Aerion Supersonic is hard at work developing the AS2®, the world’s first privately designed supersonic business jet (SBJ). This new supersonic aircraft will cruise at speeds above 1,000 mph without the sonic booms and noisy cabins of the supersonic jets of the past.
But quieter, accelerated flight times are but one component of the future of global mobility. What about mitigating the hassle of arranging the many aspects of door-to-door travel? Better yet, what about reducing time spent in airport transit? Aerion is addressing these concerns too, turning your entire journey into one seamless experience with Aerion Connect®.
Aerion Connect® is the ultimate service to remove not only time tied up in traveling, but also the aggravation of arranging one’s trip. For our customers, it presents a single app serving to coordinate travel from your starting point to your destination. Already, Uber has enjoyed explosive growth by making getting around a city as simple as one click. Why should it be harder to venture from an address in Midtown Manhattan to downtown London?
It shouldn’t be, and with Aerion Connect®, it no longer will. The travel of tomorrow. True global mobility.
Of course, a trip between continents is slightly more complex than a car ride across Manhattan. To manage it, Aerion has brought its world-class software and systems development team to bear on this complexity, making Aerion Connect® a simple, seamless service. Best of all, while Aerion Connect®’s travel solutions will feature a flight on a supersonic AS2® jet, the service is not intended to be exclusively for AS2® owners.
All travelers who desire to reach their destinations as fast as possible without the hassle of conventional travel are invited to use the service. Aerion Connect® will transform your phone into an instrument of travel logistics wizardry, and the trip it plans starts right where you are standing.
Cognizant one’s journey doesn’t begin at an airport, Aerion Connect® employs a seamless service to address modern travel’s realities. The first leg will entail transporting you from your current location to an airport or FBO, such as those offered by Aerion partner Jetex. (Traditionally, this trip is made by car or helicopter, but in the very near feature, it will be accomplished by advanced air mobility vehicles.) Aerion has partnered with Electra.aero to include its eSTOL aircraft in Aerion Connect®, and expects to integrate other urban and regional mobility options, including eVTOL aircraft.
Now, let’s return to our example roundtrip between Manhattan and London for a business meeting to determine how much time Aerion Connect® can save a traveler. The traditional approach to this destination involves a 90-minute jaunt to the airport, a six-hour subsonic flight, and another hour on the ground to downtown London.
Leaving at 8:00 am from New York, you are bound to arrive at 9:30 pm London time. After a business meeting, the return trip brings you home in the dead of night. With Aerion Connect®, an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) vehicle can whisk you to the airport in a brief 30 minutes. Next, the AS2® SBJ will jet you across the Atlantic in just four hours, and an AAM vehicle can deliver you to your destination at 6:00 pm London time. The individual using Aerion Connect® will be able to complete a multi-hour meeting and be on their way back home for a late dinner before the individual using more conventional travel methods and subsonic aircraft will have arrived in London.
So, what will you do with all the time you save by turning a travel ordeal into a London daytrip? We’ll leave that luxury to your imagination.
Behind the scenes, Aerion Connect® is also creating a network of best-in-class partners providing different services to our customers. A partnership with NetJets will be a cornerstone of Aerion Connect®’s services and provide increased flexibility for Aerion Connect® customers. Aerion has already announced partnerships with Jetex for dedicated FBOs, Electra for eSTOLs, Carbon Engineering for DAC synthetic fuels, and expects to declare more partnerships in the near future in areas such as maintenance, security, catering, and local concierge services.
As the mobility solution of the future, Aerion Connect® will continually update its roster of partners as new technology emerges. This includes exciting advancements in AAM vehicles, as well as next generation supersonic jets like the Aerion AS3™.
Aerion Connect® may seem like a pivot from the supersonic jet business, but as Chief Commercial Officer Matthew Cram explains, it’s all part of Aerion’s larger mission. “Our ethos is based on the idea of giving time back to people. We want to remove the friction of travel to bring the world closer together. The AS2® facilitates this goal with its incredible speed, and Aerion Connect® contributes with a seamless travel experience.”
Aerion Supersonic is home to many certified pilots – accounting for near 20% of the company’s total employees. Their experience and knowledge can be seen in the enthusiasm they have to bring the world’s first supersonic business jet to reality – the AS2®.
One of those pilots is Roger Noble, Vice President of Sales at Aerion. He is one of the many passionate accredited pilots working at Aerion – inspired by the goal of a return in commercial supersonic flight. “I learn something new every day from our brilliant team of engineers,” says Roger.
Roger’s fascination with aviation began at a young age. He grew up on the East Side of Manhattan and attended school near the East 60th Street Heliport. After school when he was about eight years old, he would scale up and peer over the concrete wall and watch the helicopters land and depart – easily able to while away an entire afternoon in awe of them.
A few years later, his older brother Bob, 15 years his senior and, with a military and Air America background, came home on leave from Southeast Asia and chartered a helicopter in New York City. They spent the day sightseeing together and hovering near the Statue of Liberty.
