In a world that moves ever faster, it would seem to follow that fastest is the ultimate goal. The Aerion AS2. Is that the new Concorde? With a top speed of Mach 1.6 and international range, the Aerion AS2 is far and away the world’s fastest global business jet. That means, we can fly in 3 hours from London to New York. Aerion Corporation is an aeronautical engineering organization headquartered in Reno, Nevada and dedicated to commercializing its proprietary supersonic technology. Since its founding in 2002, Aerion has invested more than $100 million in R&D, much of it in conjunction with NASA and other prominent aerospace research organizations, to develop concepts for a family of efficient supersonic jets. Over that time, it has developed, flown and proven supersonic natural laminar flow airfoils that reduce wing friction drag by as much as 50 percent, and overall airframe drag by as much as 20 percent.
These efforts have culminated in the Mach 1.6 AS2 business jet, capable of crossing the Atlantic or Pacific nearly twice as fast as today’s subsonic jets. Aerion intends to finance the development of the AS2. The company plans to form an industrial collaboration before the end of 2014 with aerospace firms capable of supplying engines and airframe structures for the AS2. The crucial work of developing and patenting SNLF technology began in the 1990s and was conducted by a predecessor company, ASSET Group (Affordable Supersonic Executive Transport), led by Dr. Richard R. Tracy, an expert in hypersonic and supersonic design.
In 1999 and 2000, ASSET performed supersonic test flights in collaboration with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (formerly NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center) confirming predicted levels of supersonic natural laminar flow—the enabling technology for a new generation of efficient supersonic aircraft. Recognizing the potential of the SNLF concept, an investor group led by Robert M. Bass formed Aerion in 2002 to acquire ASSET and its team with the aim of commercializing the company’s supersonic technology.
Since that time, the company has amassed numerous patents and the world’s largest knowledge base of SNLF-based supersonic transport technology. It has conducted several additional flight tests in conjunction with NASA, confirming and refining SNLF concepts. It has worked with the University of Washington Aeronautical Lab, the European Transonic Wind Tunnel and other leading international research organizations to optimize the design of a supersonic jet. In conjunction with a team of Stanford University aerodynamicists, Aerion developed and refined computer design tools for the analysis of transonic and supersonic airflows and the aerodynamic optimization of a supersonic jet. In 2012, it acquired Palo Alto-based Desktop Aero, to better integrate its operations with the Reno engineering office, and also to offer its unique design tools to the aerospace industry. Aerion introduced its Aerion Supersonic Business Jet (SBJ) to the aviation community in 2004 and opened its order book for this twin-engine design in 2007, almost instantly acquiring 50 orders backed by refundable deposits.
The recession of 2008 slowed the company’s discussions with potential manufacturing partners for this jet. However, a robust R&D effort continued apace during that time, resulting in the 2014 announcement of the Aerion AS2, a larger, trijet aircraft employing SNLF technology. The AS2 evolved from deep research with potential customers for a larger, longer-range supersonic jet. With the global economy and demand for long-range jets improving, Aerion remains committed to forming a strategic alliance to produce the AS2, as well as additional supersonic aircraft. In 2014, the company announced its intention to commit the financial resources to sponsor this effort. Aerion expects to begin delivering the AS2 within five to six years of the formation of an industrial partnership and a formal program launch. For general information and ownership opportunities just follow the link below.