I totally agree with your choice here Goose. In my book there is simply no competition for the winner of the greatest civil aircraft. I would say that it is the only aircraft that since its retirement, has made the civil aerospace industry take a step(In fact several) backwards. I dont really need to give any other reasons as to why it was the best, as the aircraft spoke for itself. If people sit back and think about it i am sure they will agree.
Concorde, sex that flew through the air!
Agreed. Simply the best and not likely to be replaced in a while!
Gadzooks! I have been dreading this day that I knew was bound to happen. The Concord(e) mob are in full cry. I feel sure that they are decent enough chaps in their own way (I have known a Concord(e) captain and he was a perfectly normal sort of chap and said that the machine was really nice to handle but that he worried about the tyres!.) So how does one go about explaining that the Douglas DC-3 really deserves, and has earned, the title of the Greatest transport aircraft ever? I feel it may have to be attempted in incremental digestable bites that Concorde fans can assimilate. Now let's see.....oh yes! The DC-3/C-47 was built in somewhat larger numbers than the Concorde. (how many were there again?) It can operate into short soft grass airstrips. The shortest I recall was about 600 metres at Wau in Papua New Guinea. You youngsters may not realise this, but the Dak. is very fuel-efficient. What 13 tonne twins are about today that can match this. With the P&W R-1830s, we usually cruised using 2,050 or 1,800 rpm and about 28" of manifold pressure (reducing by 1/4" per thousand feet). This resulted in 550 bhp per side. I normally climbed 100 feet above the desired level, left on climb power, then carefully slid back down as airspeed built up. Then slowly reduced to cruise power, waited for the cylinder head temps to reduce well below 232 C and then selected Auto-lean. if the aircraft wasn't too battered, it would stabilise at about 140 odd knots TAS with each motor burning 33 imp. gallons per hour (150 l/hr). So there we were with 28 pax. in a stand-up cabin with a toilet and basin down the back and a flight attendant to boot. So, in simple terms, the DC-3 is a two mile per gallon 28 seater that can go into almost anywhere. When we had to hold or loiter on Best Endurance power, those Stromberg pressure-injection carbies, technical works of art, would delicately meter 1/2 a gallon per minute to each dear old Pratt which were barely turning to sustain the Dak in the sky at a peaceful 90 knots whilst we lounged about with a coffee and deftly chucked chicken bones out the side window whilst twiddling with the Sperry autopilot knobs when a burst of energy came upon us.. Try that in your Concorde thingy......
To be continued when you feel you can bear another dose. Who is interested in BRT Specific Fuel Consumption and flying for Best Range??? Thank you for your patience young flying persons. What is BRT? Next chapter if the nice British blog-chappies will allow (beg-grovel-plead)
dakota67 signing off for his afternoon nap.
That is like comparing a Ford Escort to an Aston Martin DB9!
There was only one Pele but he is widely acknowledged as the greatest football player ever. In other words, the number of aircraft built has no baring on how good an aircraft was!
Don't get me wrong i do like Daks, but is it the greatest civilian aircraft? Not in my book.
I love Concorde, I really do. It gave me a thrill when it flew over us going into Heathrow. It provided endless distraction for our Aerodynamics lecturer and it was a real honour to see the initial wooden aerodynamic models at RAE Farnborough.
I appreciate the beauty, the spirit of collaboration, the technical excellence in the late 1960s. I'm prepared to overlook the horrendous cost and disastrous sales campaign, the constant threat of revocation of its exemption from the noise restriction in American airspace each and every time the US and Europeans went head to head about anything, the maintenance headaches that come from supporting such a small fleet of individualised thoroughbreds and the total ban from flying supersonic over land. I still find that airplane inspirational and mourn its passing.
Victor says that comparing a DC-3 to Concorde is like comparing a Ford Escort to an Aston Martin DB9 and I would agree, or at least substitute "Mini" for "Escort" - the Aston Martin DB9 is beautiful, well engineered and a real "Halo" product, but Mini changed everything when it appeared. I appreciate and want the Aston Martin, but it isn't the greatest - the Mini is.