As a teenager, Bob took him onboard a Piper Cherokee and would have him pilot the plane after giving him some rudimentary skills and Roger having knowledge of flying. Bob would pretend to fall asleep having Roger practice keeping the plane level, on steady heading, and at an assigned altitude. As Roger grew older his excitement with aviation remained – receiving his B.S. in Aeronautical Studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1982. Roger also Soloed a Cessna- 172 for the first time in Ormond Beach, FL during his College years.
Roger joined the United States Air Force in 1984, receiving his Silver wings in May of 1985. Training in the T-37 Tweet which was a small twin engine jet trainer with a top speed of 425 mph. Doing well, he moved on to formation flying the T-38 Talon. This aircraft was a two-seat, supersonic jet trainer that used two GE afterburning engines with a top speed of 858 mph.
Before joining the USAF Roger worked for Sikorsky Aircraft in Product Support. On a Sikorsky assignment to NAS North Island in CA, he was driving North along Interstate 15, about an hour out of Vegas, and would watch as McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom’s crossed the highway just 100ft above his car at incredible speeds.
After Pilot Training graduation he put down his first choice of aircraft, the F-4 – and received it. Crossing that same stretch of Interstate 15, two years later, piloting the F-4, which had a top speed of 1,473 mph.
“Flying the F-4 was at first intimidating compared to the T-38 as just one of the GE J-79 afterburning engines had more total thrust than the T-38 weighed fully loaded. It was much heavier, so you really had to finesse it,” says Roger. “Compared to a modern-day F-16 you could easily ‘over G’ it and lose control since it lacked the flight control computers you have in today’s modern jets.” A pilot had to know their aircraft very well – over G’ing an aircraft meant putting more stress on the frame and parts than it was rated for, compromising the structural integrity of the airplane.
During his time in the US Air Force, Roger was Captain of F-4E aircraft in both Air to Air and Air to Ground Tactical Roles. He was a part of the 335th “Chiefs” Fighter Squadron and the 20th “Silver Lobos” Fighter Squadron – and flew some Clarke AB F-4Es into theater in support Dessert Storm I. He flew in six Red Flag exercises in the Nevada Desert and in a Maple Flag Exercise in Cold Lake, Canada, a twice Thunderbird project officer and strafe competition award winner. He was a Wing Standards Check Pilot, 4 ship Flight Lead, Instructor, and Special Weapons Qualified on the GBU-15.
After his time in the US Air Force, a career in the aviation industry beckoned. Roger returned to Sikorsky as a Proposal Manager on Classified Programs. While at Sikorsky this second time, he managed the Life Cycle Contractor Support for the critical SOCOM assets being flown by the 160th Night Stalkers.
Following his time back at Sikorsky Roger worked as a Program Test and Demonstration Pilot for Dassault and was based in Teterboro. He flew and Captained Falcon 20, 50, 50EX, 900, 900EX, and Falcon 2000 aircraft while with Dassault. His activities included Airshow displays, Demonstrations for Prospect Clients Worldwide, and Flight Test work. While there he flew a speed record flight from Sydney to Maui on a Falcon 900EX in 9 hours and 54 minutes nonstop with colleague Rich Ludice. Test work included some Production Test Acceptance as well as Brake Tests on the then in development Falcon 2000 as well as HUD Certification Test work for the Falcon 2000. “We had to demonstrate Cat IIIa performance while hand flying hundreds of ILS approaches to minimums using the HUD’s Guidance Cue at all weight, C of G, wind, and weather conditions”. Many of these were flown in the Simulator in the middle of the night so as not to disrupt regular training with Clients.
Roger would accompany Clients and Prospects to various Dassault facilities in France for tours. “We would fly over via Boeing 747 in Business Class. At the time there was a ‘complimentary upgrade’ to Concorde for the return from Paris. What an experience flying Mach 2 for the Atlantic Crossing.” Roger flew on Concorde twice. “It was a narrow but comfortable Cabin with quite small windows. I recall the powerful takeoff as well as the Mach Meter digital display. The flight was so quick and barely gave time for the wonderful lunch that was served,” says Roger. The speed and distance covered gave Roger an indelible appreciation for high-speed travel.
Following Roger’s tenure at Dassault he transitioned to become a Demonstration Captain and later the Global Chief Pilot for Bombardier Demonstration Flight Operations. While at Bombardier Roger flew the Challenger 601, 604, Global Express, XRS, and Global 5000 aircraft. Roger again flew Worldwide in support of countless Airshows and Client Demonstrations and Showings. Speed has always been important, and Roger set two International NAA Speed Records at Bombardier. The first as Pilot on a Teterboro, NJ to Tokyo nonstop flight accomplished in 13 hours and 3 minutes. “We had to fly at a better endurance speed of about Mach 0.81/0.82 to accomplish this City Pair mostly due to the prevailing Headwinds”. Roger set a second NAA Record between Chicago Palwaukee and Le Bourget Paris. “We departed from a 5,000’ runway at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit and went nonstop at Mach 0.85 to show performance of the Global 5000”.
Following about 10 years in Demonstration Roger transitioned to a Director of Sales role in the New York area for Bombardier. “This was a privilege to be responsible for the orders and revenue for Bombardier in this very important Business Aviation Region. Roger completed business with many Fortune 500 Companies, Hedge Fund Principals, and Venture Capitalists. “The Presentation and Competition for the aircraft business order against other top Business Aircraft Manufacturers was thrilling”.
