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Flight 4590 Didn't Kill the Concorde; Costs Did

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the one-day-again-fast-transport dept.

Businesses 403

pigrabbitbear writes "If the plane were around today — which some still fantasize about — it'd be like powering a stretch Hummer with dolphin blood. The airlines couldn't sell enough tickets on the small plane to even make up for the amount of fuel it needed to guzzle on its journeys, let alone cover maintenance for the technological marvel. (A Concorde's taxi to the end of a runway used as much fuel as a 737's flight from London to Amsterdam.) Customers were fine with ordinary travel times for a fraction of the airfare and the plane only took transatlantic journeys, because going over land was too disturbing. Too much noise."

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Old news day? (5, Informative)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about 2 years ago | (#40783989)

Really? How is this news?

Fuck you nigerfaget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784045)

Cause your a nigerfaget.

Re:Fuck you nigerfaget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784071)

*you're

Re:Fuck you nigerfaget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784105)

No, its 'your', nigerfaget. Their are grammar rules about things like this that you should of read before posting.

Re:Fuck you nigerfaget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784285)

*because
*nigger
*faggot

Re:Fuck you nigerfaget (-1, Offtopic)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about 2 years ago | (#40784435)

*there

Re:Fuck you nigerfaget (-1, Offtopic)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about 2 years ago | (#40784675)

No, it really is 'You're'. As in 'You are' a dip-shit.

Wow. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40783991)

Total waste of dolphin's blood.

But if you fly to /. on the Concorde... (2, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 years ago | (#40783995)

You get first post!

Re:But if you fly to /. on the Concorde... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 years ago | (#40784015)

Or third, as the case may be.

Oh Boeing... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784013)

going over land was too disturbing. Too much noise.

Stop that right now. The "Too noisy" meme was started by Boeing to hurt sales of the Concorde, and it worked. You're still repeating it to this day.

A Concorde going overhead at around 1000 feet and normal cruising speed is no more noisy than a normal jet. It's the afterburners that are loud (REALLY VERY LOUD) and those are only used at take-off.

Re:Oh Boeing... (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#40784091)

But the Concorde doen't travel at "normal cruising speed". That's for proles. It travels at Mach 2.04.

Re:Oh Boeing... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784109)

It didn't travel at supersonic speeds at 1000 feet. At cruising hight (when a Concorde is doing Mach 2.04) you can't hear it on the ground, because it's too damn far away.

Re:Oh Boeing... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784191)

According to TFA, they didn't go to supersonic speeds until after they were over the ocean.

Re:Oh Boeing... (3, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#40784649)

Let us suppose,just for a moment, that Concorde flew from New York to Los Angeles-- a route that they were forbidden from due to hysteria over noise. The implication of your comment is that Concorde could easily avoid disturbing the populace between New York and Los Angeles by limiting its flight path to the oceans between New York and Los Angeles-- which do not exit, despite the efforts of Francisco de Ulloa [wikipedia.org]

Comments have context.

Re:Oh Boeing... (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40784185)

going over land was too disturbing. Too much noise.

Stop that right now. The "Too noisy" meme was started by Boeing to hurt sales of the Concorde, and it worked. You're still repeating it to this day.

A Concorde going overhead at around 1000 feet and normal cruising speed is no more noisy than a normal jet. It's the afterburners that are loud (REALLY VERY LOUD) and those are only used at take-off.

Too noisy was not just a Boeing claim. Early flights were not required to decelerate below mach 1 before reaching land and they sent sonic booms up and down the coast.

Sonic booms cover wide areas. Sitting 40 miles outside of Seattle one day I heard two large booms, and thought it was near by blasting. It turns out it was two F15s scrambling supersonic [kirotv.com] out of Portland when a small plane wandered into Air Force One's exclusion zone. Such booms leave a trail of 911 calls.

Eventually, every single Concorde route required subsonic descents and approaches for this very reason. For the same reason no country let them fly to interior airports except France and Britain.

The afterburners (reheat they called it) were turned off after getting off the runway before they hit the noise abatement zone.
With sufficient runway, they didn't need the afterburners at all except to break through Mach 1.

Re:Oh Boeing... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784395)

Too noisy was not just a Boeing claim. Early flights were not required to decelerate below mach 1 before reaching land and they sent sonic booms up and down the coast.

Yeah, and?

