There is a growing, worldwide interest in a second generation supersonic transport aircraft. Air travel has tripled in the past 20 years to approximately 1000 billion revenue-passenger-miles per year. By the year 2010, air travel is anticipated to be 2 1/2 times that value, with long-range international travel the fastest growing segment. In order to become a reality, the second generation supersonic transport must be both environmentally acceptable and economically competitive with future subsonic aircraft.
Current research is now focused on addressing the major environmental issues of airport noise, engine emissions, and sonic boom. GE is studying a variety of engine and exhaust nozzle concepts and validating the emissions and acoustics technologies needed for this aircraft. In 1990, GE and P&W decided to work together to explore the feasibility of developing a second generation SST propulsion system. This paper provides an insight into our ongoing research and highlights the propulsion system’s influence on the viability of the second generation SST.