Roger joined Aerion in 2018 as Vice President of Sales. Since coming aboard, he was worked closely with his Sales Leadership and Colleagues to grow the Aerion AS2® sales order backlog. One Client who has very recently placed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Aerion was a former Client of Roger’s on another large ultra-long range aircraft. “Many of my former Clients understand the importance and value of time, if they can acquire a tool to get there first or get home quicker, they will”. Roger has also been assisting Aerion Engineering, by providing his Operational perspectives to the team designing the aircraft. “It’s incredibly fun to be seeing this Supersonic Aircraft come together from a design and function standpoint. When the AS2® takes off for the first time in 2025 it will be a very emotional day for me, says Roger.
“In the US Air Force, we had a saying, Speed is Life. The Supersonic F-4 it enabled us to get into areas of responsibility quickly and exit quickly to accomplish the Mission Objectives. The AS2® will open an entirely new paradigm for travelers. Being able to connect face to face with a client, colleague, or family across an ocean and return home the same day to be with your immediate family or home company business. The time savings and flexibilities to immediately respond to opportunities will be a huge game changer.”
The thought has crossed Roger’s mind as well as other pilots at Aerion, “Whatever you do don’t leave me alone with a fueled up AS2®,” says Roger. “I might sneak off for a joyride.”
Aerion would like to recognize all the incredible pilots on April 26, for World Pilots Day. Time is precious and being able to share the passion and excitement with the world is one reason why Roger and many other pilots call Aerion home.
The completion of wind tunnel testing was one of many milestones achieved last year by Aerion Supersonic. Rigorous validation helped bring the AS2 supersonic business jet (SBJ) to fruition as the first privately-designed supersonic jet for the civilian market. Aerion’s assessments at state-of-the-art facilities in France and the U.S. yielded a major step forward for the company. We undertook more than 1,000 individual trials with models of the AS2 flying more than 72,000 nautical miles and amassing an astounding 200,000 in-flight data points to put the finishing touches on the AS2’s final design.
Wind tunnel testing of the AS2 proved to be an efficient process thanks to Aerion’s all-digital design process, powered by its proprietary Digital Carbon platform. This allowed Aerion to power a “digital twin” process to evolve the AS2’s design into the supersonic aircraft that will roll off the assembly line in the coming years. As Forbes explains, “Think of a digital twin as a bridge between the physical and digital world.” Instead of wind tunnel testing being a time of trial and error — as it often is in traditional non-digital design scenarios — Aerion’s assessment was much more specific. This is because we designed thousands of variations of the AS2 that digitally flew millions of miles in a perfect simulation of real-world conditions.
Given the power of the Digital Carbon platform and the real-world fidelity of digital twinning, it may seem like preparing for the wind tunnel was a snap. Simply a matter of exporting a final design file, firing up a digital printer, and heading over to the lab, right? Not so much. No matter how advanced digital design technology becomes, this is wishful thinking. In fact, the process to create effective physical models of the AS2 SBJ took many months. It also required the expertise of some of the world’s top modelers at NLR - Netherlands Aerospace Centre.
Royal NLR, based in the Netherlands, has been improving and advancing the technology of flight for more than 100 years. This unique organization, employing more than 600, specializes in solving difficult problems in the aerospace world. From advancing environmentally friendly engine technology to solving the challenge of airplanes hydroplaning on wet runways, NLR disentangles thorny issues facing both private industry and governments alike, explains Jan Bos, Manager Aerospace Industry. As Aerion approached the point in the design process requiring wind tunnel data on the AS2, we knew NLR was the right partner to take on the job.
Even so, complicating an already challenging assignment, the project was just getting underway when the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world. NLR project manager Justin Dorneanu (since succeeded by Jelmer van Vilsteren) reflected on its impact, saying: “This is the first project where we never met face-to-face to shake hands. But we made it work with weekly meetings via the internet, and both teams really came together to support the mission.”
The first step in the process was to design the model, a collaborative effort between Aerion and NLR. Still, crafting something durable enough to withstand the rigors of a supersonic wind tunnel is no simple matter of scaling down the AS2’s design. That’s why Dorneanu is so proud of the way the teams collaborated. “The communication between Aerion and NLR was the highlight of the project for me,” he said. “We worked closely together to tackle many problems, which resulted in the best model possible.”
One of the challenges of supersonic wind tunnel testing involves choosing the right material to build the model. Plastic is out of the question. Even aircraft aluminum won’t stand up to such high stresses at a small scale. Accordingly, the Aerion model was crafted out of special steel-alloy beyond even that which NLR typically uses in wind tunnel models. As each model piece was milled to exacting standards, experienced craftsman polished the parts, carefully connecting them to body, thereby ensuring the necessary degree of movement for components, like the tail assembly.
The model AS2 was also packed full of electronics, including sensors on all key sections of the aircraft. Aerion was particularly interested in testing supersonic stresses on the flaps, so this was an area of focus for NLR’s electronics team. Composed of experts, they worked through microscopes to connect wires the size of human hairs to the tiny sensors that would generate data from the wind tunnel.
