Pratt Kansas – Blog.aero – 15 years following the departure of the Concorde SST. Aerion Supersonic is attempting to revive supersonic jet transport with the $120 million Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet. The Aerion project is competing with projects from Spike Aerospace Inc and Boom Technology Inc.
Aerion claims to have signed provisional buy contracts with affluent customers as it looks to move the project forward within the next two years. Aerion will be working with Lockheed Martin Corp and GE on the development of the jet.
Aerion is targeting ultra-high-net-worth individuals for the $120 million 8- to 11 seat Aerion AS2 jet. Costlier than similarly sized subsonic competitors such as the $72 million Bombardier Inc Global Express 7500 and the $70 million General Dynamics Corp Gulfstream G650ER.
The AS2 has a lower maximum range of 4,200 nautical miles at Mach 1.4 and also 5,300 nautical miles (7,778 kilometers) at Mach 0.95, in comparison to at least 7,500 nautical miles for the Global 7500 and the G650ER at Mach 0.9. Cutting the flying time from New York to London by almost two hours. Also, the Aerion AS2 is going to have a digital fly-by-wire system. Aerion has yet to select an avionics supplier citing the fast rate of technological advances in the avionics.
The United States along, Europe and the Middle East have proven the most promising markets, with Asia lagging in demand as it has a less mature business jet market.
Aerion expects to Sell 600 aircraft over the next twenty years, at $120 each. Sales contracts, including non-refundable deposits, will be signed as development hurdles are met over the next two years.
With the enormous Growth of business jets in China, Aerion expects to deliver one or two aircraft within the China market yearly. Nevertheless, challenges concerning regulations and infrastructure in Asia could put a chill on sales prospects.
Aerion has teamed With TAG Aviation as sales partners. TAG’s UK branch will manage Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, while TAG Asia will cover China, Hong Kong, and other areas of southwest Asia.
Aerion is on track to make its first flight five years from now in 2023. It expects to build five flight-test vehicles en route to certification in 2025.
A year ago Aerion announced an agreement with GE Aviation to build engines to power the AS2, for which Aerion said it is paying over $1 billion. Aerion intends to utilize A modified variant of a GE engine core employed in Boeing Co 737 jets to help cut back on costs.
The engine will utilize The core of an already existing GA Aviation engine that produces about 18,000-pound-thrust. Aerion claims that the chosen powerplant has already accumulated over one billion hours of service, suggesting its probably the CFM56. A low-bypass turbofan engine.
Aerion is working with the US and EU regulators on emissions and noise standards for the era of supersonic flight. The FAA just recently announced that it was working on a new noise certification and a clarification of procedures necessary to acquire special flight authorization to conduct supersonic flight testing over the U.S.
The Proposed rules wouldn’t rescind the present ban on supersonic flight over land without special FAA approval. However, Aerion’s is assuming that the aircraft is going to be prohibited from supersonic flight over the Continental U.S. Therefore any relaxation of that prohibition would be an upside for the company.