字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント This video was made possible by Skillshare, an online community where you can learn anything, from graphic design, to how to grow a YouTube channel. The first 650 people to sign up will get two months for just 99 Cents. Check out the link below. In the late 1960's, Dassault Aviation made a huge bet. The company designed its first commercial airliner, the Mercure 100, to do one thing fantastically well. Fly short routes more efficiently than any other airliner. With the hope of taking on rival giants like Boeing, Dassault invested large sums into developing its new jet, and built several factories in anticipation of demand. But if you've never heard of the Mercure, it's because airlines weren't interested in buying it. And Dassault's new jet would go down as one of the worst commercial failures in aviation history. designed and built by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault, the Mercure 100 first flew in 1971. It was an impressive aircraft for its day with advanced aerodynamics and a wider cabin than its competitors. And it offered some pretty impressive features, including a heads-up display system for its pilots. The Mercure had great performance characteristics, especially climbing out of congested airports. But most importantly, it was efficient. The Mercure had been highly optimized for short-range air routes. So here's a plane that would save Airlines money. But to understand why virtually no airline ended up buying it, we need to look at the Mercure's development, and why Dassault built the aircraft in the first place. In the 1960s Dassault was a company renowned for its iconic Mirage military fighter aircraft and Falcon business jets, but the company had bigger ambitions and had spotted an opportunity. See many civil air routes around the world were actually very short, under a thousand miles and at the time a lot of these short haul routes were served by Boeing's recently introduced 737 and Douglas DC-9. Dassault figured that if it could design an airliner optimized specifically for these very short routes then it could outperform Boeing's and Douglas's offerings in a key segment of the market. With low operating costs and a break-even load factor, airlines initially showed interest. But building such a plane was an ambitious undertaking. Luckily for Dassault the French government was also convinced of the market demand for a specialized short-range airliner. The government was eager for Dassault to build a 737 competitor and to spur France's aviation industry. It provided a loan for just over half the development costs, which were to be repaid through sales of the aircraft. Development started in 1967 and Dassault was so confident in the Mercure concept that had built four factories across France to meet the anticipated demand. Reportedly the company was expecting to built its 300th airliner in less than a decade. Like the rival Boeing 737, the Mercure was powered by a pair of proven but now dated Pratt & Whitney turbo fans But despite having virtually the same engines as the 737, the Mercure could carry more passengers and despite being larger the Mercure could even out climb the 737. These impressive performance advantages were due to the Mercure being so well optimized for short sectors. By significantly reducing fuel tank size, Dassault reduced the structural weight of its airliner by as much as 10%. By using state-of-the-art computer design tools, Dassault created a specialized wing giving the Mercure excellent climb and descent performance - an important metric for efficient short haul flights. But these advantages, of course, come with some trade-offs. See a fully loaded Mercure had a maximum range of only one thousand miles. A Boeing 737-200 had a much greater range, up to three times as much on some later variants. But there was also another important design difference. A 737 was a robust aircraft which could be suited to serve both short and medium sectors, so Boeing was able to adapt the airframe and adopt new engines to cater to different segments of the market a 737-100 introduced in 1968 carried a 103 passengers over 1,700 miles. But after four decades of development the 737 had evolved into an entire family of aircraft, with some variants having more than twice the passenger capacity and range of the original. While the Mercure had also been designed with stretch potential, its mission was always going to be decidedly short-haul. Modifying the aircraft to increase its range so it could serve a broader segment of the market like the 737 wasn't going to be easy. And so the Mercure's high degree of design optimization for short-haul routes, rather than being a competitive advantage quickly became an enormous problem. Dassault aggressively marketed the Mercure as an economical choice for airlines. With its unparalleled short range performance, it should have been attractive to airlines that were operating 737's and DC-9's on short-haul routes. But the Mercure refused to sell. See if you operate the Mercure out of France, Dassault's proposition makes some sense. But from outlying European countries like Spain, the Mercure's limited range is... well very limiting. And in the United States that limited range becomes an even bigger problem. Airlines, as it turns out, we're willing to take a hit on operating efficiency even if it meant they'd have an aircraft that was versatile to fill both medium and short range roles. Some argue that Dassault's decision to market the Mercure as a direct 737 competitor also contributed to its commercial failure. Well in many ways the Mercure was a conventional airliner its range made it more of a high-capacity regional jet. But there were other factors going against the aircraft, like the 1970 Oil Crisis which limited Airlines purchasing power, a devalued US dollar and a high rate of European inflation - all of which had made the Mercure more expensive to purchase. Air Inter, an airline in which the French government had a large ownership stake, was the only airline to ever purchase Mercure's and it ordered only 10. An 11th Mercure, a prototype that had been refurbished was later also delivered to the airline. Dassault struggled to recover from its colossal commercial miscalculation, and reportedly the company would need to sell somewhere between 120 and 150 Mercure's just to break even. So the company raced to develop improved versions like the Mercure 200C, which was to have improved range. But the Mercure design's had been so carefully optimized for short routes, you could say the company had engineered itself into a corner. Because the extensive design modifications that would have been needed to give the Mercure additional fuel capacity, well, were simply too expensive to ever make it a profitable proposition. The 11 Mercure's that did enter service would go on to fly until 1995. They safely carried over 44 million passengers and made over 400,000 flights - albeit short efficient flights. But the story of French aviation didn't end with the Mercure, it was really just the beginning. I've been getting a lot of emails asking for advice on growing a YouTube channel, so I want to share some insights and to plug our sponsor Skillshare, an online learning community with over 18,000 courses on just about anything, including design business technology, even courses specifically designed to help YouTube creators. 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