Aerion SBJ


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Unlike most SSBJ (Supersonic Business Jet) proposals this one is based around an existing powerplant, the Pratt & Whitney JT8D.

You might ask: "Why would a SSBJ concept use the same engine as the out of production McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 series?"

Simply put, the JT8D-200 series was the very last of the low bypass ratio civilian turbofans. To put the matter of bypass ratio in perspective, the JT8D-219 has a bypass ratio of 1.74:1 and the GE F101-100 in the B-1B Lancer has a 2.01:1 ratio, something of a record for a combat aircraft.

Modern civilian turbofans typically have a bypass ratio of in the neighborhood 6:1 - a simple fact which made the performance goals stillborn Boeing Sonic Cruiser seem all the more improbable.



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There has been a change in the configuration from a recent AWST article- the T-tail is now gone and it's a more conventional appearing cruciform tail arrangement. There's also been a reprofiling of the nose to address visibility concerns aired by the FAA, but it's not as apparent as the tail redesign.

And while I am at it - here is the latest Aerion image. This SSBJ is not a low-boom design. Instead it would slow down to subsonic speed over land to avoid creating a sonic boom. Because it uses supersonic natural laminar flow (hence the unswept, and very thin, wing and tail), supersonic and subsonic drag are about the same, its designers claim. This is unlike conventional supersonic designs, which suffer from high subsonic drag because of the slender, highly swept wing needed for low supersonic drag.

To show how designs evelove as they become more defined and refined, I've attached an image of the original ASSET concept by Reno Aeronautical, the company the holds the patent on the supersonic laminar flow aerodynamics behind the Aerion. Sorry it's so small.


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CammNut said:
Quiet Supersonic Transport (QSST) designed by the Skunk Works for Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI
Nice site!
Just rediscovered these missing links in the Reno-to-ASSET-to-Aerion SSBJ design evolution. The V-tail one comes before the Reno T-tail one above, while the T-tail one comes before the current low-tail Aerion design. The entire T tail - vertical and horizontal - was hinged at its base for trimming.


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Couple of the latest Aerion pics - no reason, just 'cos I have them...


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Aero-News Network: Does BizAv STILL Have An SSBJ In Its Future?

Among the doldrums that dominate the BizAv sector these days, its hard to get folks to look to the future... and by the time that the economy starts improving, we have a feeling that the industry will have a heckuva job catching up to the potential of a renewed market ready to do business. UNLESS... you happen to be Aerion.

Aerion is an intriguing and forward-thinking company formed for the purpose of developing and commercializing a fundamental breakthrough in supersonic transportation, i.e, a SuperSonic Business Jet. Aerion has already earned patents on several concepts related to supersonic aerodynamics and structures, including patents on its supersonic natural laminar flow wing design.

These folks seem up to the task... Prior to the formation of Aerion, its founders received several DARPA contracts for supersonic laminar flow wing studies, as well as research and test flights. This group also participated in DARPA's Quiet Supersonic Platform Program. A team of closely affiliated firms, including Pratt & Whitney, provide engineering design and analysis support in the following areas: aerodynamics, structures, systems, propulsion, stability and control, and aeroelasticity.

The Aerion jet will be fuel efficient at cruise speeds just below the speed of sound, allowing it to perform short- and long-haul overland missions with the same economies as today's large business jets. Range at high subsonic speed is more than 4500 nm and range at supersonic speeds exceeds 4000 nm. Over certain national or regional corridors, including parts of Canada, Australia and Siberia, the aircraft can fly at unrestricted speeds up to its maximum speed of Mach 1.6. And in other regions governed by ICAO regulations, the aircraft is capable of operating at boomless cruise speeds up to Mach 1.15. The Aerion can cruise efficiently, however, at speeds from .95 to .99 Mach over the continental US, where speeds are limited by regulation to less than Mach.

