Software and Testing
To preserve the drag-reducing benefits of the Aerion wing, it must be carefully integrated into a low drag airframe. Aerion, through its subsidiary Aerion Technologies, formerly Desktop Aeronautics, used proprietary full-airframe optimization software to arrive at the unique, streamlined shape of the AS2.
A classic Silicon Valley success story, Aerion Technologies was launched by Stanford professor Ilan Kroo and colleagues to develop a range of software modules that allow for rapid analysis of configuration changes, including the ability to optimize an integrated supersonic airframe. Airbus Group’s initial interest in Aerion software eventually led to an industrial collaboration between the two companies.
The team at Aerion Technologies develops proprietary design capability for the AS2 as well as commercial software products that are licensed to the industry at large. Visit the Aerion Technologies website for more information about the software products the company licenses publicly.
Aerion uses an array of design tools to refine the aircraft’s configuration and study all phases of flight. In this case, colored stream traces visualize airflow aft of the wing and tail.
A full airframe model is tested in a low speed tunnel above a ground plate, simulating an aircraft on landing. The AS2 is optimized for high speed and low speed performance to ensure stable handling near airports and to provide relatively low landing speeds. Projected landing speed is about 10-15 knots higher than today’s large, long-range jets—impressively slow for a supersonic jet.