July 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 3 
Industry Wrap

French and Japanese to research supersonic technologies

Japanese and French aerospace industry groups have agreed to cooperate on researching technologies to build a commercially viable supersonic jet, Japan's trade ministry said last month.

Government officials from both nations signed a three-year research agreement last month. According to various news reports, researchers will study technologies that relate to composite materials, as well as jet engine noise, fuel consumption and other issues that affected the Concorde.

Officials in France and Japan envision a new supersonic jet by the year 2015 that could carry 300 passengers and fly at more than twice the speed of sound. According to the Associated Press, Japanese manufacturers have successfully tested an engine that theoretically could reach speeds more than five times the speed of sound.

"This is truly significant industrial cooperation," Shoichi Nakagawa, Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry, said in a statement. "I hope that the two aircraft industries will achieve the realization of the future dream of supersonic transport."

The Concorde, which crossed the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound for 27 years, was retired in 2003 amid falling passenger demand and rising costs.


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