From the initial session between Aerion and NLR, it took almost six months to construct the model AS2. Due to travel restrictions, the acceptance meeting took place via internet, as did all others throughout the project. Finally, the completed model was shipped to Paris for supersonic wind tunnel testing, resulting in an incredible success. Aerion Supersonic is no stranger to breaking down barriers. Even so, our partnership with NLR to produce our supersonic wind tunnel model was a major step in achieving the goal of bringing the world closer together through the power of supersonic flight.
If you would like to learn more about our company and more exciting developments to come, please read this Forbes profile with our CEO or visit aerionsupersonic.com.
At Aerion Supersonic, having engineers with heads in the clouds isn’t only tolerated, it’s encouraged. Designing the world’s first privately built Supersonic Business Jet (SBJ), the AS2®, takes the sort of imagination and ability to think outside the box the average aerospace engineer may not be able to handle.
But for every moment our engineering team devotes to taking our new supersonic jet to market and bringing the world closer together, other members of Aerion have their thoughts much more down to Earth — in fact, below ground level. To achieve Aerion’s goals of being the first carbon-neutral aircraft company in the world, we’ve devoted a portion of our organization’s considerable talents to the subject of carbon removal.
Carbon Removal is an incredibly important part of ensuring the AS2® can travel at speeds above 1,000 mph — without causing environmental harm. Aerion’s green speed initiative involves managing the carbon our planes emit and utilizing fuels of the future to decrease the mark we leave on our world.
As the World Resources Institute explains, “Carbon removal strategies remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it through various means, such as in soils, trees, underground reservoirs, rocks, the ocean and even products like concrete and carbon fiber.” Carbon removal solutions capture and lock away atmospheric carbon to help tackle climate change. Many industries are difficult to decarbonize or may take a long time to reach carbon neutrality, but carbon removal can actively compensate for these sectors by capturing carbon emissions from the air, including the emissions of generations past that remain trapped in the atmosphere.
Aerion is tackling carbon removal from several angles, some more down-to-Earth. For instance, the planet itself possesses a fantastic carbon removal system Aerion fully supports — the growth of trees. Aerion will aid this natural carbon capture system through the Aerion Foundation, which has committed to planting 100 million trees by 2036. Each tree will hungrily absorb carbon as it contributes to forest growth.
Planting trees isn’t the only plan for carbon removal Aerion is working on. Aerion is teaming up with world-leading experts at Carbon Engineering (CE) to investigate Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. CE’s innovative DAC process captures carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere so it can be permanently sequestered deep underground or turned into the fuel of tomorrow.
Here’s how this works. CE’s DAC technology is paired with geological storage to capture and permanently sequester carbon under the Earth. Carbon is captured from the air using large tower structures and a series of chemical reactions. It is then compressed into a fluid almost as dense as water, and injected under the ground into porous rock with an impermeable rock layer above acting as a barrier. To explain this in un-scientific terms, imagine liquid carbon injected into a sponge that is then locked away in a Tupperware container. This carbon will be safely stored in the Earth for potentially millions of years.
But Aerion’s partnership with CE is focused on an even more interesting idea — the potential for environmentally-friendly fuels. CE and Aerion share a vision of the AS2® SBJ powered by clean fuels that provide all of the power and none of the emissions. CE’s answer to this lofty goal is found in its AIR TO FUELSTM methodology. The process begins with CE’s Direct Air Capture technology empowering the capture of carbon from air. Then, instead of injecting it into the ground, it becomes the raw material for synthetic fuels that essentially are much cleaner versions of the hydrocarbons burned today in our jets.
Steve Oldham, CEO of CE, explained the future of fuel this way: “Our DAC technology captures yesterday’s emitted CO2 and converts it into fuel. When used in any vehicle, the carbon is returned to the atmosphere as CO2; however, the process then captures it again to make more fuel. So, we continually re-use existing CO2, and little or no new carbon emissions are created. This provides a way to decarbonize sectors of transportation that are difficult to electrify and that require the high energy density of liquid fuels.”
Aerion is proud to partner with CE to harness this powerful source of environmentally friendly fuel for the AS2® SBJ. To put it another way, tomorrow’s fuel for the AS2® will come from today’s fuel, captured and refined into a pure-burning synthetic fuel. This disruptive technology is further proof of Aerion’s commitment to green speed — supersonic flight that is as environmentally-friendly as it is fast.
If you would like to learn more about our company and our innovative approach to supersonic flight, please read our profile in Forbes or visit aerionsupersonic.com.
When you think about NASA, what pops into your head? For most people, it’s rocket ships, spacecraft, and mankind’s exploration of the universe. It’s a reasonable answer. The Apollo Program was a pinnacle of engineering and design, inspiring multiple generations of aerospace professionals — including the Aerion team. Compelled to watch every space launch as a child, our CEO Tom Vice, calls the Apollo-era NASA “incredible; filled with courageous people who showed what can happen when we take risks to benefit humanity.”
Yet, many people forget the “A” in NASA also stands for aeronautics, and it is this focus on flight closer to the Earth that has led the world’s leading aerospace agency to form an exciting new partnership with Aerion Supersonic.
NASA is keenly interested in the future of supersonic flight. As Aerion works towards finalizing the design and production of the AS2® Supersonic Business Jet (SBJ), the agency has been hard at work on its own new supersonic jet, the X-59. This experimental aircraft will act as a testbed for NASA’s research on supersonic airframes and equipment.
