Reno, Nev.-based Aerion is releasing results from recent flight tests of a natural laminar flow (NLF) wing test article this week here in Las Vegas, while the company continues to work to have its supersonic business jet enter service in 2020. The goal of these tests was to measure “real-world robustness” of supersonic NLF, which is a key technology for the Aerion SSBJ, in regards to surface quality and manufacturing tolerances.
Aerion, which has been defining and refining its design for a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) for the past 11 years, is here at EBACE (Booth 7030) still quietly confident that it will someday be able to add the word “producer” to its résumé. To that end, a NASA F-15 has been flying this spring from Dryden Flight Research Center in California with an 80- by 40-inch section of Aerion airfoil attached to its belly.
Aerion has seen the business aircraft market change substantially since it announced development of a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) design at the 2004 NBAA convention, but the company remains bullish about market demand for such an aircraft, and its plans to bring its design to fruition. Ahead of NBAA ‘12, Aerion (Booth No.
Aerion is gearing up to conduct more supersonic laminar flow testing at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center for its proposed supersonic business jet. In a few weeks, a test article will be flown on a NASA F-15 at speeds up to Mach 2.0 to evaluate supersonic boundary layer transition properties. At the recent EBACE show in Geneva, AIN sat down with Aerion chief technology officer Dr. Richard Tracy to learn more about this testing, as well as the technology behind Aerion’s SSBJ.
Aerion is preparing to start another round of test flights in the development of what would be the world’s first supersonic business jet. A new test article is set to fly in the centerline position beneath one of NASA’s F-15Bs either this month or next.
Aerion Corp. is preparing to start another round of test flights in the development of what would be the world’s first supersonic business jet (SBJ). A new test article is set to fly in the centerline position beneath one of NASA’s F-15B aircraft in either June or July.
Aerion said today that it plans to fly a “more representative” wing test article for its supersonic business jet this summer. Following supersonic tests in 2010 aboard a NASA F-15B, the company has refined the wing design and plans to use the same aircraft to conduct another round of tests in June or July. Fabrication of the 40-inch vertical span by 80-inch chord test article is now under way and will be complete by the end of next month, it said.
At last month’s Dubai Air Show, Aerion reiterated its ongoing efforts to find a manufacturing and development partner for its nascent supersonic business jet and confirmed that it still holds letters of intent backed by $250,000 refundable deposits for approximately 50 aircraft.
Aerion chairman Robert Bass said that the company remains committed to its supersonic business jet program “as long as we see progress in our discussions with OEMs. We are seeing progress,” he told attendees at the NBAA Convention late last month. “In fact, we are quite encouraged by our discussions.
Aerion last month at the Paris Air Show said it is nearing a decision on an aerospace manufacturing partner to lead the development and production of its supersonic business jet (SSBJ) design. According to the company, the next step is to carry out a pre-launch phase jointly with the OEM to confirm the Mach 1.6 jet’s performance, costs and market before formal launch in the third quarter of next year.
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