Europe & Japan Jointly Developing New Hypersonic Plane

By: | March 23rd, 2015

As the video below shows, breakfast in Tokyo, lunch in Paris. For this to become a reality, the worldwide aerospace industry has a lot to accomplish. But at today’s pace of change, booking your hypersonic flight may be just over the horizon.


IndustryTap has written about hypersonic aircraft and technology, including “Pushing the Boundaries of Hypersonic Travel,” “$1.1 Billion Hypersonic Aircraft’s Engines Get Boost From New Air Cooling Technology” and many more. Estimates are that a flight from London to Tokyo would take just three hours via hypersonic transport.

For much of the past half-century, the US has led in the development of aircraft technology as a result of its huge military budget and large commercial aircraft market. But Europe, Japan, and others are increasingly competing as is evidenced by Airbus and a very strong aerospace industry across Europe. Historically, Japan has been an aircraft component manufacturer as a subcontractor for Western manufacturers, but that now is changing.

Hypersonic Aircraft Could Revolutionize Transportation

A half-century ago, sub-sonic airplanes that created the commercial airline industry were replaced by jet planes, causing a huge increase in travel and a burgeoning global business. Now Europe and Japan are cooperating to jointly develop a hypersonic jet with an eye to the huge new market awaiting the best innovators.

The US, especially Boeing and Lockheed Martin, are working on hypersonic aircraft designs, and the US Defense Department has been spending money to develop the technology as well. The DARPA Falcon HTV-2, called the fastest airplane in the world, is a hypersonic, long-duration airplane which IndustryTap reported had a mishap this past summer.

Europe & Japan Cooperate on Hypersonic Plane

According to researchers and engineers in Europe and Japan, a hypersonic plane requires technologies that don’t yet exist, including new materials and composites to deal with the incredible air pressures generated by hypersonic flight. New designs are needed as well. The European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are now working on solutions to these problems.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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