Success and failures of projects are based on factors like time,cost,efficiency,profits etc.It requires to examine on critical areas to decide the success and failure of the project.The results may be biased from person to person.Applying the strategies of startegical project management would be the solution to come to conclusion of success of failures.It would be daze to people if mega projects which are completed today,embosed to be symbol of advanceed techonolgy are concluded as failures,such a mega project is Concorde. Concorde was collaboratively builts by Britain-France was the only supersonic passenger jet which was opertational .It is still said to be the pioneer of aircrafts bulit till date.Yet there are factors that constitued to retire the passenger jet in 2003 and call a high tech project to be a disastar. Some factors which demotivated the aviation industry to operate concorde were high operational cost,over run of time,sales,cost of ticket,sound.This is the study assessed to outline the factors to contemplate and justify that the project was a failure.
Proficiency in aviation has revolutionarised the means of transport for commercial and cargo. Since the initial period of aviation many manufacturers are striving to bring advancement for facilitating flying day to day to major places throughout the world which resulted in average of 100000 plus flights per day.It recent times it was said in survey that 37.4 million flights were scheduled in 2014 which is rising by 3% every year.Aviation is playing a prominent role in every countrys economy. From 18th century to the current date aviation industry uprised from air baloons to todays Boeing 747-8.Between these two extremities,there was something extraordinarily brewed,broke down the sound barrier and retired after serving for three decades is Concorde-The supersonic jet.Speed and time were the parameters of concorde that couldn’t be matched or would be matching with todays flights. It would be surpirisng to hear that it wasn’t a fighter jet but a commercial passenger flight.Concorde is the triumph of engineering technology even today.It had the ability to fly with the speed of MACH 2 and cross the altantic ocean within 3 hours.It would shake up todays generation if said concorde couldn’t be the metaphor of success. There is something beyond the speed and time which didn’t match the potential of even rich countries like britain,that was expensive operational cost and super sonic boom sound.
Concorde was built by britain and french collaboration.British Aircraft coorporation and SUD aviation were the manufacturers of the flight components.It was named concorde which meant harmony refering to british -french collaboration and coorporation.It took two decades for completion of the project and for the flight to be operational.It was estimated to cost 70 million Euros but eventually cost 1.3 Billion.Delay in completing the project was also due to testing air frames which took many number of tests and attempts in order to sustain at high speed and temperature.Britain and french together built twenty supersonic aircrafts of which two concorde aircrafts were two were prototype models one built in France and other in England.Another two prototypes were built but never made commercial flight but acted as examiner for further development,production development and airline training,only 16 aircraft in total, commenced in both countries.Funding was done by governments of british and french equally as British had the engine and France had the design of the project.Project was over run due to split of SUD aviation into Airbus and Aerospatle.The new agreement had to be signed in order to share the investment and profits.Concorde came into shape after many delays and agreements.Then came time which spear headed the avionics.Concorde was subjected to 5000 hours of testing before it was first certified for passenger flight,making it the most tested aircraft ever.World news flashed broadcasting.”Two Concordes are due to take off from two airports one from London to Bahrain and other from Paris to Rio de Janeiro via Dakar. Two flights will be taken off simultaneuosly at 11.40AM”.World witnessed the first supersonic commercial aircraft take off.Record breaking results were noted.It was marvel in aeronautics seeing the concorde cruising into clouds with 2179 km/hr at an altitude of 60000 feet.Which means it had the twice the speed of the sound.It was expected to bring a revolution in aviation industry.The record flight time New York to London which is 2hrs 52mins.Many passengers were enthusiastic to experience the supersonic flight.
Reasons which made Concorde run successfully before it got retired.
Greatest aeroplane ever built .
Technology ahead of that day generation.
Amazing take off and landing with dropped nose.
Pilots having the best view while landing and takeoff.
Cutting down the flight time.
Good flight history until year 2000.
Comfort and luxury in flight.
Auto pilot and auto thurst mode were friendly options for the pilots.
Short circle routes.
The service was very english,formal crews were out going polite and efficient.
Luxurious Concorde waiting hall.
Reasons to call Concorde a failure :
Two edged sword was the situation of concorde which had reasons for success on one end and failure on the other end.It wasn’t a patchy project at all but had mixed results in early 90’s.Anti Concorde project was set up by Richard Wiggs in demand the ban of concorde.It wasn’t only about anti concorde project which lead to the ban,it was matter of economy,safety,low demand,environment.
Concorde was always a myth for many of the fleet operators.Delay in completion of concorde has rattled a doubt in buyers of the unit and strengthened their myth.
Concorde had to be run by the countries which manufactured it.British airways and France airlines bought them as none of the air fleets were willing to buy them because of its high maintainance cost and concorde was restricted to fly in some zones.Many doubted it to be a success or failure.None of the governments put a thumps up for permitting to fly the concorde.If concorde was bought by any of the fleets of another they had to send the flight to britain or france for maintanence.Gradually britain and france had to stop production of concorde manufacturing twenty units.There was no booking found by organisations of other countries.Hence they had to settle with two production houses which later were used for maintanence.
