(Image: Aerion supersonic AS2)

Supersonic aircraft: Setting the record straight at AeroTech Americas

Aerospace innovators engage in in-depth, interactive discussion on supersonic commercial transport vehicles, enabling technologies, best practices, next steps, myths, and more.

Supersonic aircraft technology experts – including engineers, scientists, and executives – set the record straight on supersonic commercial transport, addressing attainability, reliability, safety, unsettled topics, technology needs, and next steps in an interactive panel discussion at SAE International’s AeroTech Americas.

Innovations and technology advances – in the areas of power and propulsion, materials, avionics, vision systems, electro-optics, and more – are enabling a major paradigm shift in aircraft vehicle and system design to support supersonic commercial transport. It is difficult to predict precisely when supersonic aircraft will be in use globally, particularly given the extensive standards and regulatory work yet to be done; yet, subject-matter experts (SMEs) and industry pundits anticipate test flights to be conducted as soon as 2021 and passenger transport potentially in the next decade. “We’re closer than ever,” affirms Robert “Robbie” Cowart, director of supersonic technology development at Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, Georgia.


Supersonic technology demonstrator by Lockheed Martin for NASA
Supersonic technology demonstrator by Lockheed Martin for NASA

Watch video coverage of the panel online to hear industry insights on: current research and development efforts, enabling technologies, current tests and upcoming first flights, technology challenges in need of innovative solutions, potential myths supersonic professionals are anxious to dispel, and whether all the technology challenges have been solved to bring supersonic commercial transport to reality.

The Supersonic Commercial Transport panel took place in The Hangar at AeroTech Americas this week in Charleston, South Carolina.


Supersonic Commercial Transport

Moderator:  Courtney Howard, SAE International


Robert “Robbie” Cowart, director, supersonic technology development, Gulfstream Aerospace

Peter Iosifides, program manager, low boom supersonic flight demonstrator (X-59), Lockheed Martin

Laura Smith-Velazquez, senior systems engineer and cognitive scientist, Collins Aerospace


For more video coverage from AeroTech Americas, visit: https://www.sae.org/attend/aerotechamericas/watch-live

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Courtney E. Howard is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International. Contact her by e-mail at courtney.howard@sae.org and add your voice to the growing body of mobility engineering knowledge.

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