An occasional boom from a few flights a day is hardly a big deal. I haven't heard Concorde at supersonic speeds, but the space shuttle went subsonic only a minute or two before landing, and the boom I heard from the KSC runway was far less annoying than a light plane droning over my house.

Re:Oh Boeing... (3, Interesting)

Ichijo (607641) | about 2 years ago | (#40784529)

With sufficient runway, they didn't need the afterburners at all except to break through Mach 1.

Then a controlled dive [wikipedia.org] could eliminate the need for afterburners completely.

Re:Oh Boeing... (4, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 years ago | (#40784605)

Too noisy was not just a Boeing claim. Early flights were not required to decelerate below mach 1 before reaching land and they sent sonic booms up and down the coast.

Then they stopped doing that and they stopped being "too noisy". Calling them "too noisy" today is incorrect.

Eventually, every single Concorde route required subsonic descents and approaches for this very reason.

Uhhh, more like they required subsonic descents and approaches so they could be handled with normal traffic, and to obey federal law that has been around for a very long time. 250 knots [flightsimaviation.com] below 10,000 feet, and 200 knots below 2500 AGL.

The only exemptions are "approval of the Administrator" (unlikely), and "minimum safe airspeed", which certainly isn't above mach 1 for the SST.

Re:Oh Boeing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784631)

"For the same reason no country let them fly to interior airports except France and Britain." And Mexico City.

Re:Oh Boeing... (3, Informative)

CAOgdin (984672) | about 2 years ago | (#40784201)

Your ignorance of the flight regimes of the Concorde are astounding. Remember, it flew at Mach 2 (and very quite inside the cabin, as I can confirm as a passenger), and that produces "sonic boom" across the landscape; over water there are few people, so little source of complaints. Sure, the Concorde "is nor more noisy than a normal jet..." only if you consider the XB-70 the exemplar of a "normal jet."

Re:Oh Boeing... (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40784223)

Unfortunately, take-off and landing are the times noise creates the worst impact. Also, I don't think you meant "1000" feet, as a commercial jet does not normally fly that low and certainly wouldn't at supersonic speeds (cruise altitude for the Concorde was closer to 60,000 feet, going supersonic at 1000 feet would be really really stupid: noise, safety, and structural concerns due to higher atmospheric pressure that low would forbid it).

Re:Oh Boeing... (3, Interesting)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 2 years ago | (#40784313)

There's at least one video on YouTube of it taking off and setting off car alarms at Heathrow. Night too, so you can see the afterburners.

Given the cruising speed was Mach 2, I suspect at 1,000 feet it was probably a fair bit louder than a regular jet. Briefly. Also given Israel has actually used sonic booms as the basis for a form of psychological warfare, I suspect it would be plenty loud enough to wind people up.

Re:Oh Boeing... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784477)

Given the cruising speed was Mach 2, I suspect at 1,000 feet it was probably a fair bit louder than a regular jet.

When I lived in the UK, jets from Heathrow would often fly over my house a few minutes after takeoff. Concorde was the only one I could hear from inside the house, and the usual result was a lot of people stepping out into their garden to watch it go past.

Re:Oh Boeing... (4, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 2 years ago | (#40784347)

Oh, goody, en expert. At normal cruising speed and 1000 you would blow every window and eardrum for 2 miles either side of the flight path. And burn up the airplane in a few minutes. This is a moot point as it won't go normal cruising speed at 1000 feet.
  The noise associated with the sonic boom, and the accompanying regulation to prevent it, was well-understood in the 60's. That is indeed what killed any possible market for the Concorde - and every other potential SST including Boeing's own. It was dubious at best even without the subsonic limitations but it was a dead loser from a business standpoint once it had to go Mach .85 over land.

      This is hardly a Boeing-generated myth. I am sure that Boeing would encourage someone like Airbus to take up the supersonic challenge again, it would be crippling to Boeing's biggest competitor.

        Concorde was a British/French vanity project to make up for their (highly justified) feelings of inferiority to the USSR and the USA during the space race. It was a nice design but it was NEVER EVER going to make any money - a fact that many people knew and pointed out repeatedly before it ever flew.

Re:Oh Boeing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784453)

Nonsense. I used to live under the flightpath about 8 miles away from Heathrow. You had to literally cover your ears twice a day it was so loud.

Re:Oh Boeing... (3, Informative)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#40784471)

My parents' house in northern VA was right under a flight path of Dulles. When the Concorde went overhead during takeoff, it wasn't just REALLY VERY LOUD, it was DAMN REALLY VERY LOUD.