But Aerion and the NASA Langley Research Center have set their sights on far faster aircraft than the AS2® and the X-59. Aerion and the Langley Research Center are bringing together their considerable talents to conduct a joint R&D study with a singular focus: accelerating commercialization of ultra-high-speed (or “high-Mach”) and supersonic flight to accelerate point-to-point travel for those of us who don’t get from place to place via fighter jets.
As compared to the subsonic jets of today, the AS2® SBJ is already a high-speed aircraft that will cruise to destinations at speeds above Mach 1 (almost 1,000mph) while staying whisper quiet, thanks to Boomless Cruise™ technology. But the joint study with NASA will focus on next generation technology to enable “high Mach” cruising in the range of Mach 3 to Mach 5, approaching hypersonic flight.
Though seemingly out of this world, Aerion’s partnership with NASA didn’t come out of nowhere. In fact, the company has worked with the agency on supersonic flight technology in a relationship stretching back to 2012. The expansion of this partnership promises to generate valuable data and technology research for both Aerion and NASA.
Vice recently commented on the collaboration, saying: “At Aerion, our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours. This partnership enables the development of technologies that will help realize such ultra-high-speed point-to-point global mobility solutions.” He added, “This endeavor will also improve United States’ competitiveness in efforts to produce technically feasible and commercially viable passenger aircraft for high Mach point-to-point travel.”
In the interim, the Langley Research Center and Aerion will work together to study the special challenges airplanes experience when cruising at high Mach speeds. The teams will explore the suitability of different propulsion systems and thermal management technologies designed to handle travel at such high speeds. The research group will also focus on integrated power systems and cabin technology. After all, it isn’t useful to be able to fly at Mach 5 if you need to wear a high-tech flight suit just to survive the trip.
Ultimately, this research is critical to Aerion’s goal of bringing the world closer together. As Carl Sagan notes in his famous book Pale Blue Dot, and as NASA proves with every launch, borders aren’t visible from space. They also start to blur when supersonic air travel shortens the distance between people. Or as Vice explained in a recent Forbes profile, “When all of us can get to any location on Earth within three hours, we can build empathy and connections across cultures, something we sorely need as a species.”
As Aerion enters the pre-production phase with the AS2® SBJ, its collaboration with NASA will enhance the work already underway on the company’s next generation, high-Mach passenger jet, the AS3™. This is another key step in maintaining Aerion’s focus on sustainability whilst shortening travel times to bring the world and its citizens closer together.
It’s no secret airlines cater to their most affluent customers, from showers and spas 39,000 feet into the sky to expanded business class seating. But what if they could go beyond these luxuries, offering something truly special — and not just to the rich? Equipped with a fleet of supersonic jets from Aerion Supersonic, airlines can soon defy passengers’ wildest expectations. How? By giving them back hours on the ground they would otherwise spend in the air. After all, there is no greater extravagance than returning time to the rushed.
At present, the airline industry’s innovations primarily center on comfort. Lufthansa’s latest take on the business class concept, debuting this year in the airline’s Boeing 777-9 aircraft, provides passengers with enough space the cabin could easily be mistaken for a small apartment in New York City. Luxury Travel Magazine calls it an “incomparably upscale, healthy and relaxing flight experience.”
Of course, many other airlines are also in the race to impress customers with high-class offerings. But contemporary luxury travel doesn’t end with the size and configuration of the passenger’s seat. Airlines also compete to provide their clientele with amenities kits featuring the finest brands on Earth. For example, Emirates Airlines provides its first-class passengers a case containing extravagant products by Bulgari, including perfume.
Yet for all the allure of the major airlines’ seating configurations and amenities, they are still not providing passengers with the ultimate flying experience. This can only be achieved with Aerion Supersonic’s AS2® Supersonic Business Jet (SBJ). No matter how impressive the accommodations or service on a subsonic jet, it can never provide the true benefit of a supersonic jet — namely, the ability to cruise at speeds over 1,000 mph, reaching destinations many hours earlier than conventional travel.
Passengers will delight in added time to spend with family and friends, or advancing their business interests. This is the promise of supersonic travel.
Still, it should be noted, Aerion believes there needn’t be a tradeoff between comfort and speed. Yes, the AS2® SBJ is the supersonic private jet that can transport customers to their destinations in record times, but those moments in the air can very much unfold enjoyably for passengers.
Our approach to luxury at supersonic speeds follows several basic tenets. First, each supersonic plane’s interior is designed to spec. Also, the AS2® breaks new ground in multiple ways, beginning with interior design. Our approach is to start with a blank sheet of paper. Our team then incorporates as much flexibility and customization into the process as possible. As a result, customers have a seemingly endless amount of options when generating a unique cabin to match their lifestyle. The subsequent aesthetic comes to life using the highest quality materials in our production facilities. Just think: why should your flying experience be based on someone else’s definition of luxury?
At present, economic conditions suggest only a small percentage of even the most affluent travelers are in the market for a private jet. Over time, however, SBJs will become accessible to more flyers. Consider, for example the VCR, the mainstay of every family’s consumer electronics in the 1980s and well into the 90s. When Sony launched the first Betamax VCR in 1977, it carried a price tag of $2,295. (That’s more than $10,000 in 2020 dollars, far from the affordable device they became in just a few short years.)
