Creation of a Russian supersonic passenger aircraft research centre has been selected for funding by the federal government.

The aim of the scientific centre is to establish a world-class technological knowledge base for conceptual design and aerodynamic analysis of an aircraft with low sonic boom.

This work on key technological aspects would also look at material strength, acoustics and vibration, engine efficiency, emissions, and artificial intelligence.

“Over the course of its scientific work the centre is expected to obtain breakthrough results,” says the Moscow-based Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, which is spearheading the initiative.

It says it expects these results to include “innovative” configurations of the aircraft to produce a low level of noise, and the use of augmented-reality technology in the cockpit.

The Russian ministry of science is overseeing a national programme to select promising areas of research for federal funding.

Zhukovsky SST

“Within the framework of this project we plan to work out fundamental problems of future supersonic aviation,” says Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute director general Kirill Sypalo.

The institute has established a consortium for the research which includes several high-profile organisations – among them the GosNIIAS aviation systems centre, the Gromov flight-test centre, and the Baranov aircraft engine institute.

Sypalo says the new science centre intends to draw up new environmental and economic indicators which would make serial supersonic aircraft production viable.

Under the federal programme for developing scientific-industrial co-operation, 60 competing applications were received for the grant funding, amounting to nearly Rb15.5 billion ($205 million) over the period covering 2020-24.

The programme provides for selection of at least nine research centres to prioritise technological development. Ten centres were chosen, spanning six high-level fields.

Supersonic aircraft research came under the field of intelligent transport systems.

Other fields included digital and robotic technologies, energy efficiency, healthcare, agriculture, and social studies.