Supersonic Model Tested

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Japanese aerospace officials are optimistic the $10 million test of a model of a future supersonic airliner was a success. Well, at least they got their model back this time. A similar attempt three years ago resulted in the model's separating prematurely from its booster rocket before boring a smoking hole in the Australian Outback. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), in cooperation with a French agency, is hoping to develop a Mach 2, 300-seat replacement for the Concorde by 2025. In last Monday's test, the 38-foot model was strapped to a rocket and flown to an altitude of 11 miles. It was recovered by parachute. JAXA spokesman Kenichi Saito said the flight seemed to go well. "Everything was very good and the aircraft landed ... normally," Saito told The Associated Press a telephone interview. "We are going to conduct the (data) analysis, but currently we think this flight was a success."