Re:Oh Boeing... (4, Informative)

nogginthenog (582552) | about 2 years ago | (#40784525)

A Concorde going overhead at around 1000 feet and normal cruising speed is no more noisy than a normal jet. It's the afterburners that are loud (REALLY VERY LOUD) and those are only used at take-off.

I'm sorry but that's wrong. I live in London and you *knew* when Concorde was flying over. But it was damn cool!

Re:Oh Boeing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784541)

Completely untrue. I used to live under the approach to Heathrow and I can assure you that Concorde was way louder than normal jets. It was one of the first planes in of a morning so often a wake up call.

Re:Oh Boeing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784665)

Stop that right now. The "Too noisy" meme was started by Boeing to[...]

Okay, no. Stop. Repeat after me: NOT EVERY PIECE OF INFORMATION IS A "MEME".

This is in much the same way that not every fucking use of the internet is "the cloud". Stop that right now.

Stretch Hummer powered by Dolphin Blood... (4, Funny)

evafan76 (2527608) | about 2 years ago | (#40784017)

...sounds like something a B-movie villain would have. With seats covered in Baby Seal Leather.

Re:Stretch Hummer powered by Dolphin Blood... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784059)

not gonna lie, id ride in it.

Re:Stretch Hummer powered by Dolphin Blood... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784559)

You know what I`m gonna do?
I`m gonna get myself a 1967 Cadaliac Eldarado Convertable,
Hot Pink!
With whale skin hub caps,
An all leather cow interior,
And big brown baby seal eyes for headlights.
YEAH!
And I`m gonna drive around in that baby,
At 115 miles per hour,
Getting one mile per gallon,
Sucking down quarter pounder cheeseburgers from McDonalds in the old-fasioned non-biodegradable styrafoam containers.
And when I`m done sucking down those grease ball burgers,
I`m gonna wipe my mouth in the American flag,
And then I`m gonna toss the styrofoam containers right out the side,
And there ain`t a God damn thing anybody can do about it,
You know why?
`Cause we got the bombs, that`s why.
Two words, Nuclear Fucking Weapons OK.
Russia, Germany, Romania,
They can have all the democracy they want.
They can have a big democracy cake,
Walk right through the middle of Tienemen Square,
And it won`t make a lick of difference,
Because we got the bombs OK!
John Wayne`s not dead,
He`s frozen.
And as soon as we find a cure for cancer, we`re gonna thaw out the duke.
And he`s gonna be pretty pissed off,
You know why?
Have you ever taken a cold shower?
Well multiply that by 15 million times,
That`s how pissed off the duke`s gonna be.
I`m gonna get the duke,
And John Desimeties,
And Lee Marvinhaugh
And Sam Beckinforth,
And a case of whiskey,
And drive down to Texas,
And,
(hey, Hey, You know you really are an asshole)

-- "I'm an Asshole", Dennis Leary

Old tech, poor efficiency (5, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40784041)

The Concorde was designed in the late 1950s. We have made rather substantial improvements in technology in the past half century that would allow an aircraft designed today to achieve substantially better fuel efficiency, not to mention the additional efficiencies we can gain via higher altitudes. The stigma of its failure will probably prevent anybody from trying again any time soon, but just because an aircraft designed in the 1950s wasn't cost effective doesn't mean an aircraft designed in the 2010s couldn't be.

Re:Old tech, poor efficiency (3, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40784217)

Thanks, but no thanks. I'm holding out for my suborbital scramjet.

Re:Old tech, poor efficiency (5, Informative)

Koreantoast (527520) | about 2 years ago | (#40784581)

It's been tried but no one is interested. In 2001, Boeing pitched the idea of a near-supersonic aircraft that would travel Mach 0.98 with the fuel efficiency similar to existing aircraft at the time. However, airlines balked at it, saying that they were more interested increased fuel efficiency and lower operating costs instead. Therefore, Boeing scrapped the development for their Sonic Cruiser and used the technology to design the B787 Dreamliner instead.

Re:Old tech, poor efficiency (5, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40784673)

Of course it was rejected. Their proposal travels at Mach 0.98. A regular aircraft (using the 787 as an example) travels at Mach 0.85. That's a really tiny difference; a flight that would have taken 6 hours would instead take 5 hours and 12 minutes. Yeah, it's an improvement, but not enough to justify the extra expense as compared to more efficient aircraft.

