Date: 15 Nov 97 16:24:44 From: David Ecale <email@example.com> Organization: Cray Research a division of Silicon Graphics, Inc. References: 1 Followups: 1 2
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Jay Vassos-Libove wrote: > A recent post here about orders placed for Boeing's '2707' SST > (prior to the program's cancellation) got a reply which indicated > a laundry list of airlines, US and foreign, which had also placed > orders for the Concorde. > > This raised the question in my mind: Why did no airlines other than > BA and AF ever actually get any Concordes, since there were a dozen > or more orders for it from other airlines? I suspect that it's not so much "Why didn't other airlines purchase the Concorde?", as it was "Why did BOAC & AF purchase the Concorde after everybody else dropped out?" Please remember the tenor of the times. The US, Europeans, and Russians were all racing to build a working SST by the end of the (1960s) decade. Remember JFK's famous speach, (to paraphrase) "I pledge to put a man on the moon & build an SST before the end of the decade. ..." It was a great idea, until the commercial side was considered. All 3 groups started working apace. The Boeing project was cancelled when Boeing figured out that it would *never* recoup the development costs. This wasn't all bad. Boeing went on to design and sell B747s instead. It takes 'em linger to get there, but it's a lot cheeper per seat. The B747 is one of commercial aviation's greatest commercial success stories. The Russians went on to design (well some of the specs *were* smuggled out of France in toothpaste tubes) the Tu144. This was a contender until the spectacular crash at the 1968 Paris Air Show. After that, only Aeroflot purchased *that* bird. The Concorde also lost it's customer base & the only airlines to purchase it were (the percursor to) BA & AF. Both owned by the governments which spent so much money creating it. The purchases were effectively a political solution to a commercial disaster. (Besides, remember the Concorde joke: "It takes 3 hours to cross the Atlantic from London to New York on the Concorde and 4 hours to get to Manhatten Island from JFK Airport in a New York taxi cab!") So, in retrospect, the Concorde & Tu144 were terrible financial disasters to those who produced them. The only customers who bellied up to the bar in the end to purchase them were captive carriers of the respective governments who produced them. The next try by the Europeans was the A300 Airbus. This followed the lead of the B747 & created a (medium haul) cattle car. It was a (still subsidised, but who isn't these days,) commercial success. -- David Ecale firstname.lastname@example.org "The difference between a wolf pup and a German Shepard pup is that a wolf pup is quite happy teething on the leg of a stag that it's parents brought down in a hunt while the German Shepard pup prefers to teeth on remote controls and high end graphing calculators...."