Production cost exceeded the estimation.The estimations had always to be revised to due to initial errors in the estimates.When ever the design was rebuilt,contracters had to be paid higher amount.Contracters had a profit incentive to call for revision specification in the development.Selling cost of one concorde was whooping 6 million Euros.Here entered Boeing 707 whose selling cost was 2 million.Now concorde had to be either neglible or had to be sold at a loss.It is said that concordes production cost is so high that it could never recover the cost of production by just running few services.
Operational cost of concorde was very high.It could have some profit only when each seat of the plane gets booked.Operational cost couldn’t be covered if number of passengers are less.It had two pilots with one flight engineer which no other plane has.It has four Rolls Royce engines which significantly increases the cost of maintainance.
It is said most fuel economic super sonic enigne but the numbers look immense when examined.The figures are shocking when it comes to fuel consumption per hour.It consumes a massive 29,629 litres or 5638 imperial gallons per hour.It has fuel capacity of 1,19,500 litres or 26,286 imperial gallons which allowed Concorde to fly for maximum of four hours.Concorde towing cost to runway for take off was more than a operational cost of a mid size flight.Concorde would consume more fuel when it runs at speed less as it had to use reverse thurst to control the speed.
Low demand and high cost:
Every individual wanted to experience the super sonic speed but it was all about one time experience and not travelling frequenlty because of the cost factor.One way ticket from London to Newyork would cost 4500$ per person.The same ticket for a boeing 707 was 1200 $ two way which was much prefered by people at later stage of Concordes entry.Only business personalities were able to board the flight while it was out of reach to others.
Environmental Effects :
Two things come into mind of individual while seeing concorde fly is speed and the sonic boom sound.It was always recognizable when concorde breaks the sound barrier.It travels at speed of twice as much faster as sound travels.Sound of the flight was much higher than the permissible level of aircrafts.When concorde breaks the sound barrier it would shake up the area which is in its range.Many social activists came forward to protest against concorde as it would fly higher as 60,000 feet which would effect the ozone layer and expose passengers directly to UV rays.Due to these reasons concorde was allowed to fly only on major part of flight time on water bodies and layed a rule that it should be under sub sonic speed and cross 1 Mach speed only after cruising higher which would help in reducing the noise level.
Concord had good record for safety util Concord met with accident on 25 july 2000.The drop nose flight got crash into a hotel just after it took off with fire on left wing.All the 100 passengers and crew were dead.This ruptured the intensity to ban Concorde.Protest intensified and officials had to think on the decision of retiring the super sonic commercial jet.As a result of accident and other incidents rised a bad review.After which the sale of tickets had completely gone down and Concorde had to run at cost of a loss.
There came many high capacity aircrafts which would carry more than thrice the passengers of concorde with one third cost of concordes fuel and two times the range of concorde.Many fleet operators choose this as alternative and never showed intrest in saving a Concord from crisis.
Considering the operational cost,loss and environmental issues concord was set to fly for the last time from New York to Heathrow London.Then might Conocorde was retired.Six concordes were kept in museum and other were actioned as piece of symbol that ones a super sonic commercial jet existed.
Mixed comments on Concorde.
The amazing takeoff and speed!
“The time we took it to the Toronto International Airshow, 750,000 people turned out to watch. I’ll never forget that sight.”
“It was probably more advanced than Apollo 11, which put the first men on the Moon.”
Cruising 58000 ft and Mach 2.0 (1350mph) jetset in style!
“Flying supersonically needs a pure jet but you don’t want that on the ground”
A fleet of ‘daughters of Concorde’ could trigger greater destruction of ozone”
“Even if the airplane works as hoped, there is no guarantee that aviation authorities will let it fly”
“We’re pretty close to being able to control sonic booms”
A engineering marvel which was ahead of generations.It was about availabilty to everyone which concorde couldn’t do.Success lies in number of people adapting to it.But it had premium passengers which effected factors like maintainance,low bookings,prohibition.It wasnot about exceeding the altitude of 60,000 feet,it was about it which impacted extremities.The development of the Concorde is a prime example of the failure of government to function as it should. Special interests manipulated the levers of government to create a product whose costs far exceed its benefits. What is worse the benefits accrue to the wealthy while the costs are borne by the general population of taxpayers so the Concorde transfered (with losses) buying power of the poor to the wealthy.It wasn’t a successful project yet it is the threshold for todays innovations.It talks about the extremitiy factors like estimation,cost,time,altitude,speed.Concorde has setup a benchmark in aviation industry which can be studied as case study to bring up a “right project at right time Concorde is expected to make a comeback in year 2019 named baby boom.Hoping for the success of concorde.This time “Concorde for all”.