On the other hand, if you created an aircraft that travelled at the same speed as a Concorde but with much greater efficiency, you could do your 6 hour flight in 2 hours and 30 minutes. That's some substantial savings.

Re:Old tech, poor efficiency (4, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40784693)

The Concorde was designed in the late 1950s. We have made rather substantial improvements in technology in the past half century that would allow an aircraft designed today to achieve substantially better fuel efficiency, not to mention the additional efficiencies we can gain via higher altitudes. The stigma of its failure will probably prevent anybody from trying again any time soon, but just because an aircraft designed in the 1950s wasn't cost effective doesn't mean an aircraft designed in the 2010s couldn't be.

Besides the cost of the dolphin blood fuel has come way down.

Re:Old tech, poor efficiency (4, Informative)

DesScorp (410532) | about 2 years ago | (#40784719)

The Concorde was designed in the late 1950s. We have made rather substantial improvements in technology in the past half century that would allow an aircraft designed today to achieve substantially better fuel efficiency, not to mention the additional efficiencies we can gain via higher altitudes. The stigma of its failure will probably prevent anybody from trying again any time soon, but just because an aircraft designed in the 1950s wasn't cost effective doesn't mean an aircraft designed in the 2010s couldn't be.

Virtually all of those technological improvements concern lowering costs. None of them increased performance, which is what the Concorde and the proposed American SST projects were all about... zooming civilian passengers around at military speeds. The Concorde was all about speed. We've actually slowed down since then, with the modern high-bypass turbofan airliners... especially the two-engined craft... gaining fuel efficiency but losing speed compared to the first generation of jet airliners with their thirsty-but-fast turbojets.

Here are some cruise speeds of jetliners vs. the later crop of comparable turbofan liners:

Boeing 707: 604 MPH
Douglas DC-8: 596 MPH

vs.

Boeing 767: 567 MPH
Airbus A330: 567 MPH

It's great that our jets are more efficient, but there's zero allure about that when it comes to the passenger. Nobody brags about the efficient fuel usage on their flight. Concorde passengers got to lord it over their friends that they went Mach 2.

Seriously? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 2 years ago | (#40784043)

I wasn't aware this was news. The same concerns killed Boeing's plans for a supersonic jet (but not before the basketball team was named after the doomed project.) I thought it was a well known case of the "good enough" being the enemy of the perfect. It's also why there's not a lot of research into hypersonic or suborbital flights except for military purposes. The increase in cost is, er, astronomical, while the reduction in time is comparatively insignificant. The number of people who are willing to pay an order more (or possibly multiple orders more) in order to reduce the time by a single digit number of hours is pretty darn small.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784101)

The same concerns killed Boeing's plans for a supersonic jet (but not before the basketball team was named after the doomed project.)

Is there a basketball team named "2707"?

Re:Seriously? (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 2 years ago | (#40784345)

Seattle Supersonics, you Twit.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784103)

Zeppelins have the same problem. Technology has greatly improved since the Hindenburg, but no one wants them badly enough to build them. Airplanes are Good Enough.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784505)

"Technology has greatly improved since the Hindenburg, ..."

You should check the price of helium nowadays.

Re:Seriously? (2)

DriveDog (822962) | about 2 years ago | (#40784583)

But combine the two, a supersonic Zeppelin! That's pretty much what UFO seers claim to have often seen, something the size of a football field that goes Mach 5.

Re:Seriously? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784715)

Zeppelins have the same problem.

They had a basketball team named after them?

Re:Seriously? (1)

aurispector (530273) | about 2 years ago | (#40784187)

Of course it was economic. The only thing that kept it running as long as it did was national pride.

Creating a sonic boom over populated areas didn't help but the basic problem is the fact that it's so damned expensive to operate.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Meeni (1815694) | about 2 years ago | (#40784279)

I lived in Paris near CDG airport and never ever heard a sonic boom. They had Concorde taking off and landing everyday there, and its pretty much inland (closest sea is about 200 miles away). Fuel guzzling, sure, noise seems to be BS stirred by Boeing, from first person witnessing.
 

Re:Seriously? (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 2 years ago | (#40784707)

That's because the authorities limited them to under Mach 1 when over land. Even the French authorities did that. They didn't go supersonic until over the Atlantic.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784253)

That's probably because the costs are already high enough. And yes they are very high.

