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Japan and France embark on joint aerospace venture

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by Brian Turner
Japan and France embark on joint aerospace venture

The Society of Japanese Aerospace companies and the French Aerospace Industries Association have agreed to embark on a joint project to develop a successor to the Concorde.

The two groups reached agreement during the Paris Airshow to conduct the three-year project.

The Japanese have been pursuing development of a commercially feasible supersonic aircraft for years.

But beyond the effort to develop a new supersonic aircraft, which some critics dismissed on Wednesday as too expensive and not really needed or wanted, the deal is seen as a way to build the relationship between the French and Japanese aerospace industries and to open up the Japanese market to Airbus, in a nation where Boeing has had a near-monopoly for over 50 years.

Among the areas expected to be studied by the joint research are the structure of composite materials and the reduction of jet-engine noise.

The Japanese and French governments and industry will each make an initial investment of ¥100 million in the first year of the project, and they are expected to invest a total of ¥600 million over the three years of the agreement.

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News posted: June 15, 2005

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