Specialists at Russia’s Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) are continuing to work on a light supersonic business jet concept that will be cheaper to purchase than larger supersonic airliners. However this requires meeting the basic minimum environmental needs, such as reducing sonic boom, the TsAGI has revealed to Show Observer, Russian Aviation Insider’s sister publication.
The advanced business jet will be able to fly at a speed of up to between 1.6-1.8M (1,700–1,900 km/h), with a flight range of 7,500–8,000 kilometres, enough for flights from Moscow to New York and from Moscow to Khabarovsk, in half as much time as conventional subsonic airliners. The volume of its sonic boom is calculated to be between 65–70 dBA, which corresponds to the general noise of a metropolis.
According to TsAGI, the supersonic aircraft’s optimised configuration will reduce sonic boom and at the same time will increase fuel efficiency. The aircraft will have an unusual aerodynamic design with a V-wing and an optimally deformed median surface, as well as a powerplant located on the upper surface of the rear of the fuselage. Also, due to the specifics of supersonic flights related to higher jet stream velocities, special sound-attenuation systems and integration of the power plant into the airframe are being developed in order not to compromise other flight characteristics.
In the event of success, these supersonic business jets may go into production at the turn of the 2030s. At the moment, everything depends on financing. In addition, there is no absolute clarity on the powerplant for this aircraft. And the most important question is: will there be sufficient demand for such an aircraft?
TsAGI is working on such supersonic research with a long list of other specialist bodies including the Central Institute of Aviation Engine Construction (known by its Russian acronym TsIAM), the Gromov Flight Research Institute, the State Research Institute of Civil Aviation (GosNIIGA), as well as the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) and the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC). Part of the work is also being carried out in cooperation with the European Union in the framework of the international RUMBLE project, which is to determine threshold values and the rules of sonic boom evaluation.
A full-scale model of the advanced supersonic business aircraft, a partial mock-up of its nose structural layout and a heat-and-noise insulating fuselage panel created by the institute’s specialists are on display at the TsAGI exposition at MAKS 2019. It is included in the joint stand of the Zhukovsky Institute National Research Centre.
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