Aerion Corporation and GE Aviation have launched a formal process to define and evaluate the final engine configuration for the AS2 supersonic business jet.
The news follows two years of preliminary study, and will define a potential collaboration for an AS2 engine.
Doug Nichols, CEO at Aerion, said, “We have thoroughly evaluated over two dozen civil and military engines from all leading engine producers over the past two years and believe that working with GE Aviation will help us meet the challenging specifications needed to meet our performance objectives, as well as the high expectations of our customers.
“After more than a decade developing efficient supersonic technologies, Aerion is focusing its efforts on assembling an industrial collaboration to bring a supersonic business jet to market.”
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.
In 2014, Aerion entered an engineering collaboration with Airbus Group to develop the AS2. In November the following year, Aerion conducted wind tunnel tests at speeds up to Mach 1.5.
The company has also announced a fleet order from Flexjet for 20 AS2 aircraft. Aerion expects the AS2’s first flight in 2023 and certification in 2025.
Brad Mottier, GE vice president and general manager for business and general aviation and integrated services, added, “Aerion sees an opportunity to pioneer a new segment in business aviation and more broadly for civil aviation. Their goal is to design and certify the first civil supersonic aircraft in half a century. We welcome their vision and are excited to continue discussions on engine configuration.”