Britain cancels Concorde

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According to 'Stuck on the drawing board', the UK tried to cancel Concorde a number of times in its early days but couldn't due to the way the contract had been written.

If it had been able to cancel the aircraft, could France have picked up the whole cost of the programme and if so what does that do for its funding of other aviation projects?

How much money would the UK have saved had it been able to cancel the aircraft and what would have been the chances of it being spent on other aviation projects?
 
Yes! This happened various times...
To say the things simply, they forget to talk about cancellation in the contract! I mean, the clause dealing with cancellation was forgotten... aso the program was "sanctuarised" (don't know if this is a correct word!)

Cancellation was (of course!) possible, but this would have broken the "rules" defined in the contract. Consequences would have been awfull (financial penalties, trials, industrial disaster and stuff like this). Even worse than the TSR-2 cancellation, simply because GB was not alone making concorde... and France at the time was ruled by De Gaulle. Be sure that repraisals would have been terrible).

For example, when Wilson came to power in October 1964, he had to make drastic cuts. First move was to cancell Concorde (announced in early november) but one of his advisors tell him this was not possible. Guess what aircraft was sacrificed instead ? :'(
The TRS-2 !

Had the Concorde been cancelled in October 1964, maybe the TSR-2 could have survived...

I think there was another atempt circa 1966 (not sure).

France could have not kept on alone. The program was already a financial burden, and the "cour des comptes" (french GAO) was sceptic right from 1967...
 
Actually, Wilson already had his heart set on canceling the TSR.2 from the beginning. He was campaining on it. So, it is unlikely it would have been saved. The Concorde was about the only thing he Couldn't cancel. He wanted to buy American, what ever the cost to the UK aircraft industry would have been. He had no intention of saving it. Concorde was the only thing that managed to slip through. It could almost be viewed as a symbol of defience against him, that he was not as all powerful as he thought, and they would survive, albiet a shell of what it used to be and could have been. Had Concorde been canceled, I doubt there would have been anything left, other than firms to provide maintainance and license build US aircraft.
 
Great article on the bbc website today - could Concorde ever fly again? Some interesting conclusions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24629451
 
The Wilson government was right to be suspicious of the British aircraft industry but failed to cull enough.
As British Aerospace has demonstrated the UK should have focussed earlier on building military aircraft.
Cancelling Concorde and simply being a subcontractor on Airbus would have freed up money to develop a range of decent aircraft to replace the Lightning and Provost/Strikemaster in the BAC range and get something like Hawk into service sooner for HS.
Could never have happened of course and it would have required too much short term pain for BAC. HS, however, could still have built Airbus wings. But HS146 would never have re-emerged as the BAe 146 and that would have been a loss.
 
As British Aerospace has demonstrated the UK should have focussed earlier on building military aircraft.
Edgerton's England and the Aeroplane is an interesting read. Its clear just how much the aerospace industry was dependent on the military, and government funding. I'm pretty sure that more focus on the civil sector would have been more beneficial economically and industrially. But this required more realistic ambitions e.g. licence production, major sub-systems suppliers, focus on cost reduction etc. rather than continuing to get government to pay to develop all new aircraft
 
The case of The Netherlands (Fokker) and France (SNIAS - Aérospatiale ) are quite interesting. In both case the government pumped limited funding into two airliner companies, growing them into robust industrial capabilities.

How about a British Fokker / SNIAS, that is consolidating Great Britain airliner production capability into a single powerful entity ? (I know, BAC and HS, BUT - something far more powerful and efficient)
 
That would take the UK government actually making UK airlines "Buy British", instead of allowing them to buy US at the first opportunity.

Then it would require making them actually study the market and specify aircraft designed for the market needs, not for the airline execs personal whims.
 
That would take the UK government actually making UK airlines "Buy British", instead of allowing them to buy US at the first opportunity.

Then it would require making them actually study the market and specify aircraft designed for the market needs, not for the airline execs personal whims.
Forcing your “customers” to buy what they don’t want at gun point would not have been a recipe for long term success.
 
Quite, it would just mean subsidising the government airline(s) even more if they're using uncompetitive aircraft
 
It might have still flown had there been no accident. Bezos should have put his WAPO funding behind Concord.
 
Quite, it would just mean subsidising the government airline(s) even more if they're using uncompetitive aircraft
The UK airlines passed on a number of designs that would have been competitive, asking the various makers to create ones that proved in the long run to be too small, etc.
 
That would take the UK government actually making UK airlines "Buy British", instead of allowing them to buy US at the first opportunity.

Then it would require making them actually study the market and specify aircraft designed for the market needs, not for the airline execs personal whims.
Forcing your “customers” to buy what they don’t want at gun point would not have been a recipe for long term success.
Perhaps not, but, both BEA and BOAC as they were at the time agreed with manufacturers what aircraft they wanted - VC.7, DH.121 (Trident) and VC.10 all come to mind…
They were all designed to specific airline requirements, and then, by changing their minds - BEA with the Trident wrecked the design by panicking about a blip in passenger numbers, VC.7 - BOAC claiming it would not perform as intended with the engines, but then buying Boeings with the SAME engines! - VC.10 - BOAC demanding the ‘hot and high’ performance, then again deciding to buy Boeings!
Sorry, in this case I think there should have been intervention - YOU asked for/demanded this aircraft YOU pick up the bill/cancellation costs.
to use an old adage - You are British airlines, buy British first, help the home economy. Reduces any Dollar/Pound Sterling drain.
seem to recall that BOAC had to get H.M. Gov. sanction to buy from Boeing because of the balance of payments issues!
 
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There was no legal way for the government to force BOAC or BEA to buy a particular product as long as the Corporations were in a position to finance a purchase. The government asked its legal team to check the small print when it was trying to force BEA away from buying Trident in favour of the Bristol 200.
 

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