The AS2® supersonic jet isn’t likely to immediately become a household item like the VCR. However, there are ways a broader segment of the population could experience supersonic flight sooner rather than later. A forward-thinking airline could build a fleet of AS2® SBJs to offer premium service along busy routes. (Also, since we build interiors to spec, the airline can ensure their passengers experience their brand exactly how they intend.)
Certainly, some affluent passengers will be satisfied with existing first-class travel, but a considerable (and ever growing) segment will be eager to embrace the joy of supersonic flight — especially, when they learn the good news. Forget “low boom” supersonic flight. Aerion offers super-silent flight, featuring our “Boomless Cruise™” technology and efficient GE Affinity supersonic engines. When the SBJ passes overhead people below will never experience a window-rattling sonic boom. Plus, it’s whisper-quiet for those in the cabin, too.
But we saved the best for last. Aerion is the first aircraft manufacturer to commit to carbon neutrality. This means the AS2® will not only carry passengers at incredible speeds — but do so with a negative carbon footprint.
Ultimately, Aerion Supersonic is revolutionizing flight by bringing passengers supersonic travel. Our supersonic jet, the AS2, is safe, quiet, environmentally friendly, and delivers a luxurious experience.
Aerion Supersonic recently announced it has selected Melbourne, Florida, in the heart of the historic Space Coast, as the home for Aerion Park, our new headquarters campus. Florida is a natural home for Aerion, not only for its historical role in the space race, but also for being the epicenter of a new boom in aerospace innovation.
Aerion Park is entering the development phase on 110 acres of land located near Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB). State of the art facilities will include around 2,000,000 sq. ft. of building space, along with taxiways and other ground support features for the AS2® and future supersonic and hypersonic aircraft built at the facility. Aerion Park represents a capital investment of $300 million for construction, machinery, and equipment. We plan to employ 675 people in a wide variety of manufacturing and high-tech roles.
We would like to explain why we are thrilled by the role Aerion Park will play in the future of Aerion Supersonic. In short, we are building a world-class aerospace design, research, manufacturing, and testing campus dedicated to one goal — bringing the world closer together through the power of faster and sustainable point-to-point travel. Aerion Park will be the home of the AS2® supersonic jet, but the AS2® is just the beginning of our important work.
And yet, a common question posed to Aerion’s senior management is “Why build a new campus? Why not just take over an existing facility?” The answer is simple. Aerion is a new company built from the ground up to support advances in supersonic aircraft and to do so in the most environmentally sustainable way. The key to accomplishing this goal is not only a new facility, but one staffed with the rich and diverse workforce of Florida’s Space Coast.
One of the most important features of Aerion Park is it will not just be a manufacturing facility. Every step of the process, from design to training flight crew, will occur in one place, creating efficiencies and process advancements. This approach harkens back to Henry Ford’s River Rouge Complex, which integrated every aspect of automobile manufacturing into one Detroit campus. At Aerion Park, we’ll take the dreams of our engineers, and turn them into supersonic jets to change the world.
To put some perspective on the scope of our operations at Aerion Park, consider the key features located on campus that will be in place to accommodate research, design, build, and maintenance of the company’s supersonic aircraft and future hypersonic derivatives. Additionally, flanking the main site will be a new Aerion Customer Experience Center spread over 22 acres, to which customers will be able to taxi direct from Orlando Melbourne International airport, directly linked by taxiway. Aerion Park will also serve as the company’s design center.
Of course, Aerion Park will also embrace our company’s strong environmental ethic. By building a state-of-the-art campus from scratch, we can ensure the design fits our commitment to sustainability. Our facilities will be built with recycled and locally sourced materials, wherever applicable. We will also look to embrace innovations such as environmentally-friendly concrete for our buildings, as traditional concrete is a major carbon emitter. Our buildings will reuse rainwater, and we are incorporating cutting-edge technologies, like solar panels integrated into window glass. For a high-tech design and manufacturing facility, power is a big concern, one we’re addressing with solar panels in multiple forms throughout the campus, including solar trees, providing shade for our parking lots. (Our goal is to run Aerion Park completely off sustainable energy generated onsite.)
Moving forward, we plan to publish updates as Aerion Park reaches key construction milestones. To learn more about our unique approach to design and manufacturing, supported by the latest AI and Big Data developments, you can read about us in Forbes. In the meantime, we will be hard at work on every aspect of this project, because the AS2® Supersonic Business Jet is slated to start production in 2023.
If you are as excited by Aerion Park, the AS2, and the future of supersonic flight as we are, we invite you to apply to join our team. Yes, we are already hiring in Florida! Even as Aerion Park is under construction. Stay tuned…
We Say It’s Coming Faster Than You Think
Your time is precious. So, why should you waste it traveling at subsonic speeds? At least that’s what we think at Aerion Supersonic. Committed to spurring true innovation in air travel, we are introducing the AS2® supersonic business jet (SBJ), the first civil supersonic aircraft to take to the skies since the Concorde’s final flight 17 years ago.
