The D-SEND#2 drop test was successfully conducted on July 24. At 10:00 local time an airplane was released from a balloon at the height of 30,5 km. During its 100 second flight the airplane reached a speed of MACH 1.39. The sonic boom was measured successfully by the measuring stations.
The airplane built by JAXA - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency - had a length of 8 meters, a wingspan of 3.5 meters and a weight of 1000Kg. The plane was unmanned and did not have an engine.
JAXA will present the final results after about six months of evaluation.
This marks an end of a five year long corporation between SSC and JAXA for the D-SEND project.
D-SEND background and purpose
JAXA's research goal is to make a concept airplane which can fly supersonic with a lower sonic boom. The ultimate goal is to produce an airplane for transporting people between Asia and Europe flying in supersonic speed over land. The airplanes used so far, for example the Concorde, has not been allowed to fly supersonic due to the loud sonic boom.
JAXA's page about the D-SEND project
JAXA press release about D-SEND#2: