The initial phase of design work for a quiet supersonic business jet is underway at a large Russian aeronautical research agency. The jet will be quiet enough to fly over populated areas.
The Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI), in cooperation with a number of Russian companies, is developing the preliminary design of the aircraft. Aircraft engine manufacturer NPO Saturn and aircraft maker Sukhoi are some of the companies working on this project.
Official conceptual images of the aircraft indicate that it has a pointed, long nose and four engines on top of the aft fuselage. The aircraft also features thin, long wings and twin vertical tails.
TsAGI stated that through this project, Russia aims to position itself at the forefront of the aeronautics industry, as a technology leader in a probable new market for business aviation.
According to Sergei Lyapunov, deputy director general of TsAGI, the number and diversity of research organizations and companies in this project is unprecedented in Russian aeronautics.
The team working on this project will also analyze the domestic engines that would be capable of powering this new aircraft.
The idea of a Russian supersonic business jet is not new – it has been on the drawing board for many years. In the past, Tupolev issued proposals for a Tu-444 supersonic business jet to run 4-hour flights between Moscow and New York. In the 1990s, Sukhoi teamed up with Gulfstream to develop a design of the S-21. However, commitment to the project halted and the partnership was dissolved due to uncertain market demand for supersonic air travel, although Sukhoi has continued work on the S-21.