Return of the supersonic business jet
HDN | 5/18/2010 12:00:00 AM |
New business jets aim to replace the supersonic passenger aircraft Concorde. A plane designed by the Russian company Sukhoi will reach a speed of 1,960 kilometer per hour, twice that of normal passenger planes, bringing continents closer
The sound barrier is the basic reason why today’s passenger planes cannot fly even more swiftly. The speed of sound is broken when a velocity of 1,225 kilometers per hour is reached at sea level. Planes require special design and high-thrust engines in order to fly safely at this speed or faster.
To date, only two civil aircraft have been able to pass the speed of sound, which has otherwise only been broken by military planes. These were the Russians’ Tupolev Tu-144 and the French-U.K. joint manufactured Concorde. Both passenger planes were developed in the 1960s. But the projects did not progress further.
The Tu-144 was retired in 1978 and the Concorde in 2003, as it could not overcome the economic crisis following its sole crash in 2000.
Since 2005, the Russian manufacturer Sukhoi has been working to develop a supersonic business jet. The plane will have an eight-seat capacity and be able to reach a speed of 1,960 kilometers per hour with the help of military technologies. With a planned range of 7,400 kilometers, the jet will be noiseless and environmentally friendly thanks to its special design.
A special engine design will prevent the sonic booms that take place at the back of planes in flights that surpass the speed of sound. Italian aviation giant Alenia is in talks with Sukhoi in order to become a partner in the project. The goal is to start manufacturing the jets in 2015.
The Aerion Corporation, which started activities in 2006, is seeking $3 billion to continue its business jet project. Uncertainty is ongoing over the project, the sales price of which was designated at $80 million in 2007, when the company received 50 orders. The firm has announced that the design process is underway and wing trials will take place next year.
[HH] Airex to start Sept 30
Airex, which has become the Eurasia region’s largest civil-aviation exhibition, will take place Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Istanbul, after air traffic eases due to the ongoing runway construction at the city’s Atatürk International Airport.
The exhibition is expected to see participation from a record number of planes this year, according to Feyzan Erel, managing director of Mint Fuarcılık, which is organizing the event. “At Airex, several show and demo flights take place. In line with the demand from participants and clients, we shifted the exhibition from June 3 to 6 to Sept. 30 to Oct. 3,” Erel said. “With the support of the Transportation Ministry and Turkish Airlines, more than 45 aircraft and helicopters will arrive this year. We will also host many new companies in the indoor area.”
Organized for the eighth time this year, Airex is the largest aviation exhibition between Paris and Dubai.
[HH] A record trial
Tufan Sevinçel, the first Turkish amateur pilot to make a world tour with a single-engine plane, a feat he performed last year, is getting prepared for another record flight. Planning to finish a world tour in seven days with a single-engine plane, Sevinçel will fly over the southern hemisphere.
A Turkish pilot will accompany him on the trip; they will fly day and night in shifts, landing only for fuel delivery. Through this flight, Sevinçel said, he aims to introduce the idea of general aviation in Turkey. “Small planes give a sense of freedom. Following training, it is possible for you to fly wherever you want,” he said. “I would like to show that it is possible to complete a world tour with a simple piston-engine plane at a speed of 240 kilometers per hour.”