Why did Concorde stop?

In 2003 Concorde touched down for the last time after 27 years of service. The plane was the pinnacle of British and French engineering so why did it fail?

Despite its innovation, Concorde was imagined well before the oil price shock of the 1970’s, and although it was a master of engineering, it put prestige over efficiency. The aircraft only had capacity for 100 people and yet it consumed the same amount of fuel as a Boeing 747. It also barely had the range to make it from the UK to the East Coast of the USA, so a Concorde flight from the UK to the West Coast of the USA was out of the question, among other factors such as the fact that the plane’s sonic booms were deemed a hazard to residents below the flight path of the plane.

The tragic Air France crash in July of 2000 was not the single blow that led to Concorde’s demise, however it was a factor. When it was retired, Air France and British Airways both claimed it was due to the slump of air travel after the September 11 attacks, the Air France crash, and high maintenance costs. A Concorde was always kept on standby in the USA in case there were any problems with the plane that came over. This meant there was a plane that had to be constantly maintained to do nothing.

So while its inefficiency did certainly put Concorde in doubt, as well as the 2000 crash leaving many consumers reluctant to fly again, it seems that Concorde would have been grounded sooner rather than later anyway due to how outdated the on-board technology was.

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MBDA Meteor

The MBDA Meteor is the next generation of Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) system. The weapon brings together six nations with a common need to defeat the threats of today as well as the future ones. Guided by an advanced active radar seeker, Meteor provides all weather capability to engage a wide variety of targets from agile […]

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Textron AirLand Scorpion

The Textron AirLand Scorpion is a jet aircraft being designed by Textron AirLand, which is a join between Textron and AirLand enterprises. The first prototype was built in secret by Cessna at their Kansas facility between April 2012 and December 2013. The scorpion is powered by two turbofan engines that together produce approximately 8,000 pounds […]

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Textron Nightwarden

The new Textron Nightwarden Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) was unveiled at the Air Show. It is the latest variation on the AAI RQ-7 UAV and is production ready. The Nightwarden has multi mission capability and so Textron claims that this makes it comparable to much larger strategic UAVs. In terms of improvements, the Nightwarden […]

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Paris Air Show review

You may have noticed an absence of aerospace posts on this blog for some time. This was due to the exam season approaching and me wanting to focus on my studies, however after exams had finished I was lucky enough to go on a day trip to Paris to visit the Paris Air Show, a […]

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F-22 History and Service

Back in 1982, the Soviet Union introduced the Su-27 Flanker, which matched the US F-15’s performance. America, as per, doesn’t want a equal fight, the Air force wanted a successor for the F-15. The Advanced Tactical Fighter project commenced in 1984, aimed to produce a fighter to incorporate fresh technologies, such as stealth, composite materials […]

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