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Russia, China consider project for super-sonic jet

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November 8, 2000
Web posted at: 1930 GMT

if (!(tst.indexOf("")==-1)) {

November 9, 2000
Web posted at: 3:30 AM HKT (1930 GMT)

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November 8, 2000
Web posted at: 2:30 PM EST (1930 GMT)


November 8, 2000

Web posted at: 2:30 PM EST (1930 GMT)

MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) — Russia's Sukhoi aircraft maker has asked aviation
officials in China if they would join a project for a super-sonic business jet,
despite the crash of Concorde earlier this year, the company said on Wednesday.

Sukhoi spokesman Yuri Chervakov said the company's civil aircraft chief
designer Mikhail Simonov had made an offer to Chinese manufacturers jointly to
design, produce and finance the jet, based on the design of the existing Sukhoi

He said the offer had been made during a trip to Beijing last week by Simonov
and that the Chinese officials had been interested in the idea. Sukhoi usually
makes jet fighter planes but has begun producing aircraft for the civilian

"He said the era of super-sonic planes had not ended with the Concorde
disaster this year," Chervakov quoted Simonov as telling the Chinese.

"This supersonic business jet would carry up to 40 people and would be
twice the speed of sound. It would cover the distance between Moscow and Beijing
in four and a half hours," he said. The current travel time is around eight

An Air France Concorde crashed in flames on July 25 as it was taking off from
Paris. Concorde's airworthiness was suspended after investigators into the crash
highlighted an inherent weakness in the plane's design.

British Airways and Air France, the only companies to operate the super-sonic
jet, both want to get the plane back into the air.

"Demand is great in Russia, China and India, and by the end of this year
we will produce two supersonic business jets for test flights," Chervakov
said of the Russian plan. Certification would come around the end of next year,
he added.

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