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To Inspire Japanese Industries

Q. What sort of international collaboration do you think will be possible in the field of aircraft development?

Passenger aircraft come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 30 to 500 seats, with a wide range of operating systems and purposes. It will be difficult for Japan to develop all these kinds of aircraft domestically. The success of commercial aircraft depends on sales, and from a business perspective, it's a good idea to take advantage of synergies and develop planes in collaboration with other countries. International cooperation allows each partner to focus on its own strengths, avoiding duplication and saving time and money. We on the Civil Transport Team exchange information internationally on a daily basis. I think this will make it possible for us to develop aircraft that are highly competitive on cost in the global market.

Q. What is the attraction of aircraft development for you?

When I was a child, I wanted to become a pilot. Unfortunately I was nearsighted, so I had to give up that dream. (I was able to pilot a glider thanks to a club I belonged to in university, so my dream was not lost completely.)
I think that the attraction of development in general is that you can see the results of your work in action. It's a joy to see your work literally take shape, to see the physical evidence of your achievement.

Q. What is your dream for the future?

At my age, my dream is not about myself but rather about raising young engineers. I don't just mean passing on techniques to the next generation. It's often said that when the baby boomers retire, their skills will not be passed on. I disagree. I think technique is not something to be passed on, but something you learn yourself. I think that, if you are in a senior position, you should give young people a chance to acquire skills through practice, and if they are going in the wrong direction, you can correct them based on your knowledge and experience. I am very much looking forward to seeing passenger aircraft designed by my junior colleagues.

Yosuke Nagao
Section Leader, Low-Cost Composite Development, Advanced Composite Technology Center, JAXA Institute of Aerospace Technology (IAT) / Structures Section, Civil Transport Team, JAXA Aviation Program Group (APG)

Born in 1950, Mr. Nagao started his career at an aerospace vehicle manufacturer in 1975. He has been involved with aircraft structure design and analysis, and has served as a sub-leader for a joint design team comprised of three private sector entities for the reentry vehicle HOPE-X. He has been with JAXA since 2003, when he started at the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL), now a part of JAXA.
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