Aerion Supersonic, Spirit AeroSystems expand composites agreement
Spirit will expand its work on the composite forward, pressurized fuselage for the AS2 supersonic business jet, leading to full-rate production in 2023.
Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet. Source | Aerion
Supersonic aircraft company Aerion (Reno, Nev., U.S.), a leader in supersonic technology, announced on July 28 that it has entered into a memorandum agreement to expand the role of Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita, Kan., U.S.) in the development of the AS2 supersonic business jet to include production of the forward fuselage. As part of the agreement, Spirit has committed to additional investment in the AS2 program and has increased engineering resources working on the design of the AS2’s composite forward fuselage.
Aerion and Spirit first began formal collaboration in early 2019, working on preliminary design of the AS2’s forward, pressurized fuselage. Joining the project in the early formative stages of the AS2, Spirit says its technical expertise has significantly advanced the design evolution as Aerion moves the supersonic business jet toward production beginning in 2023. At full rate, it is expected that Spirit will build 36 forward fuselage assemblies per year.
“Spirit AeroSystems has been an outstanding partner in the design and development of the AS2, and their considerable aerostructures expertise has proven a core enabler in the evolution of our program,” says Tom Vice, Aerion’s chairman, president and CEO. “I’m delighted to have expanded our already excellent relationship and look forward to continued collaboration between our two companies as we bring the AS2 to market.”
“Through our collaboration with Aerion, we have contributed innovative and cost-effective design solutions to help make the AS2 supersonic jet a reality,” says Tom Gentile, president and CEO, Spirit AeroSystems. “With our expanded agreement, Spirit will bring both its manufacturing and design capabilities to this revolutionary aircraft program.”
Aerion’s pursuit of faster point-to-point travel begins with the launch of the new AS2 supersonic private jet, which is expected to be capable of flying at speeds up to 1,000 mph. Designed to be inherently environmentally responsible from first flight, the AS2 is said to be the first supersonic jet designed to be powered by 100% synthetic fuel and reach supersonic speeds without the need for an afterburner.
The AS2 will be the first aircraft to be assembled at Aerion Park, Aerion’s new global headquarters in Melbourne, Fla., U.S. The facility, powered by clean energy, will incorporate headquarters operations plus an integrated campus for research, design, build and support of the company’s new supersonic aircraft.
Applications aren't as demanding as airframe composites, but requirements are still exacting — passenger safety is key.
Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) replacing coated steel in more reinforced-concrete applications.
Fast-reacting resins and speedier processes are making economical volume manufacturing possible.