The whole project rivalled the scale of the American space programme (Costello and Hughes, 1976: 16)
Post war misconception that the range and capacity of aircraft would need to fit Imperial needs no thought of transatlantic flight even from the AmericansFocus on short range American dominance, esp. in long range result of agreement made in 1943Possible for individual firms to conduct research + development at their own expense at a reasonable cost even with initial modest gov. supportRise of French rivalry with the CaravelleMuch experience – only matched by Americans (Knight, 1976: 8; Costello and Hughes, 1976: 19)“designers of genius” (Knight, 1976: 8)Experience of tested ss flightMost advanced jet engine in world - OlympusBreakthrough with the jet engine first operational jet airliner = de Havilland Comet (1949) “first step in the direction of Concorde” (Costello and Hughes, 1976: 19)Aircraft industry a huge part of the reconstruction programme (Costello and Hughes, 1976: 18)Farnborough dominated by concept of faster flight from wartime aircraft devel.STAC 5th Nov 1956 Min of Aviation, Duncan Sandys: “If we are not in the supersonic aircraft business... Then its really only a matter of time before the whole British aircraft industry packs in... It may not pay, but we cannot afford to stay out.” (Costello and Hughes, 1976: 39)
Graph – from 22 resources books and journal articlesSurge of resources after first flight, retired – aka major events
PrestigeNot only space race failuresDecolonisation Suez crisisEconomicgenuinely thought it would be profitableExpensive to develop/produce hence collaborationPoliticalwanted to join the EECPotentially going to combine with US and/or Canadians‘Other’ purposefully vague depending on what surfaces in researchCould include a few ‘smaller’ influences
To what degree was the BritishSupersonic Transport (SST) ventureabout a need for prestige after thefailures of their Space Programme?
Historical Context Historiography of SST Why this topic Resources: Primary and Secondary Current Research Provisional Structure Conclusion
Post – WW2◦ Military focus◦ Misconceptions of civilaviation needs Cold War◦ Rivalry between West andEast◦ Space Race, ArmsRace, SST Race, etc... Britain’s WorldStanding andDecolonisation◦ Change in form ofprestige – scientific andtechnologicalTimeline 1956 The SupersonicTransport AircraftCommittee (STAC) 1962 Concorde Treaty 1968 Flight of‘Concordski’ 1969 First flight(prototype) 1976 Commercialintroduction 2003 Retired
Much on technical aspects◦ Sonic boom, wing type, etc. Limited on political issues◦ Johnman, Lynch◦ American not British Lots on ‘The Concorde Story’◦ Orlebar, March, etc. Not much written on motivation for SST More recent work is commemorative
Gaps in early historiography◦ Little research into the British socio-political context Competition in Cold War beyond US and USSR Help to explain why SST was only successfulin Britain (and France)◦ Less motivation abroad?
Primary Secondary Majority based onprimary research Archives◦ National◦ Farnborough? Articles◦ Newspapers◦ Flight Magazine Books◦ Costello, Hughes, Knight Articles◦ Johnman, Lynch Websites◦ BA, Heritage Concorde9%27%9%9%37%9%Spread of Current SecondaryPaper Resources over Decades1967-19691970-19791980-19891990-19992000-20092010-2012
Contacting people and organisations◦ British Airways◦ Farnborough Archival research◦ National archives Treasury and Cabinet papers Ministry of Supply and Ministry of Aviation Secondary Resources◦ Searching for more◦ Focus on academic articles
To what degree was the British Supersonic Transport (SST)venture about a need for prestige after the failures of theirSpace Programme? Context of a SST race Gaps in historiography Focus on primary research Thematic structure