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10 AUGUST 2015
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There has been some coverage in the media last week regarding what has been termed “Son of Concorde”
Memories are short.
The first ‘heavy’ supersonic jet was the US Air Force B58 Hustler bomber which first flew in 1956, nearly 60 years ago, and had much the performance of Concorde, but not the range.
The Russian TU 144 transport was airborne the year before Concorde in 1968 but only reached passenger service in November 1977, nearly two years after the Anglo-French jet. It was withdrawn seven months later after just 55 in-service sectors, and following a fatal test flight crash.
An Air France Concorde dived into a hotel in July 2000, attributed to a freak technical incident. After modifications Concorde remained in service with British Airways until November 2003. After that no more noisy 10:30 departures from Heathrow with arrival at Kennedy 09:30 local.
Airbus has filed with the US Patent Office a concept for a rocket-powered “ultra-rapid air vehicle” aimed at business travellers and VIPs who require transcontinental return journeys within one day.
The delta wing aircraft would cruise at an altitude of more than 100,000ft and carry up to 20 passengers for distances of about 5,500 miles.
The futuristic aircraft would be capable of flying more than four times the speed of sound – or more than 2,500mph. A sector of not much more than an hour either way.
Seat bookings are not being taken.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Tony Hesketh-Gardener, England
I saw the TU 144 - Concordski - crash at the Paris Air Show in 1973. Concorde had just performed brilliantly and was followed by the TU 144, which touched down momentarily at the end of its display and then took off in a near vertical climb. Minutes later, my host in the GEC chalet, Dave Conlon, a former test pilot, grabbed my shoulders and pointed at the TU 144, which was in a fatal nose dive about a mile away before crashing in a ball of flame. Cries of “oh no” sprung up all around after which there was a hush throughout the arena which lasted for about three hours until a Harrier did its thing and ended its performance bowing to the very appreciative audience. A few minutes later the Folland Gnat Red Arrows were given a rousing cheer when they ended the show with a spectacular performance.
Hugh Cowin, Hatfield AL10 8QG
If Concorde's economics were fragile despite its premier fares and charter work to boost utilisation -what hope is there for something with the seating capacity only marginally better than that of a DHC Twin Otter?