I'm a conscientious man... when I throw rocks at seabirds I leave no tern unstoned. (Ogden Nash)
Et nom de dieu! C'est triste Orly la dimanche (Jacques Brel)
You are right about the Mini (not the new one though) which is why i didnt use that or the Model T Ford as an example.
What a lot of people seem to forget is that Concorde isnt just British. We built it 50/50 with the French and who would have thought that two countries who dont particularly like each other very much, could come up with such a great aircraft. Now all we can manage together is the Renault Clio!
It has been pointed out to me that my comments may have sounded like i was having a dig at France. Apologies as that was not what i was meaning. We came up with a great aircraft but unfortunately other than the Jaguar (another great aircraft, perhaps up there with the best military aircraft) we never really did anything else. Mainly due to the stupid British decision to pull out of Airbus in 1969! Unfortuantely we have done it again with BAE pulling out. At least GKN are doing something about it!
By the way the Renault Clio is a great car!
'morning all you YAPs (Younger Aviation Personages). In the most good-natured manner from a Colonial, just a thought about comparisons over a hundred year period. By the very nature of aviation, technical progress is a given. So it is natural that when comparing one type with another, a much later product is bound to be bigger, or faster, or more complex; as is the case with the DC-3/Concorde matter. If we just considered sheer performance, then there is little point in indulging in the exercise. In that case one really needs to break the programme into blocks of perhaps twenty years. Now where would the fun be in that?
Of course the Concorde is absolutely brilliant and I loved watching it also. However, let me put an aspect to it that may not have occurred to some of you. The staggering cost of the project which had to be funded by the ordinary taxpayers of two nations, rather resembled the joint development of a Mach 2 strategic bomber, rather than a machine intended to transport a small number of affluent passengers. There is no doubt in my mind that the Concorde could readily have been converted to deliver a nuclear weapon had the need arisen. And I feel sure that the USSR leaders of the period were also well aware of its potential. Essentially, the Concorde is a slim metal tube of about the diameter of a Fokker F-27. I followed its birth pains and wondered, in the light of the deeply bitter and very dangerous Cold War atmosphere prevailing, just what was the real motive behind the massive joint Govt. effort; particularly given the mutual antipathy between the two nations. We all love the Concorde for its sheer grace and grunt, but there are lot of 'buts' about that project when one really harks back. One aspect I never liked was that, no matter how much the bean-counters juggled the figures, every affluent VIP, movie star, politician et al, who rode it was being subsidised by taxpayers, many of whom could scarcely afford to feed, clothe and house their families. Why were the passengers not required to pay the true cost of their ticket? Like the later turbojet transports, the DC-3 led the way in making air travel affordable, when necessary, to a much wider range of the planet's peoples. Anyway chaps, it is really interesting reading all the diverse viewpoints. Keep thinking.
Have to dash off and create Mrs dakota67's porridge...all we can afford down here in the colonies!
Happy birthday gorgeous creation.xxx. We shall see her like again, but it will be hypersonic/megasonic thus enabling jaded wan Londoners to blast out to the sun-drenched beaches, azure seas and crystal-clear air of Wombat-Land and New Zealand in the twinkling of an eye. We have the runways ready for you already and the foaming, sparkling icy-crisp Aussie and Kiwi nutty-brown beer is like nothing you have downed in Euro-Land.........and you can even take a flight in ZK-DAK for a modest sum. I watched it flying at a lovely grass rural 'field a few weeks ago and as I leaned against its tailplane chatting to its pilots, whose usual mounts are Boeings, I reflected that the DC-3 had just turned 72 on December 17th and that there were still over 300 out there somewhere stolidly earning their keep with no fuss or drama. The chaps took 28 young Scout trainee pilots for a ride and their fresh smiling animated faces told me what they thought of the experience. As the machine departed back to Auckland, I just sat on the warm grass and listened as the low throb of those lovely engines drifted back to the ears of a man who once was so proud to be earning his living in that old flying machine.....a quiet contentment came upon me knowing just how lucky I was to have been born with sufficient health and intellect to have found my way into that cockpit......and ZK-DAK was once in Papua New Guinea; my second "homeland".
