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Although one way of reducing environmental impact is to reduce cruising speeds, Dassault Aviation is also exploring the feasibility of a supersonic business jet that would still meet future environmental standards, including noise, pollution and the sonic boom.

The HISAC High Speed Aircraft program is a first step in evaluating the feasibility of a small supersonic aircraft.

Selected by the European Commission in September 2004 and launched in 2005, HISAC brings together over 37 partners from 13 countries, coordinated by Dassault Aviation.

In addition to our technological expertise, our experience and our research in supersonic flight, we were chosen for our ability to coordinate strategic international cooperation, as displayed on the nEUROn UAV program in which Dassault Aviation is prime contractor.

These capabilities are key to establishing specifications and target performance. Addressing pollution issues means working on engine fuel consumption, and therefore stepping up the efforts already made by leading engine manufacturers. However, the sonic boom and noise during take-off are less familiar fields of investigation still to be explored and controlled.

HISAC is keeping all options open in its search for solutions. It has therefore opted for a multidisciplinary optimization approach, with three teams – Dassault Aviation, Sukhoi and Alenia – working on three different aircraft configurations.

HISAC will culminate in a feasibility study and lead to an industrial program, provided that the identified critical technologies are accessible. At this point, they may be shared with American partners, who are currently working on other similar projects.