Why Blue Paint Caused Problems For Concorde

Why Blue Paint Caused Problems For Concorde


This episode of Primal Space is supported by ExpressVPN On the 2nd of April 1996, global superstars Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Andre Agassi stood on the runway at Gatwick Airport,
waiting for a plane. But they weren’t there to fly to some exotic
destination, the event was the plane itself; a freshly painted, electric blue concorde,
emblazoned with the Pepsi logo. Today we’re going to look at one of the
biggest marketing stunts of the 90s and see how something as simple as a paint job created a serious technical issue for this supersonic airliner. During the mid 90’s, Pepsi had decided it
was time to change their design. There was too much red on their cans which
clashed with their rivals, Coca Cola. So, they rebranded to a mostly blue can and needed a big campaign to announce this change to the world. And so began ‘Project Blue’. They struck a deal with Air France, allowing
them to repaint one of the 20 concordes in existence at the time. In fact, they got one of the last concordes
to be made, Sierra Delta. This particular Concorde was built in 1978
and benefitted from new construction techniques like the use of titanium rivets, which made
it much lighter than other Concordes. To this day, Sierra Delta holds the record
for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe, taking 31 hours 27 minutes and 49 seconds
including 6 stops for fuel. With the most capable Concorde at their disposal, Pepsi set a date for their big event and got to work. The new paint job was carried out in secrecy
at an Air France facility in Paris, requiring over 200 litres of paint and thousands of
man hours to complete. Once the last drop was dry, they quickly wrapped
the aircraft in brown paper to make sure the stunt was kept secret. Since the big event was in London, they sped
across the English Channel during the night, remaining undercover before being escorted
straight to a hanger at Gatwick airport. Journalists from all over the world had been
invited to the hangar, being told that they would see a new ad, featuring Crawford, Schiffer
and Agassi. What followed was the most 90’s event imaginable,
a futuristic light show with supermodels arriving on motorbikes. After the main ad was introduced, the blue
concorde was wheeled into the dark hangar, through a fog of smoke machines and strobe
lights. This event cost Pepsi around 5 million dollars
to produce, making it the most expensive ad ever made at the time. But this wasn’t the only publicity stunt
in the Project Blue campaign. Just a month after the Concorde unveiling,
Pepsi became the first ever company to shoot a commercial in space. Cosmonauts onboard the Mir space station took a large replica of the new Pepsi can on a space walk. This ad cost Pepsi another 5 million dollars
to produce. But once the ad was finished, Pepsi had changed the design of the can and the ad was never aired. We go into this and other ambitious space
adverts in a previous Primal Space video. After Concorde’s new look was unveiled,
Pepsi took the plane on a promotional tour, jetting off to 10 different cities across
Europe and the Middle East. However, there was one major condition. They had to reduce the speed. The typical cruising speed for a concorde
was Mach 2.04. But flying at this speed generated a huge
amount of heat. This was partly due to the friction of the
air passing over the surface of the aircraft. with supersonic aircraft, not all the air
can move out of the way fast enough. This compresses the air and creates an area
of high pressure in front of the nose, which heats up the plane. At full speed, the nose would get as hot as
127 degrees with the fuselage and the wings exceeding 90 degrees. This would cause the aircraft to visibly expand
by around 30 mm. Inside the cockpit, you could see this happening
and a gap would open up between the flight engineer’s console and the bulkhead. On some of the retired planes, you can actually
see a cap that was placed in the gap on the final flight, becoming trapped, once the metal
shrank again. This expansion is a problem in all supersonic
planes. The fastest jet ever created, the Lockheed
SR-71 blackbird, was built with many small parts that could each expand. This would often cause the aircraft to have
fuel leaks whilst sitting on the runway. Concorde was designed to limit surface heat
as much as possible. They used a special white paint that was much
more reflective than typical aircraft paint, allowing it to radiate more heat. The jet fuel played a key role in absorbing
a lot of the surface heat, helping to keep the aircraft at a nominal temperature. Even with all this protection, surfaces inside
the cabin became warm to the touch during a normal flight. So, with the new dark blue colour scheme,
the pilots were told that they could only pass Mach 2 for a maximum of 20 minutes. Instead, they flew at a cruising speed of
Mach 1.7 for most of the flight, where the heating was less of an issue. Sierra Delta flew with the Pepsi livery for
two weeks before returning to its normal service under the traditional Air France design. During its short stint as a flying billboard,
it visited 10 cities and completed 14 supersonic flights. The process of converting the aircraft into
Pepsi colors likely set the company back around 1 million dollars and it’s estimated that
Pepsi’s budget for the entire Project Blue campaign was over half a billion dollars. By the end of 1996, Coke were making almost
50% more profit than Pepsi. Even going supersonic didn’t make them fast enough to catch the world’s most popular cola. By the time Concorde ended in 2003, it was
simply a glamorous way for the wealthy to travel and the quickest way for business people to get to their meeting on the other side of the world. Nowadays, the world is more connected than
ever and having a business meeting over the internet is probably safer than flying at
mach 2 in a tin can. Whenever you are connected to public WiFi,
it’s incredibly easy for hackers to steal your passwords, emails and credit card information. This is why it’s essential nowadays to have
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you can get 3 months for free! Thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.

