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This plane could cross the Atlantic in 3.5 hours. Why did it fail?

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The Concorde gave us supersonic transport. But why did this supersonic plane fail? The answer is complicated. Follow Phil Edwards and Vox Almanac on Facebook for more: https://www.facebook.com/philedwardsinc1/ Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com Check out our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H Or on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o
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Text Comments (13491)
Dash DriverUK (1 hour ago)
Americans didn’t help because it was a British and French did it and so many yanks protested against it flying over their cities and so many us airports would not allow it in the US.
User Name (1 hour ago)
Plane made too much sense and was too convenient yet companies had to make money! In order to profit from it now, means it will cost more for the company due to fuel expenses and ultimately charge consumers way more, which leads to no one using that flight! Simple explanation - Cost too much to maintain, therefore prices would skyrocket for that flight and consumers will reject it! Airlines dont wanna sacrifice budget by making it affordable and people dont wanna sacrifice theirs...rather fly extra 3.5 hours but save 500 (rough estimate in current time) from each ticket!
Guts Puck (3 hours ago)
I remember the day concorde announced retiring, I was super bumped, to lose such a fast plane, but yeah if it does not turn back profit anymore it cant be sustained. at least we have the technology, future will surely bring us faster transportation, of course safety is number 1 priority
Guts Puck (3 hours ago)
4:31 what are you talking about? the earth is flat!
Tokiofritz (4 hours ago)
So backwards. We achieved supersonic commercial travel in the 70's, and now we're nowhere near it. Much like the space program. We went to the Moon in the 60's/early 70's and now the closest we get to space travel is hanging around in low orbit. Something is very wrong.
Jhonny Bhoy (5 hours ago)
Peeps are waking up to the flat earth reality..... thats why
Marcos Manzanares (6 hours ago)
Government bought it.
Rob RocknRolla (7 hours ago)
You'd think there would be refitted concords in private service.
Rob RocknRolla (7 hours ago)
I used to love watching these takeoff and land. Never got a chance to ride in one. It was long gone by the time I grew up.
Arden Vangellis (11 hours ago)
very high risk plane
cinnamon donut (11 hours ago)
the snoot drooped
Nes (14 hours ago)
Bring it back
John Brown (17 hours ago)
A great plane, but too noisy to fly over populated areas, too expensive to maintain, too few passengers, huge fuel bill, bigger more fuel efficient planes make more money...
FC WHAT (18 hours ago)
1. Too expensive to maintain, 2. tickets were marketed to the wealthy people, bad business plan = FAIL!
Burr Anderson (18 hours ago)
Finding out why this plain failed is like trying to find out if Betsy DeVos will protect the rights of LBGT people. https://youtu.be/UO8TlpOlyoE
Ng'ash Waqaba (22 hours ago)
It was good economically, I guess
Peleg Sharon (1 day ago)
And thus, a meme was born
Michael J. Spencer (1 day ago)
The Earth doesn't spin and has no curvature ...
Robert Lewis (1 day ago)
French gits what else ?
Paulie Harrow (1 day ago)
Time to Hit the Books again. Progress, Not regress
bigcatdaddy76016 (1 day ago)
It failed because of U.S legislation......noise involving sonic booms breaking windows....plus fuel consumption put it into the expensive to maintain field and after the fire, it was done.
paul castle (1 day ago)
The poor maintenance of an American made Concord crash in every way .
terry ph (1 day ago)
Like every thing else , if there’s big money in it we’d still have it ,so I suspect there wasn’t enough profit in it ... Simple.not enough profit then no one will back it.
David Lonsdale (1 day ago)
It was maintenance issues that caused Aerospatiale to withdraw design authority. Without design authority no aviation authority will licence an aircraft.
Kwinquark1 (1 day ago)
The Plane didn't 'fail' - what failed was the moral fortitude of the USA power-brokers, denying Concorde it's only truly viable future.
iX RAY (1 day ago)
The Titanic should still crash it with the head because the sides are way weaker than the head
Mike McGomer (1 day ago)
So high you could see Earth's curve, THE EARTH IS FLAT. Fake news.
