GE Aviation has completed the initial design for a supersonic engine for the Aerion AS2 business jet, the first such unit that is purpose-built for the business jet sector, according to GE, and on track to meet the launch date of the Aerion in 2023. According to GE it combines supersonic technologies proven in military aircraft with technologies more established with business jet engines.
The Aerion AS2 will be a 12-passenger jet that its developer claim will be 60% faster than current civilian aircraft, for "luxurious, connected, productive and serene flight at 1,000 mph.”
Last year Aerion entered into collaborative agreements with GE Aviation and Lockheed Martin, and this year Honeywell was introduced to the partnership, to provide cockpit systems.
Aerion plans to fly the AS2 in 2023, with certification in 2025.
GE Aviation and Aerion started to define and evaluate a final engine configuration for the AS2 in 2017. A GE project team and an engineering team continue to work with Aerion in a formal and gated process.
The GE Affinity is described as a new engine class – a "medium-bypass ratio engine": it’s a twin-shaft, twin-fan turbofan controlled by a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) for dispatch reliability and onboard diagnostics. It is designed for efficient supersonic flight over water and efficient subsonic flight over land, without requiring modifications to existing compliance regulations.
GE also noted the engine is designed to meet Stage 5 subsonic noise requirements and exceed current emissions standards.
The next design review for the GE Affinity is set for 2020, which will be followed by detailed design and test article production.
“In the last 50 years, business aircraft speeds have increased by less than 10%,” said Brad Mottier, GE v.p. and g.m. for Business and General Aviation & Integrated Services. “Instead of going faster, cabins have increased in size and become more comfortable - and range has become longer. With large, comfortable cabin, long range aircraft in the marketplace, the next step is speed … ".