Japanese companies have teamed up to develop a new supersonic aircraft

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Several Japanese engineering companies have entered into a coalition with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to research and develop a new supersonic aircraft. The partnership, which combines the agencies' technological and aerial expertise, is to design a new 50-seat supersonic aircraft that could enter service by 2030, according to the announcement published by JAXA on June 16, 2021.

The partnership between JAXA and Japanese manufacturing companies will be known as Japan Supersonic Research (JSR Council) and will include companies such as IHI, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Subaru and Japan Aircraft Development Corp.

Japanese companies have teamed up to develop a new supersonic aircraft.

In terms of development, this new 50-seat supersonic jet could use the air friction technology developed by JAXA, which reduces fuel consumption by 13% compared to the technology used on the Concorde. In addition to the improved efficiency, it is said that the new design reduces the sound boom effect by 50%.

The sound boom is a phenomenon that developers and engineers have struggled to solve since the beginning of Concorde. The phenomenon occurs when an aircraft changes from subsonic velocities to supersonic velocities commonly known as the sound barrier rupture, at which point the aircraft moves at a speed equal to or greater than the speed of sound (Mach 1). During this transition, shock waves are generated in the atmosphere causing two sudden fluctuations in ground pressure. For humans, the sound generated is similar to that of an explosion.

JAXA aircraft design technology will essentially reduce the boom sound effect, which will help the supersonic aircraft meet noise standards.

Reports estimate that about 1.000 to 2.000 supersonic aircraft could become operational in the next decade, serving the demand of company executives, senior government officials and the rich, according to Nikkei Asia.

A flight on a current aircraft from Japan to Europe or the United States takes more than 12 hours. Increasing the speed of the aircraft could halve the travel time, JAXA estimates. In this way, a flight from Japan to Europe and the United States could take about 6 hours.

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