Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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Farewell Condorde.

It sure was a nice plane.

I remember in the 70s when it flew out here on its first PR trip. There was a proposal to fly the plane from London to Sydney via Singapore, and BA wanted permission to fly at supersonic speeds over the outback. Oh boy didn't people jump at that! They were talking about shattered windows, deafening the people, structural damage in buildings and disturbing the animals. The pollies folded, of course, and Concorde never flew a commercial route here.

The idiots either thought or wilfully misrepresented that Concorde would be flying that speed at only a few 1000 feet. A sonic boom at 50,000 feet is not more than a pair of dull booms, much quieter than a thunderstorm. Granddad's house was in Bexley, right under the landing flightpath. The planes flew overhead so low we could hear the noise the wing-tip vortex made as it broke up. (It sounded like a phantom plane going over us.) Connies, 707s, the first 747s... no one complained about that noise. They were just "the planes going over."

If there hadn't been such an outcry, faster, safer and more efficient SST would be in the air now. We have instead a gap left by an aging fleet. Not many aircraft operate commercially for 30 years. It would have been nice to see new, high tech, economically viable Concordes rolling off the line but that didn't happen. As much as I hate to say this, it really is time for the old planes to retire.

Concorde is very much like the Sace Shuttle in this regard. An aging fleet, expensive to maintain, superceded by technology but kept flying because there were no replacements even on the drawing board.

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