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  • 33

London to NYC in just 3.4 hours? A roundtrip will set you back $5,000

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Virgin Galactic to go where the Concorde failed, into commercial supersonic flight After more than a decade of dormancy commercial supersonic flight may soon return to the skies. The Soviet Tupolev supersonic aircraft flew just a few dozen flights back in 1977, and the Concorde, flown by British Airways and Air France, retired in 2003 after a fatal accident three years earlier that compounded economic problems. But now Richard Branson and his Virgin empire are ready to try it again. According to… (arstechnica.com) 更多...

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ericdasilva
Eric da Silva 11
How did the Concorde fail, to go into commercial supersonic flight?!? It was in service with 2 airlines for over 30 years, and had only one accident. You call that a fail?!?
TorstenHoff
It was never profitable. As expensive as the tickets were, British Airways and Air France had to subsidize them. That is why the Concorde never found any buyers outside the national carriers of the countries behind its development.
ericdasilva
Other Airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Lifthansa, and JAL, and many more had placed orders for it.
TorstenHoff
If they did, they never operated the aircraft. There were two short-term wet leases (one to Braniff, one to Singapore) that used aircraft and pilots from British Airways.

While the Concorde was technically impressive, commercially it was a failure. No airline today wants to (or can afford to) operate an aircraft that doesn't make money.

At $5000 a seat for a transatlantic flight, it wouldn't be in line with other business class seats, with the added advantage of a much shorter flight time. If they get this project off the ground, I think they would have packed planes -- there aren't that many seats to fill.
TorstenHoff
Sorry, there is no edit function: that was meant to say "it would be in line".
ericdasilva
I guess your right, it as expensive to operate, but O don't think calling it a failure is necessary, gas at certain times was very expensive, like in the 70's, and 80's. But now that you clarified your point, I can understand where you are coming from, on tour opinion about the Concorde, commercially.
30west
30west 2
Eric, profitability, IMO, was the cause for its demise. The Concorde's crash just hastened its retirement.

As far as the Concorde's safety record is concerned, one fatal accident over the total flying hours of its entire very small fleet makes the accident rate rather poor when compared to airliners with thousands of aircraft of a particular type flying maybe 6+ hours per day on average.
mfbutzin
mfbutzin 1
Greed shut it down, they wanted to increase the rate for each seat then the Internet opened much faster ways of communicating 24/7. But they still wanted that 10k per seat the airports wanted their skim, FOB had to have their fee, city, etc that slice of the pie was getting slimmer and slimmer all the while I can FaceTime a call to London for 1/16 of the price for f just the tax for the seat. Look at the 747 it carries a huge amount of people compared and it is old and still producing revenue for some companies as well as cargo, it even feeds the vultures at the gate and still make a profit.

BrorMonberg
It's all economics. Were Concorde a moneymaker...we'd still be flying it. Best of luck to BOOM.
MikeMohle
Mike Mohle 2
Sounds like a bargain and quicker too. Last time BClass on BAW was 11K PHX>Heathrow R/T.
TorstenHoff
CNN's coverage of this: http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/24/aviation/boom-supersonic-plane-virgin-space-company/index.html
rayzeeman
The article states, "The Virgin Group spokeswoman said the partnership remains in its "early days," although Boom says it could begin test flights at the end of next year." Does anyone think it is possible that they could actually be test flying by that time? Not saying they can't, just asking.
They don't state how far they are into the design of this thing or if they have started bending metal yet, just seems rather ambitious.
TorstenHoff
I think test flights would be with the 1/3 scale prototype they've been working on. And that would be subsonic.
mattgoyder
Matt G 1
Boom sounds like one of those ironically unwise names, like when you call your dog "lucky" and have to keep fishing him out from around the axles of your neighbors' cars.
rad2
The second to the last paragraph is the key. Will these planes be allowed to operate over land anywhere in the world? The next, undiscussed issue is range. Will this plane do more that LHR / CDG to JFK / BOS / IAD / YUL? Maybe routes from the Gulf States to SIN / BKK are in reach, but land transit is involved. Time will tell, but how many investors will get behind this? Does Branson and Bezos have enough to bankroll the project?
akayemm
Innovating beyond Concorde proves humans continue to move forward on the "wheel" invented eons ago .
yr2012
matt jensen 1
Cheaper than the original Concorde.
MGTD
Just let "Mikey try it"......Words of an old TV commercial.

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