100 thoughts on “Why Blue Paint Caused Problems For Concorde

  1. My family works in the film and tv industry (mainly lighting and gaffering) and has done so in some capacity since the early 1960s. My uncle was involved in this press event, to what degree I don’t know but there’s a picture of him posing in front of the “Pepsi Concorde” with one hand on his hip and the other up in the air gesturing to the nose of the aircraft, topped off with a dopey smile, in fairness it’s acutally a pretty good picture. It’s taken from about the aircrafts 10 o clock. He also everdently got to go in a BA Concorde while he was there too as there’s another picture of him leaning out of the cockpit window of one them.

  2. How much money would it cost them to paint the popes butt blue and get him to hang it out the pope mobile window?

    Don't matter. Pepsi sucks no matter how much advertising money they spend. Don't mix with Jack like Coke.

  3. I thought we could use Concorde as a Heavy supersonic Bomber. We had the Airframe and the parts wouldn't of cost that much to modify a First strike Bomber

  4. Concorde, an American nightmare. Pepsi, an American nightmare (Coke is so much from there). The mix would be a Donald Trump nightmare…

  5. First you say that the heating is due to friction and then you say it is due to the compression of the air in front of the plane. The first claim is not true, but the later explanation is the right one.
    To expect air friction to heat something up is like expecting you to get warm from spending time standing outside in a storm.

  6. The fuck is wrong with everyone in the comments? You’ve never seen a sponsored video before? He put a tiny vpn plug at the end of a good video, yall acting like hes some kind of villain.

    Jesus christ. Hes gotta make money somehow. Its not like the whole video was an ad, edited: to add, great job!

  7. 'quickest way for business people to get too their business meeting on the other side of the world'. Well yea…..maybe…… If Concorde flew to the other side of the world. It only flew NYC/Washington to London/Paris. Hardly the other side off the world and certainly not long haul.

  8. Pretty sure the SR-71 was designed to always leak on the runway not frequently. Also flying in a tin can that only had one crash is somehow dangerous? You can try to justify your comment as a joke, but its more akin to fear mongering.

  9. So, the title was clickbait? The "problem" caused was just a time frame on max speed? Thanks for wasting 7 minutes of my day.

  10. I noticed that most of the scenes with the Pepsi Concorde flying through the air looked like a game, if so, what is it?

  11. @Primal Space shame on you. Lying to your views about internet security and scaremongering them because you've been given ad money. Instant down vote and i'll be un subbing.
    For anyone wondering hackers CAN'T access you data over public wifi lol – what a moron.

  12. So they flew to Gatwick under cover of night. It’s not as though the airport is completely dark, the surprise could easily have been blown right then and there.

  13. Remember, if a soft drink company can pull off such clandestine endeavors, what the hell is your own government up to?

  14. Great video, I hate the ads at ends of videos though. No concern to me because as soon as I hear VPN I just stop lol

  15. The SR71 and A-12 did not have fuel leaks on the runway, they used fuel as a coolant and when they couldn't burn it they had to dump it overboard on the ground. If the aircraft was in flight the coolantfuel would just be burned up in the engines.

  16. Concerning the ad at the end. Not VPN is the essential service. What is much more essential above that and coming with it : properly secured and strongest encryption which does meet today's PCIDSS standards. (plus a safe operating system with all patches applied to the date where it is used for communication over the public internet)

  17. I knew one of the guys who designed the paint for Concorde. He was someone who could actually make drying paint intresting.

  18. I did really see "the problems for concord" this video could have been 30 seconds "if you paint concord other than white you need to fly at 40km/h, but dont forget to buy VPN"……

  19. There's something controversial about paint story
    Blue is darker than white, obviously, so it should radiate better (as it is closer to bb)
    Or is new paint worse in radiating in far IR frequencies corresponding to relatively low temperatures (~400K)? It could also be because of some smoothness issues causing higher drag, but it's definitely not just blue<white

  20. Just want to let you guys know that 5:50 is an example of lies and false information. Every modern device uses https which makes it already secure and passwords are just as hard to access while using a VPN it makes no difference. Passwords aren’t stored in a plain text format.

  21. Wow, that was probably the greatest rope a dope commercial I have ever seen. Lets talk airplanes and Pepsi but end on a note that makes air travel passe and promotes Express VPN. Very clever…sorta. best regards, Dr. Marketing

  22. Tin can???? Yanks version a bit shit! Russian one dangerous!! we won that one especialy as we did it with french people!! What the English and French working together??? positive story!!! the pepsi paint job is bullshit horrible abomination by janks!! lololol

  23. Might want to do some fact checking before repeating what your sponsors tell you…
    If a site uses https (and virtually every site that deals with passwords, credit cards, and email does), a hacker can only see what domain (ex. google.com) you are visiting, they can't see the actual content or specific page. VPNs do have their uses, but these claims in particular are simply false.

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