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Concorde & Sir Richard Branson.

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Concorde & Sir Richard Branson.

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Old 28th Dec 2017, 22:08
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Concorde & Sir Richard Branson.

Throughout the Xmas period, there have been a number of programmes on the telly about Concorde,from beginning to end of its life, its conception, development, etc. etc.
Some material in there that I hadn't heard before, so all in all, not bad. But I got to thinking.
Putting aside the side issues such as spares, if Branson had got hold of X number of Concordes as he was apparently trying to do when BA stopped using them, does the team think he could have made a success of it?
For the sake of an interesting debate, serious answers please, if at all possible.
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Old 28th Dec 2017, 22:14
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It would have needed a Maintenance Authority agreeable to the CAA. As far as I know, after BAe and Aerospatiale withdrew, that avenue became impossible; sad, but there you are.
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Old 28th Dec 2017, 22:23
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No chance....
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Old 28th Dec 2017, 22:27
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The joy rides around the Bay of Biscay proved quite profitable but a scheduled trans Atlantic service needs every seat filled to make a profit. Many regular customers died in the Twin Towers attack, so the business model suffered a severe setback.

While Branson has apparently embraced unique high tech aviation vehicles in his attempts to provide a passenger service to space, the idea is to eventually mass produce a standardised transportation system. I don't think Concorde would be a comfortable fit into Branson's typical business model. He would have run the fleet, scavaging parts to keep planes flying as long as possible until the fleet was reduced to scrap, making as much profit as possible along the way. Undoubtably, there would have been more accidents. Better to stop flying the aircraft when we did.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 03:20
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The manufactures of Concorde (now basically Airbus) declared they would stop technical support when BA and AF decided to stop flying them (I'm guessing there was some old agreement that required the manufactures to continue to provide technical support - at no small cost - but it wasn't 'transferable' if the Concorde aircraft were sold).
It's very difficult to keep any aircraft airworthy and certified when the manufacturer discontinues their technical support (for whatever reason). With something as complex as Concorde, it would be nearly impossible.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 04:37
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Originally Posted by Noah Zark. View Post
Throughout the Xmas period, there have been a number of programmes on the telly about Concorde,from beginning to end of its life, its conception, development, etc. etc.
Some material in there that I hadn't heard before, so all in all, not bad. But I got to thinking.
Putting aside the side issues such as spares, if Branson had got hold of X number of Concordes as he was apparently trying to do when BA stopped using them, does the team think he could have made a success of it?
For the sake of an interesting debate, serious answers please, if at all possible.
Leaving aside the, ahem, minor details of airworthiness, relevant though they are, lets not forget that, when it comes down to generating publicity, notably for and about himself ( the brand simply follows ) the bearded one is no slouch.

Thus the " wish" to acquire Concorde was duly well publicised....to good effect.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 05:21
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Many regular customers died in the Twin Towers attack, so the business model suffered a severe setback.
Really?

Some, no doubt, but not that many.

2,996 including the terrorists and plane passengers.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 05:23
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In theory, Branson could have made a success of it as BA were doing quite well on a per flight basis. Of course, it wouldn't have lasted too long as Virgin began to face all the problems that would occur with any aircraft that was getting on for 30 years old.
Speaking of Branson, there was an item on BBC Radio 4 news yesterday morning, talking to the bloke who heads up the "Boom Supersonic" programme. He revealed (at least to me) that Virgin have options on taking 12 of these paper aeroplanes and JAL have options on 20. I may be an old cynic but listening to this bloke going on about how fast and cheap to fly on, I was thinking "Yeah. OK. Let's wait and see".
And last night, I saw a documentary on TV discussing why the Boeing 2707 was pulled by the US government. It ruins your faith though in these programmes when they end with an "expert" (aviation historian) telling us how the 747 came about "after the Vietnam war". Maybe a different Vietnam war to the one I remember!
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 05:31
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I reckon Sir B should forego the massive challenges of Mach 2 and just build himself a full scale battery powered ducted fan styrofoam version of Concorde to putter around UK skies in.

