Supersonic business jet developer Aerion Supersonic has selected several more suppliers of components for its in-development AS2 jet, which the company hopes will conduct first flight in 2024.
The suppliers include major global aerospace companies Aernnova Aerospace, GE Aviation, GKN Aerospace, Potez Aeronautique and Safran.
Aerion, based in Reno, Nevada, has been building a supplier base as it progresses with development of its 12-passenger supersonic AS2.
“There are doubters,” Aerion chief executive Tom Vice said in October. “But there’s going to be a day in 2024 when a beautiful aeroplane takes off for the first time, and people will sit up and say, ‘I guess it is possible’.”
Powered by GE Aviation Affinity supersonic engines, AS2 will cruise at Mach 1.4, making it capable of flying between New York and Cape Town in 9h 56min, which is 3h 39min less than “standard flights”, the company says. The engines will lack afterburners and be designed to burn 100% biofuel.
Aerion now says GE Aviation will also supply AS2’s electric power systems, including technologies for generating, distributing, converting and storing power. GE Aviation will perform engine design work in Cheltenham, UK and complete final integration at its electric power systems headquarters in Dayton, Ohio.
UK aerospace company GKN will design AS2’s empennage, and its electrical wiring and interconnection systems, Aerion says. That work is already underway at GKN’s sites in Nevada, the Netherlands and Romania.
Aerion also selected Safran Landing Systems to design AS2’s wheels, brakes, main and nose landing gears and extension, retraction and steering systems. Safran will perform that work in Canada and France, Aerion says.
Likewise, Safran Nacelles will design AS2’s nacelles, including engine inlets, fan cowl doors and thrust reversers. That work will happen in France, says Aerion.
Aerion selected Spanish company Aernnova to design and develop AS2’s mid-fuselage section. Aernnova already manufacturers aerostructures for Bombardier CRJs, Embraer KC-390s, E-Jets and ERJs, several Airbus commercial aircraft, Boeing 747s and Beechcraft models, its website says.
Additionally, French aerostructures company Potez will design the AS2’s doors.
Earlier this month Aerion also announced it hired former Bombardier engineer Tim Fagan as its new chief of industrial design, a position with responsibility for designing AS2’s cabin.
Fagan had worked at Bombardier since 2005, according to his LinkedIn page. He oversaw industrial design for Global 7500s, 5000s and 6000s, and helped design the interior of the Dash 8-400 turboprop, an aircraft programme Bombardier has since sold to De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.
Story corrected on 28 December to note the AS2’s correct expected travel time between New York and Cape Town.