Copyright 2011, Aero-News Network, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Perhaps they should have stuck with the V-tail, although I might be a bit biased in that regard. :)
Hi! Are there any news from Aerion?
It appears that there nothing going on at all or they progressing, because you dont hear much!
Does anybody information about the amount of employees they have?
Aerion's latest press release says they're flying a test article under NASA's F-15 this summer.
Aerion prepares for upcoming NASA F-15B supersonic flight tests

Reno, Nevada, April 17, 2012 – Aerion Corporation today released details about its next round
of supersonic test flights, a vital element in the company’s plan to design the world’s first
supersonic business jet (SBJ).

Aerion has designed the next test article that will fly in the centerline position under NASA’s F-
15B aircraft. The last round of tests during the summer of 2010 reached Mach 2.0 and used an
instrumented flat plate to map the high-speed flow field under the F-15B and validate computer
modeling. After analyzing the resulting data, aerodynamic design work for the new test article
began in late 2010, followed by mechanical design in mid-2011. Fabrication of the 40-inch
vertical span by 80-inch chord device is now underway and will be complete by the end of May.
A series of ground checks will be followed by one-hour supersonic test flights at NASA’s
Dryden Flight Research Center in June and/or July, pending aircraft availability.

The new test article will be more representative of the Aerion wing in order to evaluate
supersonic boundary layer transition properties as they relate to manufacturing standards for
surface quality and assembly tolerances, both crucial to future production of the SBJ.

“This year’s planned F-15B test flights of the latest Aerion test article prove our partnership
continues to be mutually beneficial,” said Dr. Richard Tracy, Aerion’s chief technology officer.
“Our work with NASA will further refine future practical applications of aerodynamics for safe
and efficient flight at higher speeds compared to today’s conventional subsonic civil aircraft.”
Artist's impression of Aerion Supersonic Business Jet.



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Artist impression of Aerion Business Jet.



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Models and artist's impressions of Aerion SBJ (Supersonic Business Jet)



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Artist's impression of Aerion SBJ (Supersonic Business Jet)



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Maximum cruise speed: Mach 1.6
Long-range cruise (supersonic): Mach 1.5
Boomless cruise (supersonic): Mach 1.1 to 1.2
High-speed cruise (subsonic): Mach .99
Long-range cruise (subsonic): Mach .95
Maximum takeoff weight: 90,000 lb
Basic operating weight: 45,100 lb
Maximum fuel: 45,400 lb
Engines: Two PW JT8D-200 series
Thrust: Flat rated to 19,600 lb
Wing area: 1,200 sq ft
Approach speed: 120 kts*
Balanced field length: < 6,000 ft
Landing distance, wet runway: 3,460 ft
Range (NBAA IFR): > 4,000 nm
Ceiling: 51,000 ft

Cabin Comfort

You may be traveling at Mach 1.6, but inside Aerion's supersonic business jet (SBJ), life slows down a bit. A cabin length of 30 feet allows for three seating areas, a full galley and a comfortable lavatory. Its height, 6.2 feet, and width, 6.5 feet, make it comparable to other midsize jets. Arrangements for up to 12 passengers are possible. High-speed travel is yours without sacrificing high-end amenities.

At supersonic speeds, you won't spend many hours here. But they could still be among your most enjoyable.



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You won't see us grounded by another of supersonic flight's greatest obstacles – finding a suitable engine – because ours is already in widespread use. We teamed with Pratt & Whitney to adapt their ubiquitous JT8D-200 series engine, which is de-rated to 19,600 pounds of maximum static thrust for Stage 4 noise compliance. Pratt & Whitney projects initial TBO for these engines to be 3,000 hours.*

The JT8D also meets the latest ICAO standards for nitrogen oxide emissions and noise regulations and will cruise at a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet, placing it in the lowest part of the stratosphere and avoiding cruise in the fragile ozone layer.

*Based on Pratt & Whitney analyses assuming 60 percent supersonic flight time.



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Airframe Structure

No exotic structural materials or manufacturing techniques are required. The Aerion NLF wing will be constructed of carbon epoxy with a coated metal leading edge for erosion resistance. The fuselage, empennage and nacelles will be a combination of aluminum and composite materials. And the supersonic business jet (SBJ) will leverage fly-by-wire flight control, which provides greater flexibility in systems routing, failure redundancy and service access, as well as reducing maintenance and weight.

