Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

EADS chief longs for airplane that is no longer

September 8, 2010

What would you guess is the airplane that the head of  the company that produces the Airbus longs for?

Think fast and past.

Concorde,” Louis Gallois, EADS Chairman and CEO, says without hesitation. “It’s a dream.”

AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/The supersonic plane, built in some of the factories that now produce the bulky Airbus A380 super jumbo, made its last commercial flight from New York to London on Oct. 24, 2003.

The supersonic trip would typically take about 3-1/2 hours, cutting the travel time in about half for busy company executives.

“I am a fan of supersonic airplanes. I have taken the Concorde three or four times, it was a fantastic airplane,” Gallois says at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.

“But, you know, that is the past. And I regret that our industry is no longer interested in supersonic airplanes, we are not working on it, but it’s a personal regret,” he said with a touch of wistfulness.

“Supersonic, nobody’s working in the company except me on that project,” Gallois says laughting. ”And I do that only on Sunday.”

Photo credit: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang (Gallois at Reuters summit)

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