediately after take-off tipped back their seats and slept. I guess they were regulars. I was annoyed because the 'seatbelts on for landing' announcement came when I was about try something else from the wine list . Didn't get started really.

The thing about Concorde is that if it flew at the same speed as a 747, you would probably still save 2 hours off your trip just by dint of it being a premium service: no queue to check in; everyone boarded in half a minute; no waiting for a take-off slot; no circling around London in the 'stack'; no time to wait at the luggage carousel etc. Hence it faced stiff competition from private hire jets.
 
#19
I've never really understood the 'cost' reason. Obviously, it is the reason, but why didn't demand grow such that supply increased and costs were able to be reduced?

Like why aren't we all nipping to New York and Hong Kong for the weekend on one of many concorde planes? Why weren't all the design flaws rectified and improved upon? Its about the only example of a technological progression not being lapped up the public I can think of.

Is it simply that it was only ever accessible to the 'super-rich' and the 'super-rich' demographic just wasn't big enough to saturate the market?
 
Last edited:
#20
It was severely restricted in terms of routes it could fly due to the issue of creating sonic booms. Was banned from several countries airspace as a result.

Also, with incredibly high fuel consumption those longer routes it could fly resulted in a refuelling stop.

Remember seeing it fly overhead a couple of times. Also saw it taking off from Heathrow when I was on a school trip to Windsor Castle. Incredible machine.
 
Top