If you want to pay less, you plan your trip in advance, sometimes by months. When you do that, having the trip last 10 hours isn't that much, because you planned and prepared for it, months ahead.

If you care about speed, and time is a factor. Then for a regular flight you're going to pay quite a lot. And there's not a lot of people who fit into that category. Further raising the costs, will reduce those numbers even more.

They'd have better luck running supersonic jets that carry 5-6 people at a time. Make the price 10-20 times higher, offer 20 times the comfort, and you'll start making profit after just a year.

What they did wrong was they tried to make supersonic travel affordable to everyone, they went for quantity instead of quality.

Then again, considering what pains they go through to fill the jets they already have, perhaps this was a project doomed to failure from the begining.

Re:Seriously? (2, Interesting)

coastwalker (307620) | about 2 years ago | (#40784455)

Actually what killed Concord was that we have to be at the airport two hours before the flight and that it takes three hours to get to a transcontinental hub. The terrorists killed rapid transport, they won and we live in a terrified world ruled by health and safety lawyers. Enjoy your cotton wool.

seriously ... who didn't fly on the concorde on ./ (-1)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#40784055)

n/m

don't mod me overrated cuz yur jealous (-1, Offtopic)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#40784679)

:D

Laptops (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#40784063)

You cannot help but wonder if the advent of the powerful laptop also helped to expedite the end if the Concorde, starting in the late 90s laptops were powerful enough that you could actually do some serious work(and/or play) on a plane, especially in business class where you had room and an outlet. All of a sudden the few hours you saved by taking the Concorde became comparatively less valuable.

Re:Laptops (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40784269)

As did the added layers of security. I've always lived about 2 hours from a major airport (Toronto). To spend at least 3 -5 hours before I even get on on the aircraft, to spend another 3-8 hours in the air, means I'm looking at at least 6 hours, and more like 8 or 9 hours minimum to get somewhere, versus 12 or 13. At that point the whole next day is a write off anyway.

Being able to do real work means you get a lot less from saving a couple of hours travel time,and having to waste hours before you can even board a plane to get through security means the time you save by a shortened flight is proportionally less. Between fax machines and the internet there's much less demand for moving documents back and forth, so ya, I think other less aircraft driven technologies also pushed concorde out of business.

Re:Laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784271)

An interesting point, I hadn't thought about that but I'll bet it's true. I couldn't give a crap whether it takes 6 hours or 8 hours to get somewhere, since I'm invariably still working when the plane lands.

The Concorde had a LONG history of failures (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784065)

Tyre explosions and damage were quite common, due to the high takeoff and landing speed of the plane, and the unfortunately placed landing gear location in the wing. Pieces of tyre would damage the wing.

The Russians noticed this was a serious problem so they completely redesigned their Tu-144 and relocated the wheel wells in the engine nacelles. The engines were much harder to damage because of all the titanium, so a tire explosion wouldn't cause a disastrous failure.

Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40784081)

4 hours via concorde or 6 via normal plane is not a huge difference, so people choose the cheaper route.

Same on the ground. I compared the "speedy" Amtrak Acela versus the normal train, and from Philly to Boston it only saves 15-20 minutes..... but costs $250! (For that cost you could take a train across the whole country.)

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784151)

You have obviously never priced cross-country Amtrak tickets.

Expensive and painfully slow, and they don't go where you want to go.

Example: Phoenix to Kansas City.
1) Doesn't go there. Closest is Flagstaff to Atchison, which:
2) Costs about $1000
3) Takes 2 days

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (1)

nullchar (446050) | about 2 years ago | (#40784243)

And long-haul Amtrak stops at every little [railroad] town along the way. Which is a good thing if you live in any of those towns, or like to get outside.

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40784281)

>>>You have obviously never priced cross-country Amtrak tickets.

L.A. -to- Philadelphia or Baltimore or D.C. or Pittsburgh or Chicago or New York City: $212 or $262.

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (5, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#40784303)

I travel Portland to Sacramento and back once a year. Amtrak station in Portland is a few blocks from work, and the train stops literally in front of my hotel in Sacramento. Convenient, right? Every year I investigate, and every year Amtrak is about three times the cost of a plane ticket, with a journey time around 30 hours vs 43 minutes of flight time. Yeah, go by train...

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784367)

hey retard... we're on the internet and Amtrak's prices are on their website. It takes 26 hours, and is $210.