Meme Central (1 day ago)
*D R O O P S N O O T*
red burns (1 day ago)
It didn't fail. The Americans didn't invent it so they made it fail commercially. So they imposed endless restrictions based on noise, emissions etc. Eventually that made it uneconomical. It reinvented itself in the luxury market doing day trips to places you'd never think of. Then the Paris crash happened and there was no motivation amongst the airline world to update it. Pity. still one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century. It WAS f$cking noisy though.
¿ Jack ¿ (1 day ago)
Of course, blame it on America. Ha.
It failed because it's typical of state-funded bollocks! Billions pumped into something that was badly thought out and suited the elite. Essentially, billions in state subsidies went on making businessmen more comfortable. Monumental waste of taxes. A model of this white elephant should be given to all politicians. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3590035/Concordes-demise-is-40-years-too-late.html
Ian Harding (1 day ago)
I have been lucky enough to fly on Concorde to and from JFK twice. Took my daughter to New York on Concorde for her 16th birthday. Absolutely the best experience ever. Yanks could not build one so the government made sure no American airline had them. Yanks always hate our superiority
F20SW (1 day ago)
The last flight did a fly past of my school in 2003 when I was 7. I loved every second of it.
Crim_ son (2 days ago)
1:09 I was at that museum like a million times
LORD Hydra (2 days ago)
Its not a fail It should be called "why did it stop"
baran38 karaca (2 days ago)
Guzel ucak
Mitchell Finnigan (2 days ago)
And they didn't spend dollas they spent pounds and euros
Mitchell Finnigan (2 days ago)
We had it, it was a british and French plane
Ken Bray (2 days ago)
It climbed higher than a normal Jetliner that flys at 35 thousand feet, but the Concord flew at 60 to 65 thousand feet because the higher you go the faster you can go ! The Space Shuttle flew through space at 17,000 mph, and you probably wouldn't even know you're going that fast !!! Not that I know from experience but I do a lot of research.....
Monkey King (2 days ago)
4:34 that just proved the flat earth theory wrong
ben (2 days ago)
3:54 d r o o p s n o o t
Arthur Humphreys (2 days ago)
At least it was better than the Comet, Princess, Brabazon, Britannia....
sandy krause (2 days ago)
The snoot did droop though.
Quiet Entropy (2 days ago)
The answer is not complicated. The life cycle of the air frame was near an end. It used too much fuel and it never made money.
Don Carmichael (2 days ago)
Lies. It made. 15billion. You. Did. Not. Have. Won.
Don Carmichael (2 days ago)
It. Did. Not. Failed. The. USA. Ban. It. For 8years. They. Did. Have. One. It.
¿ Jack ¿ (1 day ago)
Oh yes, blame it on the Americans. Ha, GTFO.
Don Carmichael (2 days ago)
TheBoyScout01 (2 days ago)
The Concorde didn’t crash because of a tire. A piece of metal from plane that departed in front of it was sucked into the engine and it basically exploded
mcaardvark42 (2 days ago)
The reason Concorde stopped is mainly because the USA Boeing failed. Boeing has so many politicians in its pocket so they are virtually owned by big business.
vanhaydu (3 days ago)
3 hours is too long. let's get it under an hour
Sparky Runner (3 days ago)
Was it a threat to big oil An the N.Y. Bankers hold on the transportation industry ???
Glenna Barry (3 days ago)
Salty Wolf57 (3 days ago)
3:51, thank me later
America (3 days ago)
it didnt fail. just make more money
averytan (3 days ago)
4:30 that's what flat earthers need, to take a ride
j.denino57 (3 days ago)
we recently flew from Newark airport in NJ to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, NL in 6 hours on a Boeing 767 jet. Not bad time, that plane can actually go over 625 miles per hour. The return trip was 8 hours though. Not sure why it was 2 hours longer coming back. Maybe due to the Jet stream?
Deadpool (3 days ago)
Seriously, this is the time we need Elon Musk.
