After Sir Richard Branson launches the first passenger flight of his Virgin Galactic space venture, possibly later this year, he’s indicated that he will turn his attention to developing a supersonic commercial aircraft that can transit from New York to Tokyo (10,800 km; 5,800 nm) in “less than an hour.” He envisions an orbital aircraft, which could reach speeds up to 30,000 kph (16,200 knots).
Supersonic business jet
Gulfstream Aerospace has already signed purchase agreements for two or three G650ERs, Larry Flynn, president of the U.S. manufacturer (Booth 5129), told a small group of reporters during a breakfast flight in a Gulfstream G550 over the Alps yesterday morning. The company had announced the extended-range upgrade of the ultra-range, top-of-the-line G650 on Monday at EBACE 2014 in Geneva.
Asked about Aerion’s redesigned supersonic business jet announced this week at EBACE, Gulfstream Aerospace president Larry Flynn said, “I think everyone knows Gulfstream has had an interest in supersonic and we have a small research and development project that has been under way for several years. The project is mostly focused on suppressing the sonic boom. Our intentions would be to fly a supersonic airplane over land.
Aerion announced today at EBACE that it is redesigning its proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ) with a larger cabin and more range, reflecting feedback from a recent survey of potential operators. The new aircraft–dubbed AS2, for Aerion supersonic second design–has three as yet unspecified engines versus the two P&W JT8Ds intended for its now-scrubbed predecessor.
Aerion Corp. (Booth 3634) is redesigning its proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ) with a larger cabin and more range, reflecting feedback from a recent operators survey. The new aircraft–dubbed AS2, for Aerion supersonic second design–has three engines versus two on its now-scrubbed predecessor. It still retains a supersonic natural laminar-flow wing, which it calls “the key enabling technology behind practical and efficient supersonic and high-subsonic flight.”
The Spike Aerospace S-512 supersonic business jet concept has a unique feature that would set it apart from any other passenger jet, a windowless cabin. The benefits of building a fuselage without windows are significant, according to Spike Aerospace president and CEO Vik Kachoria.
There is a new entrant in the (slow) race to bring a supersonic business jet to market, Spike Aerospace. Headquartered in Boston, Spike Aerospace was founded by engineers and consultants with experience working at Airbus, Boeing, Eclipse, Gulfstream, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA. The Spike S-512 is targeting a Mach 1.6 cruise speed and Mach 1.8 maximum speed.
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 chief technology officer and director Dr. Richard Tracy told AIN today at EBACE that his company is “revisiting” the powerplant for its proposed $80 million supersonic business jet (SSBJ), citing the previously selected Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219’s inability to meet upcoming Stage 5 noise requirements.
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.
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