The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) intends to flight test a 10m (33ft)-long Silent Supersonic Technology Demonstrator (S3T) in 2012. This follows the Supersonic Transport programme that culminated with the flight of the 2m-long Next-1 vehicle in 2005.

The S3T is part of a bid to launch a commercially viable supersonic project around 2015. A would-be commercial supersonic jet should be able to reach the US west coast from Tokyo in 5h. JAXA says the annual state funding for the programme by the Japanese government is in the region of $200 million.

At Farnborough, JAXA showed a deck model of the S3T and a composite material part of the wing for the full-scale flyable vehicle. S3T development started in 2007, following completion of an earlier advanced technology research project.

The Japanese are focusing the project on ecological issues, in alignment with recent European and US trends, and aim to halve sonic boom and take-off/landing noise.

Meanwhile, JAXA is launching research on a Mach 5.0 hypersonic propulsion technology demonstrator, with research to run until 2015.

Source: Flight International