It would be quieter too.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 06:55
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It was quite amusing when he put Virgin stickers on the model Concorde at the Heathrow entrance, and had his picture taken in front of it while dressed as a pirate (I canít remember if a stuffed parrot was involved, now).
As to the real ones, he had two chances: fat chance, and no chance. Generated him excellent publicity though.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 08:05
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
In theory, Branson could have made a success of it as BA were doing quite well on a per flight basis.
Except that, as with many Virgin brands, if you look under the veneer of the great publicity (which they've always done well), Virgin Atlantic have an unhappy habit of losing money hand over fist. In recent years they've had two concurrent financial years where losses were well in excess of 200 million, and when they do turn a profit it's (to put it kindly) modest. 9 million when I last looked, IIRC that was 2015-2016. And that took Delta's help to achieve.

It's one thing for BA to have eventually run Concord at a marginal profit, but another thing entirely to expect Virgin to achieve the same trick with no experience of the type. Let's face it, all along it was nothing more than another Virgin PR exercise.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 08:11
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+1 to that. There was never the remotest prospect of Branson being able to operate Concorde. What it does demonstrate is his great talent for picking up on then riding the popular (and belated!) wave of sentimental support for a tremendous piece of British engineering
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 09:23
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Maybe with the advance in communication technology the need for high speed travel to get key personnel to meeting across the globe isn't quite a desperate as when Concorde came out?

Will there ever be another more economical and Modern Concorde ?
Concorde was from a different era more of the pioneering era of Concorde putting a man on the moon etc which no longer seems to exist
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 09:25
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Interesting program on last night about the Boeing 2707, a lot of which I didn't know before. It did highlight the drawbacks of the project, especially the seemingly insurmountable sonic boom problem.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 09:56
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Originally Posted by Effluent Man View Post
Interesting program on last night about the Boeing 2707, a lot of which I didn't know before. It did highlight the drawbacks of the project, especially the seemingly insurmountable sonic boom problem.
Do you have a link to some replay facility?

Supersonic transportation is really pushing the envelope. Very hard to archieve at an economically viable price point, even with 50 years in advancement in technology.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 10:28
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Remembering the project Hotol, and another semi-space vehicle, from years ago; I thought they had good ideas about what could be achieved and how, but the materials & thrust sources were not yet available. Would it not be better to put all energies into solving those issues rather than diluting resources into what could be a relatively temporary Mach 2 aircraft? UK - Aus in 3 hours was what was speculated. That makes Mach 2 seem pedestrian.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 10:34
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Originally Posted by Laarbruch72 View Post

It's one thing for BA to have eventually run Concord at a marginal profit, but another thing entirely to expect Virgin to achieve the same trick with no experience of the type. Let's face it, all along it was nothing more than another Virgin PR exercise.
It was more than a marginal profit for BA. Prior to the AF crash it was in the region of £30m plus per year and that was why they were so keen to get them returned to service.
Like most, it would probably have been difficult for RB to have operated Concorde due to the very specific arrangements that BA utilised including spares purchase as well as the arduous maintenance requiremens.
But....you never know...
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 10:39
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
Do you have a link to some replay facility?

Supersonic transportation is really pushing the envelope. Very hard to archieve at an economically viable price point, even with 50 years in advancement in technology.
This might work.....

https://tvcatchup.com/show/6d9844676...hat+Never+Flew

The previous show was quite interesting as well, all about rocket powered aircraft and various combinations of power plants. Plus some interviews with Dick Stratton ( R.I.P )...now there was a gentleman who could be very engaging to listen and talk to ( unless you were the C.A.A ) ....
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 11:07
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Given what we have learned more recently of the delicate nature of the high stratosphere and ozone layer, is it a good idea to have hundreds or thousands of flights a year being conducted through these regions? Rocket exhaust plumes disperse over huge areas producing clouds and atmospheric phenomena that can be viewed for a considerable time afterwards. As it is, aircraft contrails are contributing to the disruption of global weather patterns as evidenced by weather records before and after 9/11 when all air traffic was grounded across the US for several days.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 11:21
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contributing to the disruption of global weather patterns

Probably some substance in that except the global weather pattern is "chaos"


A butterfly exercising its wings on a leaf in the deep jungles of Borneo will have an effect on the weather in Westbury on Severn, not too long later.


Like time, there is no pattern unless observed from a very long way away.
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