8/23/2005

Japan plans test of ‘new Concorde’

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 2:44 pm

Japan’s space agency plans to launch an arrow-shaped airplane at twice the speed of sound high over the Australian outback as early as next month in a crucial test of the country’s push to develop a supersonic successor to the retired Concorde.

The test follows a three-year hiatus since the first experimental flight of the unmanned aircraft, dubbed the next-generation supersonic transport, prematurely separated from its booster rocket and crashed into the desert.

“We’ve made some improvements so that won’t happen again,” Takaaki Akuto, a spokesman for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, said Tuesday in Tokyo. “This is a pretty important test.”

A successful mission will pave the way for additional experiments as JAXA aims to develop a plane that can carry 300 passengers at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound, making the run from Tokyo to Los Angeles in about four hours.

Source: CNN

 

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