Japan Launches Supersonic Test Flight


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SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- Japan conducted a successful test flight of a supersonic jet in the Australian outback on Monday, taking a step closer to its goal of developing a successor to the Concorde.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said the prototype supersonic jet was launched on the back of a rocket from the remote Woomera rocket range in the South Australian desert and completed a 15-minute flight.

Japanese developers hope that a new supersonic jet could some day make the trip from Tokyo to New York in just under six hours -- less than half the current time.

JAXA hopes that its research will eventually lead to the development of a commercially viable supersonic jet after clearing technological hurdles such as improving fuel efficiency and reducing noise levels.




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