Although the AS2® will transport passengers between cities at more than 1,000 mph, we know that just being the fastest form of available travel is no longer enough. The discerning traveler also wants to reach their destination with minimal impact on the environment and the quality of life of those around them. Luckily, the AS2® is as environmentally conscious as it is fast.
As our culture becomes ever greener, travelers are thinking more and more about environmentally friendly transportation. But for many jets in the marketplace, this simply isn’t an option. The result is widespread mockery of environmentalism, evidenced by the Davos climate summit, the world’s largest gathering of private planes with more than 1,500 aircraft in attendance.
Is this the best we can do? Aerion isn’t so sure. Instead, we believe consumers needn’t have to choose between speed and luxury or being environmentally conscious. To this end, we are delivering on all three concerns in the form of the AS2, an SBJ disrupting the status quo.
And yet, the first thing many people think of when someone mentions supersonic flight is the sonic boom. The U.S. government tested Americans’ tolerance for sonic booms in Oklahoma City in the 1960s. Although many agreed they could live with the noise, the trials wreaked so much damage and bad PR they ultimately scuttled a generation’s worth of research into supersonic travel.
Without a doubt, sonic booms leave an indelible impact on the environment and the people on the ground. This is due not only to potential damage from the boom itself, but also via noise pollution. The AS2, on the other hand, completely sidesteps this problem with Aerion’s “Boomless Cruise™” technology, designed to enable the plane to reach supersonic speeds without those on the ground paying the price. When utilizing the Boomless Cruise™ capability, the AS2® will exceed the speed of sound without a sonic boom striking the ground.
Accordingly, Aerion designed the AS2® to be the most environmentally friendly SBJ in the world. And yet an airplane can only be as friendly to the planet as its engines. This is why the AS2’s “green speed” is driven by the GE Affinity supersonic engine. The AS2® achieves breathtaking acceleration without the use of afterburners. (Side note: The Concorde was famous for its engine’s afterburners, which consumed fuel at an astonishing rate.)
By cutting out this technology of yesterday, Aerion has dramatically improved the environmental impact of every AS2® flight. Nonetheless, every engine still requires fuel. That’s why Aerion crafted its SBJ with the ability to accept 100% biofuels, instead of going halfway to green with blended fuels. Our engines and fuel systems will ensure your flight is luxurious and amazingly quick, but without harming the environment we care so deeply about.
We have also agreed to offset all of our customer’s carbon emissions, regardless of the type of fuel they use for their flights. This commitment, along with the AS2’s ability to utilize 100% synthetic fuels, creates the opportunity for operations of the AS2® to be carbon negative. No other manufacturer can make that commitment. We already have.
Even so, the entire Aerion team is not merely content with establishing new standards for the aircraft industry. For years, we have set out to reimagine our industry’s ideas of what’s even possible.
These may sound like bold claims, but our unprecedented times require far more than mere business as usual. As a result, Aerion Supersonic is on a mission to bring supersonic flight back to the globe. To this end, the AS2® SBJ enables unbelievable speed to afford you more time to do what you care most about in life. Even better, high speed, coupled with true luxury, won’t come at a cost to our environment. Not when you are flying on Aerion, the first aircraft manufacturer to commit to carbon neutrality throughout its operations.
Aerion’s AS2® supersonic business jet (SBJ), the first privately-designed supersonic airplane in history, is taking the next major step towards flying passengers in quiet luxury at speeds well above 1,000 mph. The AS2® is filled with state-of-the-art technology and engineering, but to make this next leap, it will utilize technology dating back to 1871 — the wind tunnel.
Up to this point, the new supersonic jet’s performance has been modeled using special aerodynamic optimization tools developed in-house and run on scalable cloud computing technology to provide thousands of data points with incredible detail on how subsonic, transonic, and supersonic flight each impact the AS2’s airframe.
As Aerion EVP Alex Egeler explains, “Our Aerion Technologies design optimization process is built from a combination of NASA-developed analysis CFD software, commercial tools and our own internal framework to be highly scalable. This flexible framework allows us to simulate millions of parametric design scenarios on the cloud and determine robust solutions — all in the virtual world at a speed previously unseen in business jet development.”
You may be wondering why an innovative company like Aerion, using today’s most powerful technology to bring us closer together through the power of supersonic flight, would need to incorporate a relatively ancient technology like wind tunnel testing. But to build supersonic jets to Aerion’s exacting standards, such testing is unavoidable.
Aerion’s Director, System Test and Evaluation, Bob Lewis, explains: “While the onset of increasingly sophisticated computer modelling technology has greatly enhanced aerospace design, wind tunnel testing remains a key component in the development cycle. Certain aspects of aircraft design remain difficult to fully model virtually and still require validation through wind tunnel testing. We are working with the world’s best wind tunnel model builders and the global leaders in wind tunnel technology to validate our virtual findings and ensure the AS2® design exceeds expectations.”
With such validation in mind, wind tunnel testing puts scale models of airplanes to the test in a variety of lab-controlled conditions and speeds. Although the general principle of wind tunnel testing is the same, today’s test labs are a far cry from the rudimentary wind tunnel used by the Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio.
