AF Concorde- a national disgrace

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Tim SP
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AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Tim SP »

Bit of a left field one this & ob not Jensen related, but would be gen interested if there are thoughts about the crime that was the grounding of Concorde hastened by the AF crash.
I have read some interesting things, like AF suggesting that a spacer that a mechanic didn't bother to refit (and left in workshop later found) had nothing to do with a slew to port, which happened to be within feet of a 747 which happened to have the then French prime minister on board?? Really, when BA reported utterly the opposite!
Also the tyre is blamed early on which grounded the fleet, despite all the facts that show no error nor any serious fault with any Concorde- the tyre burst that alleged to rupture the fuel tank- well it was over full of full, which a cirtain amount should be burnt off before take off to allow expantion- it wasn't also it was over loaded, the wheel spacer not being refitted on service & the strip of metal that was from another aircraft that caused the tyre issue- well all that points to human error & gross negligence all of which points to AF no??
I'm not a pilot so would never comment on the crew, or any poss fault, but there were things that BA piolts said they would have done.
Thats before all the politics that point to AF wanting to be rid of Concorde, esp due to the loyalty of airbus- long before the crash- they were making zero BA always did & even after CAA grounding which ramped up a huge cost of mods- all deemed necc, why there was never an issue with any concorde & given the evidence above- even after that BA is commited & with the charter flights made good money.

Jeremy clackson said it best- Concorde, a giant leap backwards (of its grounding)
I cant think of any Human endeavor when we stopped or went backward in human history- apart from Concorde.
A national disgrace that even had the fleets fluids drained to make is almost impossible to recommission & the selling of spare parts to the four winds, to even prevent a Historic flight, which was attempted- all or most again sits at AF door.

Just the musing of an aviation fan- but the facts however are the facts- why wasn't AF on this evidence not seen as fit for purpose & forced to pay billions in compensation the poor lost souls onbaord their flight- not the obscene amount they did pay out??
I would think the Concorde was seen as a Human acheivment & proved what could be done if we work togther etc, a wonderfull thing it was, like banging a bloke on the moon, but mortals could sit in luxery supping champoo.

I wonder if that was a BA flight things would have fallen different, that said it would be extremely unlikley given the facts, one thing wrong, but all those things in one place??
Hmmm.
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by sentimental journey »

Tim

You made lots of points.
One which I know a little about is the tyre problem. The fleet was affected by tyre issues for the duration of the program. It was never resolved.

I remember they had trouble with the Transponder aerials. They just couldn't get them to stay on the aircraft. Another long term issue.

BA were losing a fortune operating it. The engine parts were being hand made one offs. I can't imagine how much they paid for parts.

As for prestige, drive around Bradford. Britains had it. It's best days are behind it. It's a romantic notion of an era when Britain was Great. And it's cold.
None of us are getting out of this alive!

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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by cannonball »

sentimental journey wrote:Tim

You made lots of points.
One which I know a little about is the tyre problem. The fleet was affected by tyre issues for the duration of the program. It was never resolved.

I remember they had trouble with the Transponder aerials. They just couldn't get them to stay on the aircraft. Another long term issue.

BA were losing a fortune operating it. The engine parts were being hand made one offs. I can't imagine how much they paid for parts.

As for prestige, drive around Bradford. Britains had it. It's best days are behind it. It's a romantic notion of an era when Britain was Great. And it's cold.

I think looking back the 60,s were prime i am a bit to young to have experianced it, so 70,s for me i enjoyed as a kid but it was getting dark strikes etc etc then 80,s and driving, i was a tool but free, no cameras, no unmarked cop cars and certainly no dogooding joe public with a dash cam to report you to the cops, life sucks now owning a fast car i drove last sunday 120 miles up to harrogate 525hp amg merc never got above 70 traffic as busy as friday at inner london =garbage its all lost now, lookin back i grew up in a never to be seen again era Sorry Tim concorde was awesome i still get chills watching docu,s on them they should still be flying,
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Grant »

Tim.. I don't know the answer to any of it.. But I will say .. I love Concorde, it will be a long time before anything ever beats the looks, the performance and lines of that beautyImage
To Concorde..Image
...
Thinking about it.. wouldn't it be great just to have one on the driveway.. even if you used it for just going down the road to get your Faggies and the wife's Sunday Papers, it would be brilliant pulling up outside the CO-OPImage
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by sentimental journey »

cannonball wrote:
sentimental journey wrote:Tim

You made lots of points.
One which I know a little about is the tyre problem. The fleet was affected by tyre issues for the duration of the program. It was never resolved.

