a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
kleinbl00  ·  2339 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The American Concordes that never flew

What's funny about these discussions is listening to the British and the French piss on Boeing:

    “When we were building Concorde, we were pushing technology as far as it could possibly go at the time. They were pushing for something that was just too difficult.”

The 2707 was basically a big damn F-111.

Hey, maybe we can talk about what actually happened?

    Wings were not the only problem. The sonic boom the 2707 would create as it broke the sound barrier would be another issue. “Once it became apparent just how disturbing that was,” Coen says, “it put paid to the idea of supersonic flight over the US.”

Note that the Concorde was no quieter... But when the FAA won't allow your plane to land it's hard to sell that NY-Paris run. Hey, why else did the 2707 die?

    President Kennedy’s carrot to Lockheed and Boeing was that the government would pick up 75% of the cost of the programme if either could produce a design that could rival Concorde.

Note that they weren't going to subsidize the planes.

    According to one estimate from the London-based Independent newspaper, the total write-off for the British and French governments was $34 billion, which works out to a taxpayer subsidy of a staggering $8000 for every passenger who ever flew on the Concorde.


Note that that was $8k on top of an absolutely gob-smackingly high price:

    Such speed didn’t come cheap, though: A transatlantic flight required the high-maintenance aircraft to gulp jet fuel at the rate of one ton per seat, and the average round-trip price was $12,000.

Doing the math: the real cost of the Concorde from DC to Paris and back was $28k. The primary difference between the Concorde and the 2707 was that France and England were willing to blow a billion dollars a year so that rich people could pay half-price (odd for such a peculiarly socialist system).

I've got a 165-page sales manual on the 2707. I've got... pretty much all the sales literature on that thing. And even in 1965, you look at it and go... "this is a giant government subsidy waiting to happen." And in 1971, the United States went capitalist while England and France went socialist. And there we've been ever since.