Talks 'imminent' as Alenia, Dassault and Boeing show interest in Sukhoi supersonic business jet

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Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica is discussing the construction of a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) with Boeing, Dassault and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, said Alenia Aeronautica chief executive Giovanni Bertolone in Moscow on 20 June, after his company signed a deal to invest in Sukhoi’s Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) programme. “We are going to start negotiations on building a supersonic business jet in a few days,” he said.

Speaking at the same event Sukhoi director general Mikhail Pogosian said Sukhoi has been working on a SSBJ project for many years. “I started working on this issue about 18 years ago. We will release information in the near future on how we view the development of this project,” he said.

Pogosian was involved in work with Gulfstream in the early 1990s on the joint S-21 SSBJ, which was shelved due to lack of customer interest. The 50t-class design had a 6- to 10-seat layout, a maximum speed of Mach 2 and a range of 7,500km (4,000nm).

Bertolone is remaining tight-lipped on the partnership and stresses that while Boeing and Dassault are involved in the preliminary feasibility study neither company is yet committed to the project. Alenia, Sukhoi and Dassault are already involved in the four-year European Commission-funded High Speed Aircraft (HISAC) programme, launched last year to study key technologies for a quiet supersonic aircraft, including engine integration, noise and pollution.