While Aerion's NLF wing design is the core technological revolution of the SBJ, we have also obtained patents for fuselage contours, inlets, engine expansion nozzles and other aerodynamic features.



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Global Missions

We realize that the world is moving faster. Much faster. And we know that time is your greatest investment. Whether your flight is completed at subsonic speeds, maximum supersonic cruise or some combination thereof, range is constant and destinations are closer.

Our faster future translates to your faster connections.
From New York, Aerion reaches all of Europe and Brazil. Asia is just one stop away.

New York to Miami. Aerion: 1:30. Subsonic: 2:30.
New York to Los Angeles. Aerion: 4:15. Subsonic: 5:00.
New York to Paris. Aerion: 4:15. Subsonic: 7:15.
New York to Asia. Aerion: 9:30. Subsonic: 14:30.

From Dubai, Aerion reaches all of Europe and most of Asia nonstop. One stop away? The United States.

Dubai to Singapore. Aerion: 4:15. Subsonic: 8:00.
Dubai to Tokyo. Aerion: 7:45. Subsonic: 9:45.
Dubai to London. Aerion: 5:00. Subsonic: 6:45.
Dubai to New York. Aerion: 9:30. Subsonic: 14:30.

Consistent with our competitive commitment, Aerion's operating costs will be equivalent to many of today's large business jets, thus at last and forever overcoming supersonic flight's greatest obstacle.


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Spike Aerospace is not the only company committing itself to offering supersonic flights, however. The Nevada-based company Aerion Corporation has submitted plans for the development of a private jet that could reach speeds of Mach 1.6, potentially carrying its first passengers by the end of the decade. HyperMach Aerospace Ltd, meanwhile, has proposed the development of SonicStar, a jet the company claims would reach Mach 4 (about 2,600mph and approximately twice the speed of Concorde) and could speed from London to Sydney in an afternoon or from New York to London in about an hour. The firm estimates it could enter production in the 2020s.
Now that the Aerion AS2 SSBJ is a trijet, maby they should team up with Dassault. ;) :D

Aerion SSBJ Design Becomes Trijet With Larger Cabin, More Range


Aerion is seeking an engine supplier now that it has switched to a trijet configuration for the “AS2” supersonic bizjet.
Aerion is seeking an engine supplier now that it has switched to a trijet configuration for the “AS2” supersonic bizjet.
May 19, 2014, 6:00 PM
Aerion Corp. (Booth 3634) is redesigning its proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ) with a larger cabin and more range, reflecting feedback from a recent operators survey. The new aircraft–dubbed AS2, for Aerion supersonic second design–has three engines versus two on its now-scrubbed predecessor. It still retains a supersonic natural laminar-flow wing, which it calls “the key enabling technology behind practical and efficient supersonic and high-subsonic flight.”

Despite the configuration changes, which are being formally announced here at EBACE this week, Aerion anticipates that its supersonic business jet will still be certified in 2021. First flight is expected in late 2018 or early 2019, followed by a 24-month certification program.

“The message from many of today’s long-range business jet operators is very clear,” said Aerion CEO Doug Nichols. “They want a supersonic jet sooner rather than later; a cabin comparable in comfort to today’s long-range jets; a range of 5,000 nm or better; and they are willing to pay more than $100 million for such an aircraft. That is the supersonic jet we are now working to deliver.”

Inside, the aircraft’s larger cabin has a cross-section dimension nearly identical to that of the Gulfstream G550, sharing the same 6-foot 2-inch height although the AS2’s width is just one inch narrower, at 7 feet 3 inches. The 30-foot-long cabin, which is 17 feet shorter than the G550’s, will feature a two-lounge layout, galley and both forward and aft lavatories, plus a baggage compartment that is accessible in flight.

Outside, the AS2’s fuselage is 160 feet long, some 25 feet longer than the originally conceived SSBJ, and it has a wingspan of 70 feet.