You know what else is on the internet? Maps.

Which would tell you that Amtrak has a station in Kansas City: Union Station on 30 West Pershing Rd.

You have to be pretty fucking stupid to post things that can be checked in 2 minutes.

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (1, Informative)

CAOgdin (984672) | about 2 years ago | (#40784229)

Your ignorance of the utility of the Concorde is, like an earlier poster, astounding. From London to New York, I could have meetings in the morning, and meetings the same day, four hours later in New York (4.5 for Dulles/Washington). That improved my productivity and saved many sophisticated business opportunities from running off the rails.

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (4, Funny)

DriveDog (822962) | about 2 years ago | (#40784647)

I fail to understand how having meetings can do anything to improve productivity.

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40784289)

Ya, if you could take a flight from New York to Beijing or Tokyo in 5 or 6 hours versus 12-20 you might be making a compelling sale. But transatlantic routes just aren't that big of a deal.

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (2)

TheGavster (774657) | about 2 years ago | (#40784293)

Acela faces the same problem most of Amtrak does: it travels far under rated speed for most of the route because it's on freight rail. The only time it's travelling faster than the regular Northeast Regional is certain areas before it enters CT (though both trains outpace free-flowing highway traffic in NJ). The principal improvement in travel time is that it stops only once per state, and I believe has a shorter-than-normal layover in NYC (Northeast Regional stops for a good 45min at NY Penn).

Re:Problem: Speed doesn't really save much time. (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 2 years ago | (#40784727)

Acela does not travel one foot on freight rail. It travels significantly faster than other trains on the NEC. And it certainly stops more than once per state.

"The" definite article (3, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40784097)

Let's get one thing straight. It's customary to refer to Concorde as "Concorde." Not "the Concorde", just "Concorde."

Carry on.

Re:"The" definite article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784135)

You sound like a Smokey Bear commercial from the late Concord era.

Oops, I mean you sound like a Smokey Bear commercial from late Concord era.

Re:"The" definite article (3, Funny)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about 2 years ago | (#40784219)

I've heard it prefers to be called Harrold.

Re:"The" definite article (2)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 2 years ago | (#40784739)

That's "Harrolde"

Tor discussion forums! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784121)

We need an official Tor discussion forum.

        I didn't see this issue mentioned in Roger's *latest* notes post, so for now, mature adults should visit and post at one or both of these unofficial tor discussion forums, these tinyurl's will take you to:

        ** HackBB:
        http://www.tinyurl.com/hackbbonion [tinyurl.com]

        ** Onion Forum 2.0
        http://www.tinyurl.com/onionforum2 [tinyurl.com]

        Each tinyurl link will take you to a hidden service discussion forum. Tor is required to visit these links, even though they appear to be on the open web, they will lead you to .onion sites.

        I know the Tor developers can do better, but how many years are we to wait?

        Caution: some topics may be disturbing. You should be eighteen years or older. I recommend you disable images in your browser when viewing these two forums[1] and only enabling them if you are posting a message, but still be careful! Disable javascript and cookies, too.

        If you prefer to visit the hidden services directly, bypassing the tinyurl service:

        HackBB: (directly)
        http://clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion/ [clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion]

        Onion Forum 2.0: (directly)
        http://65bgvta7yos3sce5.onion/ [65bgvta7yos3sce5.onion]

        The tinyurl links are provided as a simple means of memorizing the hidden services via a link shortening service (tinyurl.com).

        [1]: Because any content can be posted! Think 4chan, for example. onionforum2 doesn't appear to be heavily moderated so be aware and take precautions.

Matthew Inman on slashdot? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 years ago | (#40784133)

*it'd be like powering a stretch Hummer with dolphin blood*

Kinda sounds like The Oatmeal...

Magical Summary (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40784139)

...powering a stretch Hummer with dolphin blood

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

powering a stretch Hummer with dolphin blood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784591)

Or vagina.

wow, i did not know that (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40784147)

still don't care, but i learned something.

And networking killed it next (4, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 years ago | (#40784157)

The vast majority of business meetings are now held virtually anyhow -- networked computers, adobe connect, PCanywhere, yadda yadda, a zillion software solutions now exist so that people with laptops just activate the built-in webcam and boom, they are part of a meeting taking place in no particular location.

Less people need to fly overnight now to shake hands and sign documents. FEDEX and the internet have changed the way we do business.

That said, I used to live a few miles from JFK airport in Queens, and loved to watch it fly in. It came in VERY regular times, it could never be in a holding pattern, so, at 8:15 exactly it would be flying over your head.

Standing on Hook Creek blvd in Rosedale, you'd see it come in at a high angle of attack, with the nose pointed down and the landing gear extended, it looked like some kind of bird of prey about to swoop down and grab a rodent off the ground.

Re:And networking killed it next (4, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | about 2 years ago | (#40784535)

I have meetings most days. I have a handful of 'virtual' meetings. Regardless of the technology there is no substitute for being there.

Concorde could made meetings that much more practical. Post 9-11 the increased times for check-in, security checks, meant that the advantage of flying by Concorde was gone.

sonic boom problem (0)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#40784197)

supersonic flights were banned over land because the sonic booms annoyed people. This problem persist to this day.

Now if the aliens (for the sake of this argument assume they exist... if you don't, feel free to ignore this post and not reply to it) are flying about in their saucers in the atmosphere at high speeds, why haven't people on the ground heard sonic booms? Is there something about the saucer shape that prevents sonic booms from propagating to ground level?

Re:sonic boom problem (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#40784317)

Figments of imagination don't produce sonic booms. 's a well known fact.

Re:sonic boom problem (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40784339)

Now if the aliens (for the sake of this argument assume they exist... if you don't, feel free to ignore this post and not reply to it) are flying about in their saucers in the atmosphere at high speeds, why haven't people on the ground heard sonic booms? Is there something about the saucer shape that prevents sonic booms from propagating to ground level?

Supercavitation, [wikipedia.org] maybe?

Methinks you would be better off asking that question on ATS' forums...

Inaccuracies & another Concorde (5, Informative)

MobyDobie (2426436) | about 2 years ago | (#40784211)

The article has all sorts of inaccuracies and key omissions. Concorde was always fuel inefficient and it was recognized as such in the 70s. It was thought it could still be successful despite this, until wide body jets took away much of its market. Because of its limited success, and limited money at the time, a slightly improved concorde (with greater range making a lot more transoceanic routes viable and about another 30 seats), or a vastly improved concorde (with about 250 seats), were never built. These might have been more commercially successful than the concorde that was built. Even so, Concorde was profitable as a niche market for British Airways. It was until it was grounded following the Air France crash. You may recall that BA spent a lot of money improving concorde and getting it back into the air (e.g. kevlar lining in the tanks), but then quickly wound the program down. They expected it to be profitable again, and fly for another 20 or 30 years. The problem was 9/11 killed concorde. The reason was it was such a niche that BA's concorde profits depending on a lot of regular fliers who repeatedly flew on it between London & New York - and many of these frequent Concorde fliers worked in the WTC. The treaty between the UK & France meant that unless both agreed Concorde had to be kept flying, so when BA lost interest the French neither had the prestige reasons or the monetary reasons (I don't know if their Concorde operations were profitable) to continue either, and it was mutually agreed to shutdown. Also omitted are some additional locations where Concorde can be visited. There is a Concorde (one of the two British test aircraft) that you can go aboard at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford near Cambridge. By coincidence I was there today, and yes I went aboard this Concorde.

Re:Inaccuracies & another Concorde (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | about 2 years ago | (#40784627)

I went on that Concorde at Duxford when I was in the cub scouts, about 30 years ago!

This is the backwards era (5, Interesting)

TheGavster (774657) | about 2 years ago | (#40784237)

We live in an era where we shy back from the edge achieved in the past. Air transport speeds have stagnated around mach 0.9, the top speed at Indianapolis was recorded more than a decade ago, and the optimistic plan for a return to the moon has three times the development time of the original flight. Between tendencies to ensure that we don't do anything that could fail and to form a bureaucracy to hide behind if it does, this century's progress in the peak of human achievement will far lag that of the last.

Re:This is the backwards era (5, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#40784497)

...this century's progress in the peak of human achievement will far lag that of the last.

If you want to measure progress in "how fast a handful of executives fly around," sure.

Re:This is the backwards era (4, Insightful)

TheGavster (774657) | about 2 years ago | (#40784731)

The econobox I drive to work each day would be a technological marvel to the most wealthy of executives even 50 years ago. New things are expensive, so the rich get them first, but if we never dream of any thing new simply to spite those more fortunate, we spite only ourselves on the long term.