I remember they had trouble with the Transponder aerials. They just couldn't get them to stay on the aircraft. Another long term issue.

BA were losing a fortune operating it. The engine parts were being hand made one offs. I can't imagine how much they paid for parts.

As for prestige, drive around Bradford. Britains had it. It's best days are behind it. It's a romantic notion of an era when Britain was Great. And it's cold.

I think looking back the 60,s were prime i am a bit to young to have experianced it, so 70,s for me i enjoyed as a kid but it was getting dark strikes etc etc then 80,s and driving, i was a tool but free, no cameras, no unmarked cop cars and certainly no dogooding joe public with a dash cam to report you to the cops, life sucks now owning a fast car i drove last sunday 120 miles up to harrogate 525hp amg merc never got above 70 traffic as busy as friday at inner london =garbage its all lost now, lookin back i grew up in a never to be seen again era Sorry Tim concorde was awesome i still get chills watching docu,s on them they should still be flying,
I have the same problem here in Sydney. I have one point left on my licence and drive my C63s around like a granny!
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Concorde will always be one of the greatest inventions of all time.
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Tim SP »

Thanks chaps for a reply- I would hope that arguably the most iconic machine ever (yup thats a self utterly devoted piston engined war bird geek) one of the 4 post war machines that this Island should be proud to have designed,built & operated & maintained.
Avro Vulcan
E.E Lightning
Hawker Harrier.

BAE Concorde- the others are Kings,but the Harrier could be the Military equivalent in terms of being retired before time & worse when nothing like to replace.
Concorde will ofcourse trump any kind of endeavour, as said I thing landing on moon is likley easy compared to what that aircraft did with its cargo.

If this aircraft was a US product, I doubt it would have suffered this fate, like the Vulcan & Harrier (which ofcourse USMC operate still in GR7) the weakness is palpable- ask most tax payers if they would be happy to pay a teeny bit to keep the Concorde & be part of the BBMF, I'd be very shocked if 'no' was voted.

Ask all us that put into Vulcan to sky, which is another crime, so is no being able to operate the King Interceptor, even at reduced- who are these people.

D-Day & WW11 comment.
I fully get that sentiment, but i feel compelled to reply- Not one man nor woman have I ever met would ever, in a million years agree that their generations contribution was mis-spent fighting against the worst tyranny ever in human history- period.
Its a bit insulting to assume they would change their mind- most that I have ever knew/know just dont agree with many things over time since.
either way, that generation can do what they please, yet remain the best of us in my view.

Concorde, as a civil machine, in my view remains a statue of the best of humanity, what can be done if we work together- I see it as a machine that represents our collective good, the like that was never seen, still not seen- a wonder of human acheivment if we just get on that bit better.

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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Arcnewal »

sentimental journey wrote:BA were losing a fortune operating it. The engine parts were being hand made one offs. I can't imagine how much they paid for parts.
That’s not true. Things slowed down (obviously) after the 911 events, but a few months after BA were back where they needed to be with Concorde and were still making a hefty profit, even when it was retired. Air France were the ones loosing money hand over foot. They didn’t offer the same luxury type of experience British Airways offered and towards the end they sometimes flew across the Atlantic etc with little over 12 passengers, whereas British Airways were sold out.

Airbus and Air France are to blame for the fall of Concorde. Airbus would only make parts as long as there were two airline operators and when Air France decided to pull the plug, so did AirBus. You’d have thought that what Concorde archived, what it stood for and the profits it made British Airways they’d have put up a fight to save the plane that was more or less given to them for free, but it wasn’t meant to be. Plus, AirBus were more focused on the development of the gigantic (and ugly) A380.
There we are are ladies and gentlemen we’re through Mach 1 the speed of sound, no bumps, no bangs, Concorde.

