In March 2001, Boeing reveled to the world that it planned to build a radical new passenger aircraft, named the Sonic Cruiser. The craft is designed to travel at speeds of up to Mach 0.98, significantly faster than currently available passenger jets, while having comparable fuel consumption.
Boeing is currently putting together an “international technology development team” to develop the concept. Australia’s Hawker de Havilland is the latest addition to the team, which currently includes Aleni Aeronautica, Fuji Heavy Industries, Japan Aircraft Development Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Vought Aircraft Industries and Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Hawker de Havilland has been recruited to the team to contribute materials expertise, in particular composites.
Hawker, which was acquired by Boeing in 2000, designs and manufactures parts for Boeing commercial and military aircraft. They also serve as the Asian region service centre, modifying and repairing composite and metal bonded aircraft components.