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Ae­rion Corp. has com­pleted the con­cep­tual de­sign phase for the AS2 su­per­sonic jet, along with part­ners Lock­heed Martin, GE Avi­a­tion and Honey­well. “We’ve over­come some huge tech­ni­cal hur­dles, and we’re con­fi­dent we’ll meet Stage 5 take­off and land­ing noise re­quire­ments,” says Ae­rion CEO Tom Vice.

To meet those re­quire­ments, GE Avi­a­tion has com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing a tur­bo­fan en­gine de­signed specif­i­cally for su­per­sonic flight, the GE Affin­ity. This is a huge step for GE; it will be the first civil su­per­sonic en­gine to be de­vel­oped in 55 years.

The fadec-con­trolled twin-fan en­gine will have the high­est by­pass ra­tio of any su­per­sonic en­gine. It is de­signed to reach 60,000 feet and will be able to meet the cur­rent reg­u­la­tions for su­per­sonic flight. The AS2 is ex­pected to fly at speeds up to Mach 1.4 and as fast as Mach 1.2 over land with­out cre­at­ing a boom that would reach the ground.

Honey­well Aero­space will de­velop the flight deck for the AS2. With the com­pany’s Primus Epic sys­tem in­stalled in about 5,000 busi­ness and re­gional jet plat­forms and ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in de­vel­op­ing sys­tems for su­per­sonic mil­i­tary jets, Honey­well is well po­si­tioned to de­velop a stel­lar cock­pit for the AS2. “This is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to pi­o­neer a new seg­ment of avi­a­tion with Ae­rion,” says Honey­well pres­i­dent of elec­tronic so­lu­tions Carl Es­pos­ito.

The com­pany is now start­ing the pre­lim­i­nary de­sign phase, and ex­pects to be­gin ini­tial flight test­ing of the 12-pas­sen­ger jet in 2023. The Reno, Nevada-based com­pany hopes to achieve cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for the AS2 in 2025. But Vice says the AS2 is just the first of many air­craft de­signs for Ae­rion. “It will be our spring­board to larger and faster de­signs, both for busi­ness avi­a­tion and com­mer­cial air­lines,” he says. “En­tirely new en­gine de­signs hold the po­ten­tial to build larger air­craft able to fly at Mach 1.8 and above.”

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