Thread: Concorde Blues
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:06 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
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Another point against the Concorde is that it could only fly out of very few airports, not so much for lack of ground support, but for neighborhood animosity.

IIRC, there was a huge grass-roots effort of residents around Chicago's O'Hare to keep Concorde's sonic booms away, and similar efforts took place at other airports to the point that Concorde was effectively limited to New York's JFK, London's Heathrow and Paris' Charles De Gaulle.

Due to these restrictions, if you were traveling to or from an airport that wasn't JFK, the Concorde was an ineffective option - to go from LA to London, you could get on a 747 and take a direct flight for roughly ten and a half hours, or you could fly to New York in about 6 hours, then sit around at JFK for a while before getting on the Concorde for a roughly three and a half hour flight. If your layover was very short, this might save you a few minutes, but more likely not, leaving only the prestige of flying on a supersonic plane as the sole benefit.

Also, for a variety of reasons, Concorde never really got produced in more than prototype numbers with a total of 20 airplanes built. The first six were the prototype/development fleet, and of the remaining fourteen, five were not purchased by an airline, and were ultimately sold to British Airways and Air France at fire-sale liquidation prices of 1 pound / 1 franc each in 1980. Previous posts describe all the main reasons for its lack of popularity - expensive to operate, surprisingly uncomfortable cabin, etc.