Aerion has recently created two models for wind tunnel tests. The company partnered with Tri Models Inc. of Huntington Beach, California, to build a low-speed model with a nine-foot wingspan. The low speed tests will be completed in Georgia during the month of October. By the way, don’t let the name fool you — the low speed tests will simulate speeds of less than 1 Mach.
The smaller high-speed model, on the other hand, is being built by the Dutch firm NLR which will be tested in France by aeronautical experts ONERA. (It should be noted, France has a rich history of wind tunnel testing since the early 1900’s, when Gustave Eiffel set up his first wind tunnel near the foot of the tower bearing his name.)
ONERA’s testing will reach speeds the AS2® will never fly passengers at but testing the supersonic jet’s design far beyond its flight profile will produce a wealth of crucial data for the team.
The wind tunnel testing held in Georgia and France will also provide Aerion’s team with a wide range of real-world data. It is expected to confirm the computer models in some ways but provide areas for future refinement in others. All of this vital information will come together in the AS2’s next step towards flying its first passenger, the Preliminary Design Review (PDR).
All of these efforts will coalesce in the next few key years. The company’s new supersonic airplane is on track to enter production in 2023. Accordingly, Aerion plans to build 300 planes in the first 10 years of production at the recently announced Aerion Park headquarters in Florida.
The state-of-the-art facility will not only be the production home of the supersonic business jet but will be used to complete the remainder of the design process. Last, as an important economic boon to the local and national economy, we are proud to announce Aerion’s new HQ on Florida’s Space Coast represents a $300 million investment, expected to create 675 high-paying jobs.
At Aerion Supersonic, our minds are always working on the future of global mobility. We envision a future where we will connect any two major cities in three hours. Or less. Our first step is supersonic flight. But sometimes, we must peer into the past to build for the future. One historical date comes to mind: October 24, 2003.
On this chilly October day, the Concorde made its final flight from New York City to London, ending almost 30 years of service as the only fleet of supersonic jets available to the public. The Concorde was the ultimate status symbol of luxury. Business moguls, movie stars, and jetsetter politicians (no pun intended) bragged about traveling faster between continents than any of their peers. The last flight’s passengers included Christie Brinkley, Joan Collins, and a private couple from Ohio that paid $60,000 on eBay for the ride.
The Concorde stands as a landmark work of aeronautical engineering. From its distinctive slanted droop-nose that lowered during takeoffs and landings to its iconic delta wing configuration, it’s impossible to mistake the Concorde for another plane. But for all the marvels of its design — a joint effort between the British and French governments — the Concorde faced challenges throughout its lifetime.
Although the Concorde broke barriers holding us back from supersonic travel, it was costly and difficult to operate. Its four afterburner engines came from the world of fighter aircraft. This means they brought the noise of fighter jets with them. The Concorde was also limited from flying over land due to its massive sonic booms, preventing it from carrying passengers to more far-flung destinations — and introducing a distracting level of noise into the cabin.
Those same engines also consumed an astonishing level of fuel. (A whopping 6,770 gallons an hour to be exact.) Unsurprisingly, the Concorde received the brunt of an environmental movement just taking shape as the aircraft took flight — via demonstrations at airports by protesters.
Yet, despite these challenges, the Concorde made a stunning mark on aviation and transportation culture. Its supersonic flight capabilities allowed passengers to spend less time traveling and more with the people they love, forging business deals, and fulfilling many of the other important reasons we journey.
It has been 17 years since the Concorde stopped flying, and no supersonic replacement has taken to the skies. Aerion believes time is the most precious commodity we have. So why are we willing to waste it onboard aircraft? As pointed out by the Telegraph, air travel takes longer today than it did in the 1960s. We believe there is a better way to venture — a return to supersonic flight with the Aerion AS2® Supersonic.
The AS2® will bring us to the supersonic skies in style. We’ve designed this supersonic business jet (SBJ) to honor the legacy of the Concorde, but to improve on it in every way. In short, the AS2® can be summarized this way: “Goodbye, noise pollution, hello, sustainability!”
Aerion has engineered every inch of the AS2® to suit the demands of today’s discerning flyers. We don’t believe “low boom” supersonic flight is enough, so we’ve moved all the way to super-silent flight, featuring our “Boomless Cruise™” technology and incredibly efficient new GE Affinity supersonic engines — the first civil supersonic engines designed in 50 years.
But the AS2® isn’t just quiet for those on the ground. When our SBJ passes overhead people will never experience the window-rattling sonic boom popular culture has associated with supersonic flight — and it’s whisper-quiet for those in the cabin as well. Whether you want to stay productive or chat with a companion, you’ll hardly know you’re traveling at more than 1,000 mph.
On top of all the incredible technology Aerion Supersonic has built into the AS2® airframe, we are also proud of its sustainability. The Concorde was met by protesters, but our “green speed” will not damage the environment. In fact, Aerion is the first aircraft manufacturer to commit to carbon neutrality from first flight; a promise encompassing our aircraft and the operations in which it is built.
Ultimately, the AS2® has the potential to not only carry passengers at incredible speeds, but to do so with a negative carbon footprint. Aerion Supersonic believes it is time to disrupt travel. And the AS2® supersonic business jet is the aircraft that will change how we journey through the skies, giving us time back for what matters most.