Maximum takeoff weight is 115,000 pounds, up from the original aircraft’s 90,000 pounds. While the minimum projected range is 4,750 nm, Aerion is aiming for 5,300 nm. This is up from the original SSBJ’s projected 4,000-nm range.

According to Aerion, the AS2’s balanced field length is 7,500 feet at mtow. However, this can be lowered to 6,000 feet at takeoff weights below 100,000 pounds to allow for operations at airports with shorter runways or weight restrictions while retaining a transatlantic range of 4,000 nm. This would permit the AS2 to operate from Teterboro Airport, which has a 100,000-pound mtow restriction, as well as other major business aviation hubs with 5,000- to 6,000-foot runways.

As with the smaller, original Aerion SBJ, the AS2 will have two cruise “sweet spots,” where range and efficiency are at a maximum–one at about Mach 0.95, for efficient cruise where supersonic flight is prohibited; and one at about Mach 1.4. At both speeds, total operating cost will be comparable to current ultra-long-range business jet offerings, Aerion said. The AS2’s maximum speed is Mach 1.6, the same as its predecessor.

Engine Choice

Its trijet configuration yields better runway performance and a lower noise profile, which is “especially important with Stage 5 noise requirements looming,” Nichols told AIN. The company is currently in discussions with “leading engine suppliers” to find the optimum core engine for adaptation to supersonic requirements. The selected engine core will be in the 15,000-pound-thrust range–a list that includes the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800, GE Passport and Rolls-Royce BR710. Aerion plans to announce the winning engine at the NBAA Convention in October.

The requirement to adapt a current engine core for the AS2 and to structure a joint collaboration among several industrial participants has prompted Aerion to sponsor and self-fund the full-scale development program. “For program participants, we can take the financial risk largely off the table,” said Nichols. “We intend to make this program happen and to maximize our return on investment. By assuming financial sponsorship of the program, we can accelerate commercialization of Aerion’s technology and intellectual property, and make practical and efficient supersonic flight a reality in just a few years.”

While discussions with potential OEM partners continues, Aerion is going forward with the advanced design of the AS2, with detailed design slated to be completed in the middle of next year. It is also continuing testing and recently concluded a series of low-speed wind-tunnel tests at the University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory that assessed various high-lift flap configurations. Aerion will also do further wind-tunnel tests on other configurations over month or so.

According to Nichols, Aerion plans to conduct another round of natural laminar-flow wing robustness testing on NASA’s F-15B testbed this summer or fall, depending on aircraft availability. To date, Aerion has invested more than $100 million to develop proprietary enabling technologies and optimization design tools to enable development of an SSBJ, it said.

Meanwhile, Aerion has put a pause on new orders for its SSBJ because of the configuration change and the price increase. Even though the price has escalated to more than $100 million, Nichols noted, “This really isn’t more than the $93 million CPI-adjusted price for the original SSBJ, meaning customers get more range and cabin space for a few million more.”

Customers with deposits on the original SSBJ have the option of converting their order to the AS2 or obtaining a refund. Nichols told AIN that the majority of deposit holders already contacted are opting to go with the AS2. “Aerion is absolutely committed to making the supersonic business jet a reality,” said Nichols. “We have every intention of having the first SSBJ to market. We will get there first.”

Aerion AS2—performance objectives and specifications


Maximum operating: 1.6 Mach

Long-range cruise, supersonic: 1.4 Mach

Boomless cruise: 1.1 - 1.2 Mach

High-speed subsonic cruise: 0.99 Mach

Long-range subsonic cruise: 0.95 Mach

Approach: <135 kt (250 kph)


IFR – 7,500 ft BFL: >5,000 nm (9,260 km)

IFR – 6,000 ft BFL: >4,000 nm (7,408 km)


Mtow: 115,000 lb (52,163 kg)

BOW: 49,800 lb (22,588 kg)


Exterior: Length - 160 ft/ 49m

Height - 26 ft/ 8m

Width/wingspan - 70 ft/ 21m

Wing area - 1,350 sq ft (125 sq m)


Height (max) - 6 ft 2 in (1.9 m)

Width (max) - 7 ft 3 in (2.2 m)

Cabin length - 30 ft (9.1m)

Source: AINonline - Aerion SSBJ Design Becomes Trijet With Larger Cabin, More Range


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Very nice. I hope this one actually gets built. I'm kinda wondering why noise requirements would make it a three-nacelle ship instead of two like the last one.
dannydale said:
Very nice. I hope this one actually gets built. I'm kinda wondering why noise requirements would make it a three-nacelle ship instead of two like the last one.

