Gulfstream continues research on supersonic business jets

Gulfstream continues to perform research on a variety of advanced topics, including technologies required to build a supersonic business jet. For its subsonic line, the focus areas include synthetic and enhanced vision, advanced cabin systems, aircraft health and trend monitoring and advanced flight controls, including fly-by-light and fly-by-wireless.

For its supersonic efforts, sonic boom mitigation methods are among the highest priorities, says Lombardo. However, Gulfstream has saidunequivocally that it will not launch a supersonic business jet programme until there is consensus among aviation authorities globally as to what would be acceptable noise and pressure levels for over-land supersonic flight, a practice prohibited in the USA by Federal Aviation Administration rules.

The company says it has received queries from other manufacturers possibly interested in licensing the company's patented "quiet spike" technology thatdampens supersonic noise by extending a spike from the aircraft's nose during cruise.