What is fractional ownership in Europe? Judging by the way the concept has morphed since it started to appear in the continent during the second half of the 1990s, the answer might well be “whatever sir or madam would like it to be today.”
The decades that preceded the 1970s were propelled by a lust for technological progress measured in speed, altitude and range. The 1970s marked a sea change for aviation, brought on largely by the rude realization that cheap and freely available
fuel could no longer be taken for granted. The commercial mission, which continues to this day, then became that of transporting ever more people on the least amount
Dassault is working quietly on the design for what could become a supersonic business jet (SSBJ). In June the French aircraft manufacturer announced the creation of a “common working group” with Sukhoi to study such an aircraft.
Gulfstream has recruited company veteran Robert Cowart to be the new director of supersonic technology development. He most recently served as project engineer for the supersonic technology program. In his new position, Cowart is responsible for the development of advanced technology supporting quiet supersonic flight over land, with a principal focus on sonic boom suppression concepts.
SSBJ UPDATE: Elsewhere in this issue (“In The Works,” page 78) is word of Sukhoi’s continuing work on feasibility studies on the S-21, a supersonic business jet that, according to the company’s general director of civil aircraft, could not appear before 2010 or 2012.
Research carried out in the field of supersonic transport within the European Commission’s 6th Research Framework Program (FP6) has come into the spotlight recently since Italy’s Alenia and Russian design bureau Sukhoi concluded a cooperation agreement.
If Concorde were the child of quarrelsome adults, the tabloids might label this a “tug of love,” but by whatever name it goes, British Airways seems to end up cast as the villain. When BA announced it would retire the supersonic transport in October 2003, Virgin Atlantic proprietor Sir Richard Branson seized the opportunity to embarrass his archrival by offering to buy and continue operating the aircraft.
While business aircraft are one of the most important tools of investment bankers and venture capitalists, investing in new aircraft designs doesn’t appear to be on their radar this year. According to a report issued last month by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), investors plan to increase their funding pools by about 10 percent over last year.
Gulfstream Aerospace president Bryan Moss dismissed the company’s long-discussed “Quiet Supersonic Jet” (QSJ) during last month’s EBACE, prompting the aircraft’s removal from AIN’s In the Works chart. Moss pre-empted inquiring minds at a press conference by asking and answering the question himself: “Will Gulfstream build a supersonic business jet?
Supersonic transport research carried out within the European Commission’s 6th Research Framework Program has received attention since Italian manufacturer Alenia and Russian manufacturer Sukhoi signed a coop- erative agreement.
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