MadBrit26 (3 days ago)
If it wasn’t for BA it would still be flying but they wouldn’t sell to Virgin Atlantic. Plus the American government wouldn’t allow it to fly over US airspace grrr
Gerbils (3 days ago)
It ugly af😂 look at that saggy droop snoot😂😂😂😂😂
PogoBox (4 days ago)
Droopity snoot, snoopity droop, whoop de droop de snoot, droop de snoot de droop de snoot.
Bridget T (4 days ago)
Ray Whittington (4 days ago)
When it got out that there were burning bodies falling out of the plane before it crashed, I think that was the defining moment when the upper income flying customers said "were outta here"! Thus, it was scrapped.
Deep Heat (3 days ago)
I think the problem the plane had was in an area most airlines make most of their money - *Cargo.* The plane was not designed to really carry any cargo. As for routes you really need high worth business travellers & outside of Europe that would really mean either the New York in the States or possibly now some of the Asian routes, in particular China, which wouldn't have been a factor when operations ceased. End of the day as with all human endeavour, if there's money to be made someone would make it! the UK government was really financing the enterprise & has a duty of care to the tax payers.
Ray Whittington (3 days ago)
Thanks for this explanation. It certainly clarifies how it is too expensive. Yet, I still believe there are ways to cut or eliminate these cost issues without sacrificing safety, or any other critical factor. I mean 27 years had better be a lot of R&D. If not, then the R&D department needs a major overhaul. The next step would be to find the "magic number" for airfare to sell all 120 seats for every flight. Increase the number of planes to accommodate popular routes and create them. Why were there ever only a few routes? That needs to be fixed! Of course it's easier said than done, so what? Specialized machinery? All of the other AC manufacturers and airlines use these. When they need a tool they build one. These do not need to cost millions each. In fact, many "specialized parts" are jobbed out to many sub contractors who are quite capable and efficient to machine them at a reasonable price. Highly skilled and trained personnel do not cost a fortune, but they won't work for free. As for the environment, put some bright minds on that. Find out how high you need to be to suppress the sonic explosion from breaking glass or ear drums. In short, don't repeat the mistakes of the past, or believe that fixing them can't be done. I'm an old school Draftsman myself. Been a long time since I've seen a slide rule or a compass. It really should be a pre-requisite to Autocad or Solidworks.
Deep Heat (3 days ago)
With a plane of this complexity there is ongoing research happening all the time, looking at it's performance & in particular the performance of the parts & materials used. It's a bit like if Ford made a car just for you & every time it went in for a service they had to have had a team working 365 days a year to asses what work needed to be done & then specialist machinery to replace whatever parts had worn out together with a *HIGHLY* trained team of engineers to do the actual work! It would cost you like *£500,000* every service! Richard Branson *DID* offer to buy & fly the plane but the UK government refused. To be honest Branson is *ALWAYS* up for a publicity stunt so I don't know how serious he was! He of all people would know the plane would never make money outside of maybe two or three international routes. The other big factor was the environmental impact of the plane. As a Brit it is a great shame but I'm immensely proud of our failed beauty particularly bearing in mind she was designed & built by men with little more than slide rules & compasses!
Ray Whittington (3 days ago)
This makes sense, yet I find it hard to believe that parts, service, etc., could cost too much to fly it. And even if this were true, why not solve those issues rather than abandon an advanced form of travel all together?
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
The plane wasn't on normal scheduled duties, it was on a charter flight flying German cruise ship passengers. The reason why the plane stopped flying was that Air France was looking for any excuse to ground it as it was costing them a fortune. They only had the Paris - Rio route whereas BA were making a fortune on the London - NY run. It then became a scale of economies as it would have been prohibitively expensive for just BA to fly the plane - parts, servicing etc. If kerosene was 10p a gallon the plane would still be flying but unless you could operate it on the very few highly lucrative business routes it was never going to make money.
fradaja (4 days ago)
loud thirsty unconfortable and expensive
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
And beautiful!
Kaboom 214 (4 days ago)
About time this pimp lawyer was told off
TimeToLearnTech (4 days ago)
so the key to keeping it alive would be to keep it right under supersonic speeds?
