The aim of the project is to promote an effective cooperation between Europe and Japan in the field of conceptual design of a high speed aircraft. The project contributes to the creation of synergies between the existing European and Japanese programmes to build a common roadmap towards experimentations by 2020. Furthermore, the project contributes to some of the technology bricks that need to be explored.
The objectives will be achieved through four main activities:
- Market Analysis
- Study on propulsion (single or multiple engines, rocket engines and tanks)
- Study on fuel (operations and impact on environment), innovative on-board thermal and energy management
- Workshops will be held to define conceptual guidelines and common experimentation plan
Towards hypersonic aircraft
An EU group is advancing hypersonic aviation technology through cooperation with Japanese organisations. The study is consolidating existing knowledge, and studying the market, constraints and advanced hydrogen engine technologies.
Hypersonic air transportation, meaning intercontinental trips of a few hours, is not a new ambition, yet novel hydrogen-powered engines may finally make it feasible. If so, international collaboration may be key to realising the concept.
Such is the philosophy guiding the EU-funded project 'High speed key technologies for future air transport - Research & innovation cooperation scheme' (http://www.hikari-project.eu (HIKARI)). The 14-member consortium, including two Japanese partners, aims to unite the various hypersonic efforts of Europe and Japan. The exchanges fostered through the project are expected to facilitate progress towards improved designs and flight testing. The two-year project addresses three main axes: federating existing initiatives, addressing a future commercial market, and progressing specific technologies.
The project's first year saw data collection and cooperation between partners, which helped to focus the existing technical concepts. Joint workshops and mutual exchanges led to a detailed analysis, and ultimately to a consortium definition of best practice. In particular, the project mapped the design constraints imposed by environmental and safety regulations and by commercial considerations.
HIKARI partners are producing a shared understanding of the challenges involved in the proposed form of transportation. The team has produced design guidelines that should satisfy all relevant constraints, while also achieving a realistic level of performance.