European Supersonic Bizjet Tests Advance

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An effort to develop an environmentally acceptable supersonic business jet by a group led by Dassault continued last week. Russia Info Center says a model of the HISAC Environmentally Friendly High Speed Aircraft is undergoing testing at Russia's Central Institute of Aerohydronyamics. Engineers are looking at the aerodynamics and potential sonic boom signature of the eight-to-16-seat aircraft, which, in its test stage, sports a canard that make it look like a sleeker, smaller version of the XB-70 supersonic bomber of 45 years ago.

But where the XB-70's purpose was anything but environmentally friendly, HISAC hopes to help people go faster without expanding their carbon footprint. Goals for the aircraft include minimal sonic boom, no more noise on landing and takeoff than current aircraft of the same size and multi Mach fuel economy rivaling its subsonic cousins. There's no prediction on when the consortium, involving 37 companies in 13 countries, will have a flying model.