Aerion AS2 supersonic bizjet on track for trans-atlantic crossing in 2023

Aerion AS2 supersonic bizjet on track for trans-atlantic crossing in 2023

Aerion CEO Tom Vice is already looking beyond the AS2 to subsequent technologies and aircraft that will deliver the promise of a revolution in global mobility, which is Aerion’s mission, he says.
The AS2 industry team – comprising Aerion in Reno, Nevada; Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Maryland; GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio; and Honeywell in Morris Plains, New Jersey – has finished the conceptual design phase and launched the preliminary design phase, slated to conclude in June 2020, of the Aerion A2 supersonic business jet.
 
“Aerion and our AS2 industry team have solved many of the tremendous challenges in creating a supersonic renaissance,” Aerion CEO Tom Vice says. “We’ve overcome some huge technical hurdles and we’re confident we’ll meet Stage 5 takeoff and landing noise requirements.

The AS2 industry team – comprising Aerion in Reno, Nevada; Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Maryland; GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio; and Honeywell in Morris Plains, New Jersey – has finished the conceptual design phase and launched the preliminary design phase, slated to conclude in June 2020, of the Aerion A2 supersonic business jet.
 
“We’ve made strides in structures and systems. We’re recruiting top tier suppliers. And we’re attracting the best and brightest engineering talent to the program as we grow our organization,” Vice adds. “We’re on track to fly in 2023, and before that year is out cross the Atlantic at supersonic speed, which will be the first supersonic crossing since the Concorde’s retirement 20 years earlier.”
 
Vice is already looking beyond the AS2 to subsequent technologies and aircraft that will deliver the promise of a revolution in global mobility, which is Aerion’s mission, he says.
 

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“The AS2 is the first step on a roadmap to making supersonic travel efficient, sustainable, and widely available. Today we are at the limits of available technology,” Vice continues. “We are starting with a business jet because the technology closes and the business case closes — we see a viable market for the AS2. It will be our springboard to larger and faster designs, both for business aviation and commercial airliners.”

The AS2 industry team – comprising Aerion in Reno, Nevada; Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Maryland; GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio; and Honeywell in Morris Plains, New Jersey – has finished the conceptual design phase and launched the preliminary design phase, slated to conclude in June 2020, of the Aerion A2 supersonic business jet. 

Vice continues his discussion of the AS2 and its enabling technologies, as well as the general needs of the industry, if supersonic jets are to be a success. He says:
 
“Today we are adapting off-the-shelf engine core technology, which in itself is no easy task. For the supersonic industry to progress, we need to demonstrate the market and spur the development of new engine technologies that will meet evolving regulations for noise and emissions, while boosting speed.
 
“A next generation beyond the AS2, based on further adaptation of current engine technology, could take us from the AS2’s speed of Mach 1.4 to Mach 1.6, and could serve as a larger cabin, longer-range business jet and small airliner. Entirely new engine designs hold the potential to build larger aircraft able to fly at Mach 1.8 and above.


 
“This evolution will require considerable investment in new technology and will arrive in stages over the next several decades, and Aerion intends to be at the forefront of these developments. If hypersonic passenger planes are flying at some point beyond that, we expect they will say Aerion on the side.
 
“For now, our focus will be on launching the supersonic revolution with the AS2, and we’re extremely pleased with our program relationships and our progress to date.”
 

Read more on supersonic propulsion and aircraft engineering considerations and innovations

 
Aerion is pioneering a new generation of efficient supersonic aircraft aimed at revolutionizing flight and giving travelers back the most precious commodity of all: time. It entered into collaborative agreements with GE Aviation and Lockheed Martin in 2017. The three companies, joined in 2018 by Honeywell for advanced cockpit systems, are developing the Mach 1.4 AS2 supersonic business jet.
 
This 12-passenger jet will save travelers as much as three hours across the Atlantic and five hours across the Pacific. It is as much as 60 percent faster than today’s civil jets. The AS2 will redefine the passenger experience, providing a new level of luxurious, connected, productive, and serene flight at 1,000 mph, officials say. Aerion plans to fly the AS2 in 2023, with certification in 2025.
 

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Working on aerospace systems and platforms? Wrestling with challenges? Have aerospace engineering wisdom to share for the greater good of the industry? You're invited to get involved with SAE International -- contact courtney.howard@sae.org to contribute and add your voice to the growing body of knowledge.
 
Courtney E. Howard is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at courtney.howard@sae.org
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