Japanese aim high with Concorde-san
Thursday 28 August 1997
Concorde-san, as the new project is likely to become known, is intended to carry 300 passengers, about the same size as the current generation of sub-sonic jumbo jets. It will fly at a speed of Mach 2.4 compared to Mach 0.85 for a Boeing 747-400, drastically reducing the current flight time of 11 to 13 hours between Japan and western Europe.
Financially viable supersonic travel is one of the holy grails of the aerospace industry. But the high cost of the technology, has so far rendered projects like Concorde unprofitable. The Japanese aircraft is being developed by the Ministry of Trade and International Industry in collaboration with a consortium of private companies including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Last year, the ministry spent 3.75bn yen (pounds 20m) on the research and development of a Mach 5 supersonic engine known as HYPR, and it is hoping to spend 800m in 1998 on developing materials for building a supersonic aircraft body. The aluminium alloy currently used in passenger jets cannot withstand the 200 degrees centigrade temperatures generated through wind resistance during supersonic flight, and Mitsubishi hopes to come up with a carbon fibre compound alloy capable of performing the task.
Japan's aerospace industry has had little impact on the international market, largely because the country's post-war "peace constitution" forbids it from exporting any military equipment or technology. A number of civilian aircraft have been developed but they have all been commercial failures, and the latest effort, a small passenger jet called the YSX, is a "paper plane" and has not been manufactured in large numbers.
"They've proved that they can build aircraft, but the problem is selling and supplying them in competition with far more experienced companies like Boeing and Airbus," said Paul Lewis, Asia editor of Flight International. "Their imagination has been caught by the dream of producing something futuristic for the 21st century, but if they've continually failed to build a small 100-seat jet, it's unlikely that they'll ever do it on their own."
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- < Previous
- Next >
£400 - £450 per day: PCR Recruitment Limited: Snr Java Developer, London, £400...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Excellent Benefits: PCR Recruitment Limited: Web T...
£80000 - £120000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Risk - Delivery/...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: This is a new role carrying responsibility for a numbe...