NBAA 2006: Aerion launches rocket tests

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Supersonic business jet designer Aerion has begun rocket-sled tests to validate the supersonic laminar flow technology that is key to its design, but has encountered a problem with the laser-tracked infrared video system used to monitor transient surface temperatures on the test wing. Although three test runs at up to Mach 1.5 have met speed, strength and pressure-vibration goals, the video system has been affected by heat from the rockets used to accelerate the sled to supersonic speed. Aerion is examining the problem and may use other methods to validate the aerodynamics. The sled tests are intended to validate Aerion's computational tools for predicting the extent of supersonic laminar flow - crucial to meeting the craft's performance goals.