Deep Heat (3 days ago)
+TimeToLearnTech I hear ya but I suppose if you were flying from say LA to Heathrow you would have to do about half of the trip (across the States) at subsonic speed which sort of defeats the purpose of the plane. The 747 can cruise within 30 or 40 mph of the sound barrier. I think with the seats people put up with that. Bit like when you get in a sports car the seats & set up of the car can be quite uncomfortable but you offset that against n the adrenaline rush!
TimeToLearnTech (3 days ago)
Deep Heat true enough but they did that because of the sonic boom they could have went just under the speed of sound to prevent sonic booms but I think seating was probably the real issue idk though
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
Yeah that's right but the American government wouldn't let the plane fly across America. It would only allow it to fly out of Eastern coastal airports.
TimeToLearnTech (4 days ago)
Deep Heat yeah I know I watched the video I'm saying the over land flights just go a little slow than the speed of sound thus having no sonic boom
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
+TimeToLearnTech Yes of course Sonic booms can travel across land that you have to be in close proximity to them to hear them. Concorde used to accelerate out over the Atlantic so nobody did hear them in fact people used to go out in boats just to hear that sonic boom!
workingoutmyfaith (4 days ago)
Concorde was a total gas guzzler and immense polluter. The rich and famous can sit the extra 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cross the Atlantic and deal with the inconvenience. If they continue to struggle I would share the world's starving, disabled, and down trodden.
Christine Wagner (4 days ago)
Snoopity droopity
BedsitBob (4 days ago)
It failed because it was too slow.
dumbcreaknuller (4 days ago)
i think that they gave up the concorde was a mistake. we don't need very big computers of automatic stability control. a few numbers if cleverly programmed microcontroller and a bunch of sensors would do the job. no need for big and heavy equipment here. they could have made the seats lighter. there is no reason to use heavy seats. there was probably lots of stuff on that plane that had weight that they could make it lighter. the reason why it as uneconomic was to small nose and to heavy design. with less weight this plane could fly normally and first enter supersonic at extreme altitude.
Tommy Cease (4 days ago)
Was it the overall cost? Or the safety issues that the Tu-144 had. 🙄
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
looneyflight (5 days ago)
They have done tons of research and they have designed noses of airplanes to make the Sonic boom alot quieter. The pointed nose is great for aerodynamics but terrible for controlling Sonic boom noise.
Ivan Castellino (5 days ago)
Sonic booms and fuel efficiency are two major reasons that killed the Concorde
Mike McCallion (5 days ago)
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WOT Arty Noobs (5 days ago)
The way that John Hutchinson described it, there was a cumulative series of errors that combined together to make it impossible for 4590 to survive. The overfilled fuel tanks; the missing spacer; the use of the runway where resurfacing work had not been finished; the loading of too much baggage; the loading of too much taxi fuel; impacting the metal part on the runway; the engineer switching off the number 2 engine without telling anyone; and the pilot failing to use contingency power to boost his thrust when the aircraft was unable to make V2. If you consider all of these errors and think about which ones doomed the aircraft regardless of the others, then it has to be the first. Even without the spacer, the aircraft would have taken off, albeit that it would have found landing a problem. The runway extension was poorly surfaced with a bump at the join, but the other tyres coped with that fault. The baggage did upset the CoG and so did the taxi fuel, but the aircraft did get airborne and the pilot could have trimmed to maintain flight. I still maintain that the metal part did not cause the problem and even if the aircraft had hit it and a tyre exploded, other tyres had exploded on other Concordes and it did not result in the loss of the aircraft. Switching off engine number 2 seriously underpowered the aircraft at a critical moment, but so did not using contingency power. In my view, the pilot's decision to fill the tanks to the top, so they were overpressured was the critical mistake. Without that mistake, none of the others would have doomed the aircraft on their own, but the combination of all of them was lethal.
Kirit Pankhania (5 days ago)
I remember it's maiden flight.. such a beautiful show stopping plane... everyone would just rush out to see it... a great loss to take it out of service
DNA Cowboy (5 days ago)
This incredible aircraft flew for 28 years so no, it did not 'fail'; however, commercially the Concorde could have done even better, but thanks in part to the US who could not stand the idea of such an amazing aircraft flying over their country and worse, stealing all their transatlantic business, what did they do? Essentially, they hypocritically cheated, using environmental factors as an excuse to ban the plane even though the US is known the world over for polluting the planet.
