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HIKARI Project

HIKARI (light in Japanese) aims at pursuing and bringing one step further cooperation between Europe and Japan in the field of high speed transport (HST). The primary output from HIKARI will be technology roadmaps relying on synergies between all the different projects brought by the partners, and more particularly ZEHST, ATLLAS, LAPCAT, LEA, Japanese projects.

AIRBUS Innovation Works is the research & technology entity of AIRBUS group. With sites in France, Germany, UK, Spain, Russia, USA, Singapore, India, and a workforce of more than 600, it provides world-class capabilities in aeronautics, defense and space research topics. Consistent with the AIRBUS research & technology strategy and covering the skills and technology fields that are of critical importance to the AIRBUS group, AIRBUS Innovation Works is organized in six trans-national Technical Capability Centers (TCC) and a Disruptive Concepts and Scenarios Center (DSCC).

AIRBUS Innovation Works coordinates the HIKARI Project. The Project coordinator belongs to the Disruptive Concepts and Scenarios Center and will use the long built DSCC capability in managing Transversal Innovative Projects to ensure high standards in quality and reliability of the work delivered to the customer. In addition, AIRBUS IW will benefit from the DSCC experience accumulated through previous supersonic and hypersonic collaborations, both at national and international level. This includes the French-Japanese cooperation on Supersonic technologies, the SUNJET project, as well as the ZEHST hypersonic aircraft project.

Emmanuel Blanvillain, Head of Aircraft Concepts at Airbus Group Innovations, gives a cautious response: “The Concorde was able to cross the Atlantic. But if we want an aircraft today for worldwide transportation that covers routes of more than 10,000 kilometres in around three flight hours, we need to consider speeds in excess of Mach 2. At present, we are carrying out research on hypersonic travel with speeds of Mach 4 or 5, which, of course, presents considerable technical challenges.”

Launched in 2013 and led by Airbus Group Innovations, the Hikari project brought together Airbus Group, MBDA, research centres and European and Japanese universities with a view to determining commercial requirements for the future of hypersonic flight. Hikari submitted its findings in 2015, leaving Airbus Group Innovations to continue the work, which in particular includes participation in the Hexafly International project. “We are currently working together with Russia and Australia on a project for an experimental hypersonic vehicle,” explains Blanvillain. “The maiden flight of the aircraft, which will be a smaller version of the plane, will be launched from a sounding rocket sometime in 2018.”

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Page last modified: 29-01-2017 16:58:41 ZULU