A number of key players have their sights set on supersonic passenger jets. Aerion and Lockheed Martin are planning to go even one step further and target those who consider first-class commercial air travel unfulfilling their standards.
Aerion has been working on the supersonic jet, AS2, for a number of years now and collaborated with Airbus in the past for the aerodynamic and structural design. It then worked with GE Aviation for the development of a supersonic engine. Now, the latest announcement is an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Lockheed Martin to work together on all the future phases from engineering to production.
“Following our initial review of Aerion’s aerodynamic technology, our conclusion is that the Aerion AS2 concept warrants the further investment of our time and resources,” says Orlando Carvalho, Executive Vice President for Lockheed Martin. “We are committed to remaining on the cutting edge of aerospace technology and are excited to examine the contribution we might make to working with Aerion on making aviation history.”
Aerion has been constantly improving its plan over the years. It announced a three-engine configuration back in 2014 and has improved on the design with two forward outboard engines under the wings, leaving the third engine in the tail.