The concorde must get my vote for the world greatest civil aircraft.
Great is an apt way of describing this aircraft for many reasons.
It represented cooperative design greatness all the way back in the 1950's and 60's when UK and French aviation companies teamed to make this future vision of aviation transport come to fruition.
Greatness was achieved in the level of technical excellence obtained by this aircraft during this era in terms of aerodynamics, material science, flight control and structural design. As an example one could mention its variable intake mechanisms, which even today are a much sought after technology.
Greatness can be seen in the iconic design of the concorde, which has sucessfully passed through three generations of lovers of all things flying.
Finally, greatness can be seen in what concordes legacy has allowed, for example the basis off all the fly by wire systems so essential to a well known large european aircraft manufacturer.
Here, here, Concorde, a great Anglo-French collaboration and the greatest aircraft of all time
It would have been great to fly in the thing, great comment about the 747s appear to be going backwards
AirSpace - more than just hot air
The rantings of Dakota67 somewhat resemble those of a man in the full throes of 'old man in a mini' syndrome, otherwise known as jealousy. Perhaps he never flew in the old bird, instead flying a prop-relic - straining his neck to catch a glimpse of greatness far, far above. Or perhaps he still harbours bitterness against his government's/aircraft constructors' inability to produce anything near it... We shall never know.
The fact remains that this thread is about the greatest civil aircraft. Any aircraft that originally dedicated just under 95% (numerically) of its service to military purposes can only be classified as such with.. some difficulty. If greatness lies in sipping fuel whilst cruising around at approximately the top speed of a porsche 911, well - what can I say? The DC3 was a great aircraft in its day, but it was available in huge numbers and low post-war prices, and subsequently flooded the market. It was quickly superceded by vastly superior aircraft as the aviation industry forged forwards to greater things.
When Concorde retired, the aviation industry lost its figurehead and took a significant step backwards in terms of design and technological prowess. That clinches it for me
The Concorde had the highest seat mile cost of any commercial airliner, and lost more money.
Commercial Airliner = Cash generating asset
Revenue - Seat Cost= Profit
Profit = Shareholder wealth
Great aircraft generate shareholder wealth e.g. 747
That is, of course, one way of looking at it: the accountant's way. But if you need to get from A to B in a hurry, I'm pretty sure you'd assert that buying the Concorde Ticket had value to you that could be achieved with a bean-counter's aircraft.
However, your analysis fails to account for the value of the aircraft as marketing and advertising assets... and there's been nothing like it. Ever.
Ebeneezer Scrooge says:
In the final analysis if you run an airline, the accountants way is the only way of looking at it.
True, but an honest account would note that if you operate a flying advertisement, the revenue derived from that aircraft must include the revenue from people who did not buy a ticket on the thing, but did business with you anyway.
However, this subforum is not "the best profit making civil aircraft", but the "greatest" civil aircraft, and that terminology unarguably must include non-financial considerations.
Ebeneezer Scrooge Says:
You are refering to Concord(e) as an Intangible Asset which would have to be written off over a period of time, (IAS 38) which is shown on the Profit and Loss Account as a credit. (when your bank statement is in "credit" it is actually from the banks perspective , i.e. it owes you that amount).
Intangibles such as you suggest ultimately impact the reporting entity by a reduction in shareholder wealth.
While I do not have acess to the accounts of the period (though it would be tremendously exciting to obtain them and subject them to analysis) there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that subsidies were received to ameliorate the value destroying economics of Concord(e) in the same way that the VC-10 and Vanguard were heavily subsidised.
With regard to non financial considerations I cannot comment, but would welcome your input.
Ebeneezer, what exactly are you on about? Having never suffered from oxygen starvation myself, your post makes very little sense. Concorde was a beautiful machine; in consideration for the top 100 a/c it must surely be worthy of a mention on the grounds of; aesthetics, performance, ingenuity and design. An obsession with money is not healthy!