Why Concorde wouldn't work in 2020

Concorde, a marvel in aviation and a huge credit to human engineering. It was the plane that promised to transform air travel and when it was first introduced hopes were high. A trip from New York to London took 3.5hrs compared the 7hr slog today so why can’t we bring it back in 2020?

The Concorde was the second-fastest passenger jet in the world (behind the ill-fated TU-144) it was a marvel to many and a transportation method to few, nevertheless, in 1969 it was cited as the future of air travel. The thing is, it wasn’t. 2003 saw its last flight and no other passenger supersonic jet has flown since it’s almost like we went backwards, which in some respect we did. No other aircraft has been able to come close to the Concordes speed, not even close. Boeings 787-9 Dreamliner cruises at a slow old pace of Mach 0.85, Concorde cruised at Mach 2.02, it’s like comparing a snail to a car. But the speed machine wouldn’t work in 2020 and here’s why

Fuel consumption is a big issue in 2020, efficiency rules and with climate change, it’s now more than ever. Environmental activists would have a field day if Concorde started flying again. The similar-sized 787-9 burns on average per seat 2.49 L/100 km, Concorde burned a per seat of an average of 16.7 L/100 km. The difference is shocking, the 787-9 isn’t even the most fuel-efficient jet flying right now. The difference is also with the range and capabilities, the 787-9 can fly 14,800 km on a single tank of gas, enough to fly from the U.K to Australia, Concorde meanwhile could travel less than half of that distance, 7,250 km, not even enough to get you from London to the U.S West Coast, in terms of capabilities the 787-9 can fly across everything, land, water, oceans, my house, you name it, it can fly over it. Concorde meanwhile was restricted to ocean crossings and admittedly short ones such as the Atlantic. In 1964 the U.S government conducted tests over Oklahoma City to test the possibility of Boeing 2707 overland flights, residents were subjected to 8 sonic booms a day, the tests ended early as the sonic booms caused broken glass, cracked plaster and even a rising tide. The other factor is comfort and cost. Concorde seats were regular economy seats that cost a motza, it cost AUD$19,000 for a return trip between London and New York on Concorde with windows the size of your hands and noise that was “extremely loud”, compare that to a return trip between the two cities today on Virgin Atlantic. Lie-flat seats, a price of only AUD$5,000, large windows on a quiet jet that only takes a few hours longer, I think I’d take the latter option.

In conclusion, if Concorde were to come back in 2020 you would be flying on an earth-destroying, uncomfortable, medium-range, tiny window, extremely loud, supersonic jet that could only fly across oceans a few hours quicker. Until new technology comes that fixes all of Concorde’s problems such as Boom supersonic I think there is no place for a supersonic jet in modern society

British Airways Concorde in 2003 image credit


Yes and no. The Concord was allowed to fly over land, and it has when it toured the Middle East. When flying supersonic however it was limited to flying over the ocean.


Still most legendary aircraft out there :)


It wouldn’t work but I would love to see it again someday…

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Many of the downsides are not relevant at all when you factor in the most important factor - Time = Money


I love how its referred to as “concorde” and not like “a concorde”. I watched a video investigating the Air France concorde crash, and I found it cool that everyone who witnessed it didn’t say “I looked up, it was a Air France concorde”. They all said “I looked up, and it was Concorde.”
Such a legendary aircraft.

The 787-9 is way bigger in a lot of ways. The Concord is deceivingly small inside, though it was about as long as a -9, it only seated about 100 passengers, that’s almost a third of the 787-9 because it was super skinny. About two thirds the fuselage diameter of an A32X. I mean if we look at it per passenger surprisingly the A318 is the most direct comparison. On that scale it’s range was actually pretty good 🤷🏻‍♂️

I would also say that the fuel consumption thing is in my opinion a bit of a half truth, like, ya, it wasn’t that efficient, even for its day, but for certain applications it was fine because as @Chatta290 said time is money, but as it aged time was only worth so much money, and the extra costs with the aircraft became too much. The same point could be made for any aircraft made in the 70s that wasn’t updated, the concord actually had a pretty good run, 27 years in passenger service is nothing to scoff at, looks like the A380 will fall short for one, by the time it was retired in 2003 how many 747-100s did you see zooming around? I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s economics we’re definitely part of it was such a niche aircraft, but it definitely wouldn’t be in service today even if it was leaps and bounds ahead of its time…

Thats a bit much.

Oh screw it,


In all honesty, Boom supersonic is going to not even happen. Too costly and there is really no need for it.

I think we will see Supersonic make a comeback one day, I also think we will see airships also return, but when? I say next 10-30 years

I wanna try one of these!

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