Thursday, June 16, 2005

Concorde flies again

CNN is reporting that the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies (SJAC) and the French Aerospace Industries Association are making plans to revive the Concorde, starting fresh with a larger cabin to seat 300 passengers, lighter-weight components, and more modern power plants. None of which will make the Concorde economically viable.

The problem is the the Concorde begins with an already small potential market (people taking transcontinental flights) and then charges through the nose for saving several hours and providing a high-end experience. There are only so many people who will buy this; the problem will be plane utilization (the percent of time spent in the air vs. time spent on the ground).

I think the Concorde is one of the most elegant-looking planes ever built, but in the real world you have to turn a profit.

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