Aerion Teams with Lockheed Martin on Supersonic Bizjet
Supersonic experts will help on all aspects of the Aerion AS2 program.
Aerion signed a memorandum of understanding with military and space-transport giant Lockheed Martin to explore the possibility of a joint development on the AS2.
Supersonic bizjet developer Aerion is continuing its strategy of teaming up with the experts in the industry as it progresses through the development of what could become the world’s first supersonic business jet, the Aerion AS2. The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with military and space-transport giant Lockheed Martin to explore the possibility of a joint development. Aerion will spend the next year working with Lockheed Martin on all phases of the AS2 program.
“When it comes to supersonic know-how, Lockheed Martin’s capabilities are well known, and, in fact, legendary,” said Aerion’s chairman Robert M. Bass. “We share with Lockheed Martin a commitment to the long-term development of efficient civil supersonic aircraft.”
Lockheed Martin’s expertise in supersonic development spans over several decades with legendary designs such as the F-16, F-35, F-22 and the SR-71 Blackbird, which remains the fastest jet to take to the skies, flying at speeds greater than Mach 3. The MOU with Aerion came after extensive discussions with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works Advanced Development Programs team. “Following our initial review of Aerion’s aerodynamic technology, our conclusion is that the Aerion AS2 concept warrants the further investment of our time and resources,” said Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ executive vice president Orlando Carvalho.
This critical relationship, which will include work on engineering, certification and production, follows on Aerion’s engineering collaboration agreement with Airbus, which helped with the preliminary design of the wing, airframe, systems layout and fly-by-wire system for the AS2. Aerion has also teamed with GE Aviation to develop the supersonic engines.
Aerion’s AS2 is designed to fly at a top speed of Mach 1.4 and at speeds of Mach 1.2 without producing the types of sonic booms that limit supersonic flight. First flight is planned for 2023, with certification expected in 2025.