Aerion, Lockheed Martin to develop supersonic business jet

Aerion and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to define a formal and gated process to explore the feasibility of a joint development of the world´s first supersonic business jet, the Aerion AS2, the companies said.

Over the next 12 months, the companies will work together to develop a framework on all phases of the program, including engineering, certification and production.

AS2 design advances with new engine configuration. Aerion has refined the aircraft design. Previously, three engines were grouped in the rear. The refined configuration still incorporates 3 engines, however the two outboard engines are now pulled forward, under the wing, while the 3rd remains in the tail. This configuration with 18,000-pound thrust turbofan engines, improves weight, balance, systems layout, maintainability, and simplifies some certification requirements.

The MOU is the result of extensive discussions between Aerion and Lockheed Martin´s Skunk Works® Advanced Development Programs team. For close to 75 years, Skunk Works has existed to create revolutionary aircraft that push the boundaries of what is possible.

Lockheed Martin, known for developing the world´s supersonic combat aircraft, the F-16, the F-35, and F-22, as well as the Mach 3+ SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, is committed to fostering new innovations and developing supersonic technologies with civil and commercial applications.

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 developed and demonstrated advanced wing technology in conjunction with NASA and other aeronautical institutions. This research includes breakthrough work in supersonic natural laminar flow, the key enabling technology behind the AS2 business jet.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. More information can be found at www.aerionsupersonic.com.