Following over twenty years flight experience with CONCORDE, both British Aerospace and Aerospatiale are in a good position to analyse the technical prospects of a second generation supersonic airliner.
The overall goal of work at Aerospatiale is to see if a future supersonic airliner is technically possible and what are the risks, will it be commercially viable, will it meet environmental rules upon entry into service and when will that be ?.
Knowing the difficulties associated with building a first generation SST at Mach 2, Aerospatiale's new ATSF (Avion de Transport Supersonique Futur) is being designed for the same cruise Mach number to allow constant checking between new design concepts and real life experience.
The development of this new aircraft's characteristics is presented, to show how the objectives laid down are progressively being attained. Details are given of aerodynamics, powerplant installation and structural design, along with today's material choices. Comments are made on the structural test programmes likely to be necessary.
The effects of small increase in cruise Mach number is commented on and some of the supporting research programmes presently under way are described.