Re:This is the backwards era (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#40784533)

But the world will forever remember the new mountains of Bureaucracy that were conquered during that time! I'm sure in the future, everyone will be in awe at how the DHS and TSA were able to actually function, and how no bureaucracy since then was able to achieve their stunning amount of rules and red tape.

Re:This is the backwards era (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | about 2 years ago | (#40784689)

I think that can be blamed on two things, one. the lack of the financial leadership to look at investments for anything longer than the next quarter. and secondly the fact that if anything goes wrong all parties involved will be sued into bankruptcy and beyond.

Don't remember it as noisy, the food was fine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784299)

I flew it once in 1996 (AF1 out of CDG), I recall it as the luxury ride of my life, and not at all as noisy. The food and wine were great, the stewardess looked just like Nastassja Kinski, and after a short nap I arrived in New York in time for a good day of work. I don't even think there was a line in immigration (this was my first visit to the US), probably they had a fast-track for Concorde passengers. Not very sustainable, but very convenient.

Re:Don't remember it as noisy, the food was fine (0)

DriveDog (822962) | about 2 years ago | (#40784713)

I think your perception was altered by that naptime dream of the flight attendant.

Wheels (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 2 years ago | (#40784309)

I always wondered why the wheels of large airplanes are unpowered. In the air, you need to push air to go, but surely on the ground it ought to be more efficient to use an electric engine from a Prius or something to taxi around. Anybody know why this is not done?

Re:Wheels (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about 2 years ago | (#40784431)

Probably the weight of the engine + drive apparatus. The extra fuel burnt while on the ground probably is less than what would be required to haul an engine across the country.

Re:Wheels (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#40784655)

You'd have to install an entirely separate drive system just for the purpose of taxiing around. That'd create an extra layer of complexity (and more importantly, weight - everything on a plane is about weight) that would have to be protected against random failure and the rigors of pressurization-cycle fatigue. It's much simpler to just use tugs and the existing engines, so why bother?

Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 2 years ago | (#40784325)

A Concorde's taxi to the end of a runway used as much fuel as a 737's flight from London to Amsterdam.

If that much energy were released over that short a timespan, the airplane wouldn't be there anymore, and neither would the runway.

This must be that "Journalist physics" I keep hearing about, similar in methodology to "Cop math."

London to Amsterdam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784329)

London to Amsterdam? Sorry, can you convert that into American units?

Looking at a map it looks like less than 300 miles. LOL, Europeans are funny, they think that's a long ways or something. That's like a day trip by car to visit family in the US.

Bald assertions do not make facts. (4, Interesting)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 years ago | (#40784355)

The article on which the submission was based simply stated it used too much fuel.
This was a quote from another article.
Yes, it used a lot of fuel, however at the time of the accident, the fuel and other costs were handily made up by the ticket prices. Every flight was full as I understand it.
Could concorde substitute in the low-cost carrier role - of course not.
Did it have a profitable (after writing off development costs) buisness going forward - yes, as long as the planes remained in good order.
Was it possible that at some point in the future that they would no longer be able to fill the seats - sure.

For a truly niche service, for the very rich, I question that they wouldn't be able to fill the seats at prices enough to pay all the costs now.

Lazy article (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#40784357)

Concorde at Filton isn't even open to the public - it closed in 2010 for inspection by engineers (really? What engineering work had they in mind on a permanently grounded plane? Mind you, British weather had probably taken its toll on the frame...) and there's no scheduled reopening. I imagine there isn't the money to do any work - it was pretty much entirely staffed by volunteers - mostly older people who'd worked on it in the past and had since retired.

737 vs concorde comparison misleading (5, Informative)

dirtyhippie (259852) | about 2 years ago | (#40784481)

Commercial airplanes use tons (literally) of fuel while taxiing. Idling a jet engine is expensive. And london-amsterdam is about the shortest commercially viable flight possible - only about 200 miles - or to put it in US terms, DC-NYC. So, yes, the concorde guzzled fuel - maybe 5 times what a 737 uses - but its fuel usage was not completely irresponsible - after all, you have to carry most of that fuel at mach 2.2...

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40784667)

and nobody thought about calculating all those costs before spending billions on designing and building the plane? maybe factoring in some inflation and potential fuel costs for the future?

really? they did? why build it then?

they didn't? MORONS!

Common sense.. it's a fucking superpower!

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