The U.S. Exim Bank has approved a long-term loan guarantee to support the sale of three Gulfstream G350 business jets to Saudi Arabian executive air transport provider National Air Services. Gulfstream signed a letter of intent in May for the aircraft, which the Exim Bank accord finalizes. The transaction is structured as an asset-based financing arrangement with the G350s serving as collateral. Arab Banking Corp.
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.
After a whole lot of fanfare two years ago, when the Aerion and Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI) quiet supersonic business jet (SSBJ) concepts were first announced at the 2004 NBAA Convention, work continues on the development of these and other supersonic business jet designs, albeit more quietly.
Gulfstream reported that its Quiet Spike sonic-boom mitigator successfully achieved supersonic flight on October 20. The OEM has been flight-testing the structural integrity of its Quiet Spike since mid-July. Mounted on the nose of a NASA F-15B and flown at Mach 1.2, the Quiet Spike operated as designed. It extended to its maximum length of 24 feet and performed as expected during the 1.5-hour test flight.
Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI) of Las Vegas said it continues to work with Lockheed Martin on the Quiet Small Supersonic Transport (QSST), the circa-$80 million, 4,000-nm, 12-passenger, Mach 1.8, no-boom supersonic business jet (SSBJ) it announced at the NBAA Convention last year.
NASA last month awarded grants to fund a five-month study on how to design and build an airplane that could demonstrate technology to reduce the sonic boom during supersonic flight. The four industry teams–Boeing Phantom Works, Raytheon Aircraft, Gulfstream/Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin/Cessna–have each received a $1 million grant.
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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