Mike Bannister - Chief Concorde Pilot
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by AH1951 »

There are far more important things in the here and now to be upset about than the demise of Concorde.
Things which really affect your life.
But you need to do some reading and research to understand it, not simply following the propaganda from the BBC. (British Brainwashing Corporation.)
So I recommend 'Watermelons', by James Delingpole, 'The Great Deception' by Christopher Booker, 'Ethical Oil ' by Ezra Levant and 'Europe on €387 million a day' by Olly Figg.
For a start.
I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has read these books.
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Martin R »

Concorde was an iconic aircraft which although amazing, was right at the edge of reliable technology.
With well over 50 instances of burst tyres and various other issues/close shaves over the years, just one crash immediately made it the least safe commercial aircraft, based on the number of cycles and or hours flown.
For example, the average 747 has flown more than the combined fleet of Concordes ever did... That's saying something!
By the time it was retired, it was a very old plane, using basically old technology pushed beyond sensible limits.

As an aside, did you know that 2017 (apparently) was the first year ever, where commercial airlines didn't lose a single passenger? (World wide).
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Moss_Isley »

I worked for British airways avionics for a number of years , I left before the Air France disaster, the aircraft were always marginal in terms of technology , not quite as bad as the Lightning ( very dangerous, very poor service record) but still pushing the technology of the time.
Aircraft that are approved to fly have to keep the technology they were approved with unless very expensive ( and extensive) flight trials are gone through,so the avionics were 1950s- 1960s, because so few aircraft were built and orders were cancelled before production had properly got under way, the aircraft were all different in how they were wired, they were nursed along by a dedicated ( and very skilled ) team.
Parts were continually being robbed from one aircraft to another to keep sufficient aircraft serviceable , I'm sure that all 7 BA aircraft were never serviceable at the same time.
British airways were put under pressure in regard to spares support well before the Air France crash ,the numbers involved meant that parts suppliers wanted shot of the responsibility.
I always likened it to running a taxi service from say London to Edinburgh using seven series 1 e type Jaguars ,running them flat out each way , all the way!, how much maintenance do you think they would need?. I love the Concorde and the Lightning and the Vulcan but they are all well past their sell by dates and need to stay on the ground.
Harrier, crazy decision to stop ,everything was up to date, avionics and airframes had been updated/ overhauled and without an aircraft carrier what other aircraft could compare? Very odd decision.
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by cannonball »

Intersting stuff to hear from people who know more,
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by RAP72 »

Moss_Isley wrote:not quite as bad as the Lightning ( very dangerous, very poor service record) but still pushing the technology of the time.

Lightning. Well Steve Paine worked on those and they were Military Operational Aircraft designed to get up, fire a missile and hopefully get back.
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Richie »

My brother in law works on red arrows now but during the Vulcan's final tour of the UK he explained that that there was - unfortunately - no doubt at all that the Vulcan needed to be grounded. I suppose such a plane was never designed to fly for long anyway. Much of their purpose wasn't to fly at all but to be parked on runways, clearly visible to Soviet satellites, armed and ready to go...but not necessarily to return...

Maintaining such a 'plane is, to say the least, significantly different to keeping say a Spitfire going.

Their grounding is unfortunately necessary but we should be proud that these magnificent aircraft existed.
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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Steve Payne »

RAP72 wrote:
Moss_Isley wrote:not quite as bad as the Lightning ( very dangerous, very poor service record) but still pushing the technology of the time.

Lightning. Well Steve Payne worked on those and they were Military Operational Aircraft designed to get up, fire a missile and hopefully get back.
If they got back it was a bonus, at full power they were going to empty all there tanks in 20 mins. The plan was to get up there and shoot down what ever was coming over to attack us. If the pilot was lucky enough to get refuelled he got back dry if not he bailed out into the sea and got picked up by a helicopter.

The Lightnings were designed to have an airframe life of 1000 hours, by the time they were taken our of service all of them had done at least 3 times and some had done 4 times that. Sad as it was to see them go they were worn out.

Vulcan aircrews were given a list of possible landing sights in event of war, the theory being if they went over to the Eastern Block to do there work by the time they got back all the runways would be in no state for landing. Apparently once you know where these sites are it is obvious but I am not sure I would want to be landing a Vulcan on a stretch of the M1 :shock:

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Re: AF Concorde- a national disgrace

Post by Michael Richardson »

I have followed many reports/theories/on the subject of the Paris crash. I still believe that the metal deposited by the previous American aircraft caused the Concorde tyre to explode. It took the French legal system 12 years to decide/redecide who was to blame,and the fines they handed down were stupid. IF..IF that accident had happened in the US then in no time,Continental Airlines would be out of business,insurance for the passengers would be claiming millions per head,and other maintenance on the ground,someone would have received a 30+ year prison term. The french legal system was never going to sort out this french crash on french land. Too many vested interests.
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