Aerion, GE Aviation partner to study AS2 supersonic engine

After two years of preliminary study, Aerion Corporation and GE Aviation have launched a formal process to define and evaluate a final engine configuration for the AS2 supersonic business jet, Aerion said.

The two companies will continue to participate in a formal and gated process to define a potential collaboration for an AS2 engine.

Aerion Corporation of Reno, Nevada, was formed in 2003 to introduce a new era of practical and efficient supersonic flight. Over more than a decade, Aerion has demonstrated advanced wing technology in conjunction with NASA and other leading aeronautical institutions. This research includes breakthrough work in supersonic natural laminar flow, the key enabling technology behind the AS2 business jet.

The 12-passenger AS2 has a maximum operating speed of Mach 1.5 over water and land masses where supersonic speed is permitted, and up to Mach 0.99 where required by regulation to fly subsonically over land. Thanks to its unique supersonic natural laminar flow wing, the aircraft achieves long range and efficiency at supersonic and subsonic speeds.

In 2014, Aerion entered an engineering collaboration with Airbus Group to develop the AS2. In November 2015 Aerion conducted wind tunnel tests at speeds up to Mach 1.5 at Canada´s National Research Council trisonic wind tunnel in Ottawa, validating Aerion´s CFD predictions regarding stability and control at high speed. Also, the company that month announced a fleet order from Flexjet for 20 AS2 aircraft. Aerion expects the AS2´s first flight in 2023 and certification in 2025.