The air travel market is entering a new supersonic age. Jets are sleeker, faster, and more technologically advanced than ever before! Aerion, in partnership with Airbus, is developing the Mach 1.5+ AS2 supersonic business jet. Check out the article below, from AIOnline.com, covering the latest update from Aerion!
Speaking at the Wichita Aero Club on Monday evening, Aerion Corp. chairman Brian Barents said that “we are on the verge of a new supersonic age” in air travel. Aerion, in partnership with Airbus, is developing the Mach 1.5+ AS2 supersonic business jet (SSBJ), which is now expected to be certified in 2023. Final assembly is likely to be conducted in the U.S., he revealed.
The company’s market studies suggest a demand for 600 SSBJs over 20 years, even at the three-engine AS2’s $120 million price point and with a restriction that the aircraft be operated at subsonic speeds over land, he noted. “For the first 10 to 15 years, the supersonic market will consist of entrepreneurs, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and, over time, more corporate customers, as well as perhaps governments,” Barents told attendees. “These will be the pioneers of the new supersonic age.”Speaking about the AS2’s powerplant, he said that Aerion is seeking an engine that meets Stage 4 noise and emissions standards, as well as provides for growth. “We have had some fruitful discussions with the major engine suppliers,” Barents noted, “about which we hope to have more to say soon.”
He said the largest hurdle for the company is not sonic boom mitigation—since the AS2 can reach about 5,000 nm at either Mach 0.95 or Mach 1.4—but meeting airport noise standards. “Without a change to community noise regulations, a new generation of low-boom supersonic [aircraft] will literally not get off the ground,” Barents maintained. “That is why we are advocating in our discussions with NASA, the FAA and international bodies for new research aimed at the development of an appropriate noise standard for supersonic aircraft—one that provides an equivalent level of noise reduction to that required of subsonic aircraft.”
This “physics based” approach is consistent with the “equivalent technology” and “economic reasonableness” principles that the FAA has employed in the noise-reduction requirements in current rules. “A new standard would enable the development of supersonic aircraft that are aerodynamically efficient, fuel efficient and minimize community noise emissions consistent with maintaining economic viability,” Barents said.
Meanwhile, Airbus “will play a large role in the development of the AS2,” he noted, adding that the airframer is “our OEM partner” and is with Aerion “to the finish line.” Barents also pointed to Airbus’s “significant U.S.resources,” saying that he would not be surprised to see the company collaborate with Airbus divisions in theU.S. “Aerion will own the AS2 type certificate,” he said. “And we anticipate Aerion will conduct final assembly in the U.S., with extensive support from Airbus in engineering manufacturing and certification.”