I agree wholeheartedly with firecat’s comments. Although it had an unblemished record (well, almost – a part of the tail fell off when it was on a charter from New Zealand to Sydney!), the Paris crash was so horrific it made even the rich and famous who mostly coughed up for their hugely expensive tickets become concerned. After it was withdrawn from service for 6 months and millions spent on kevlar coating the fuel tank interiors, redesigned tyres and a substantial upgrade on the interior designs, nothing could alter the element of fear that had crept in to some people’s thinking. Over that time, too, they had either got used to travelling in far greater comfort at the front of 747s or private jets. Concorde was doomed. BA pilots all said it was a fantastic aircraft that could have continued for many more years. But with oil prices climbing to unheard of heights, that surely would never have happened.
I watched with a touch of sadness the final three Concorde arrivals at Heathrow spaced out over about 10 minutes. An amazing sight of surly the most beautiful aircraft ever built.
As one who was fascinated by space when growing up, I recall the ghastly flash fire which killed the Apollo 1 astronauts in their capsule on the launch pad. That did not stop the space programme. Developments in supersonic flight have continued and developed hugely in military aircraft. So presumably a company like Boeing could use that knowledge and adapt it for an SST passenger aircraft that would fly higher than Concorde’s 60,000 ft. Greater height would not eliminate the sonic boom but it would reduce the effect on the ground and perhaps lessen the arguments of the lobbyists arguing against overland SST flights.
But the caveat surely has to be: how much would a ticket cost to fly from New York to Singapore in a few hours? Would it be restricted to the top 1%? Could it accommodate at least some regular flyers?
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