Aerion to develop AS2 alongside Lockheed Martin
Aerion and Lockheed Martin have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the feasibility of jointly developing the AS2, Aerion’s supersonic business jet.
Both companies will develop a framework for all programme phases, including engineering, certification and production.
Aerion chairman Robert M Bass said: “This relationship is absolutely key to creating a supersonic renaissance. When it comes to supersonic know-how, Lockheed Martin’s capabilities are well known, and, in fact, legendary. We share with Lockheed Martin a commitment to the long-term development of efficient civil supersonic aircraft.”
The MoU is the product of extensive talks with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works team, who have been responsible for designing aircraft such as the SR-71 Blackbird and the U-2.
“We are excited to work with Aerion on their development of the next-generation, efficient supersonic jet that will potentially serve as a platform for pioneering future supersonic aircraft,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
“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. We are committed to remaining on the cutting edge of aerospace technology and are excited to examine the contribution we might make to working with Aerion on making aviation history.”
Over the last two and a half years, Aerion has advanced the AS2’s structural and aerodynamic design through previous engineering collaborations with Airbus – including the preliminary wing design, airframe structure and system layouts.
The AS2 is intended to fly at Mach 1.4 (1,074mph/1,728kph) for up to 4,200nm (4,834mph/7,780km).
In May 2017, Aerion announced that it had chosen General Electric as its engine partner for the AS2.
You can watch Aerion’s latest partnership, with Lockheed Martin, being announced here.