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
+somecallmetim46 There wouldn't have been any the plane was only meant to fly out of coastal airports. It only went supersonic many miles out to sea.
somecallmetim46 (5 days ago)
and the Americans didn't want sonic booms busting all their windows, imagine that.
Tim Haines (5 days ago)
Concorde didn't "fail". It was in commercial service for 27 years!
Burt Hollabaugh (2 days ago)
It didn't make money. It failed !
It's ur Boi (5 days ago)
At like 1:15 I’ve been to that museum it’s really interesting
Jonathan Kerr (5 days ago)
Regulations concerning noise pollution over city’s in the US
Prometheus (5 days ago)
ohhh so this is where that meme came from
Jane Barnett (5 days ago)
Forgive me if I am wrong but I thought Concorde hit debris from another plane on take off!
The Adoring Fan (5 days ago)
thumb piano covers (5 days ago)
Droopity snoot Snooty droop de snoot Soot de de droop snoot SNOOT SNOOT Droopity snoot droop -Kanye West
George Mehalko (5 days ago)
I was stationed at Bangor ANGB in Maine during the mid to late 80's and had a chance to see the Concord land and take off about 4 or 5 times. They used to land in Bangor whenever they had an inflight emergency or a fuel issue. An amazing aircraft that I would have loved to  flown on but sadly never will.
paul breckon (5 days ago)
america was scared because if a terrorist high jacked a concord their is no jet or air deffence system to stop it, also they were jealouse. as for tyres one failure in 30 year is not a problem thats an excuse. also america grounded the plane for most of its service to give american airlines a chance. and richard branson offered to buy concord for original price of one pounds so the owner would not have lost any money but was denied. it was also banned from supersonic flight once it got to the coast of america. in short ever since it was made america tried to ban it, 30 year later they succeeded. i for one wouldn't put it past them to create false flag blowing tyre up. funny one crash and all are scrapped has that ever happened before or since i don't think
馬克Marco (5 days ago)
Sonic booms really annoyed everyone living near the airports...and it wasn't cheap....
TGWMPE (6 days ago)
$12000 a seat- Who can afford that?
Universal Secret (6 days ago)
4:30 not for flat-earthers.
Alex L-M (6 days ago)
The Americans did everything possible to destroy this plane,denying routes and franchises,if the USA doesn’t own;it destroys.
¿ Jack ¿ (1 day ago)
Ah yes, always blame it on the Americans. Ha, GTFO.
Dwayne Mattson (6 days ago)
It didn't fail, it was assassinated by the cry babies whining about the sonic booms.
a64750 (6 days ago)
bongo fury (6 days ago)
The cancellation of The Jetsons signaled the end of progress...
3:48 D R O O P. S N O O T
reeceracing123 (6 days ago)
Back when Vox was good.
zeerust2000 (6 days ago)
Too expensive.
Wyatt Surratt (6 days ago)
Vox sucks
anthony esparsen (6 days ago)
Stop lying to our kids ok they can not be what ever they want be serious
Benjiman Hessick (6 days ago)
Who is watching on 9 -11-2018?
zog noty (6 days ago)
it fail because dumb yanke were that jealous that they do everything possible to make sure it will fail.now these dumb yanke are working with one like that
GamingwithKai (6 days ago)
Stephen Jones (7 days ago)
Part of the reason it never made money was the refusal by the USA to grant it a license to fly the lucrative London - NY route.
Stephen Jones (3 days ago)
Lol, no I'm a Brit. But thanks for the compliment.
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
+Stephen Jones It's honestly no problem dude! I'm taking it you are American as it tends to only be us Brits & real Americans who do manners!
Stephen Jones (4 days ago)
You're welcome Deep Heat. I forgot to check my facts before posting!
Deep Heat (4 days ago)
+Stephen Jones Ok thank you for apologising a rare attribute on YouTube!
Stephen Jones (4 days ago)
OK, my mistake. The English Concord was only allowed into Washington initially, but was granted the NY licence 18 months later. My memory was that it was longer than that, but you are correct.

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