Probably so they can run each engine at lower power during take-off. 3 engines at 70% is most likely quieter than 2 at 100%.
Is that true ???? :eek: Airbus joins the development phase ??

Via the article found by Deino:
"Aerion, Airbus Group to work together on supersonic jet technology"
by Molly McMillin
The Wichita Eagle
09/22/2014 12:46 PM
09/22/2014 5:21 PM


Airbus Group and Aerion, which is developing a multi-million supersonic business jet, will collaborate on the jet’s development and exchange knowledge and capabilities on design and certification.

For Aerion, it’s a major step forward in the advancement of the development and commercialization of its Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet.

“It’s a total game changer,” Brian Barents, Aerion’s vice-chairman, said of the arrangement. “I think we’ve been pretty consistent that the next big step was going to be the establishment of an industrial collaboration and a partner.”

Aerion officials knew it would take a well-established original equipment manufacturer to complete the project, he said.

“We couldn’t be more delighted with the choice of Airbus,” Barents said. “We think that their footprint around the world is clearly going to help us as we develop the airplane.”

Under the agreement, Airbus Group, through its Defence and Space division, will provide technical and certification support.

That will include the assignment of senior engineering staff to Aerion’s organization.

The two groups will work together at Aerion’s facilities in Reno, Nev.

“It puts us solidly on track toward our objective of certifying the world’s first supersonic jet in 2021,” Robert Bass, Aerion’s chairman and principal investor, said in a statement.

It’s too soon to say whether Airbus will be involved in manufacturing the plane, Barents said.

“We still haven’t determined that,” he said.

It’s also too soon to say whether Airbus’ design and engineering site in Wichita will be involved in the project, Barents said.

“We’ll leave that up to Airbus whether the disciplines and the availability are available to us during the time that would be needed,” Barents said. “That would be an Airbus call. Certainly, it’s a valuable resource. I would hope at some point they would be involved.”

Airbus did a thorough job of analyzing Aerion’s design tools that it’s developed over the past several years., Barents said.

Over the longer term, Aerion will provide proprietary technology and assistance to Airbus Group in its high-performance technology development, which include Aerion’s research, proprietary design tools and patented aerodynamic designs, the company said.

“They have exclusive rights to utilize those design tools as they look at developing their product line,” Barents said.

The plan is to certify the plane in 2021 with first delivery in 2022. Flight testing would begin in roughly 2019.

The plane will sell for roughly $110 million.

The cost depends upon which engines will be selected for the plane. Aerion is doing an analysis with three large engine manufacturers.

In May, Aerion announced that it had revamped the design of its supersonic jet to a larger-cabin, three-engine model that can fly farther.

The redesign was made to meet changes in the market, officials say.

A recent market study that assessed customer demand – especially in emerging markets such as Asia – found preferences for a corporate jet that can fly fast enough to break the sound barrier, while providing ample room and greater range.

Aerion significantly widened the cabin’s cross section and increased its range from 4,700 nautical miles to more than 5,000 nautical miles.

In the revamped design, the jet will have two “sweet spots” where range and efficiency are at a maximum, Aerion has said.

One is at about Mach 0.95, or 723 mph, in places where supersonic flight is prohibited.

The other is at a supersonic speed of Mach 1.4, or 1,066 mph. The plane is expected to have a maximum speed of Mach 1.6, or 1,218 mph.

The latest study also confirmed demand for more than 600 units over 20 years.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.
Old Forbes interview regarding the original design:
"Aerion Taking Orders for AS2 Supersonic Bizjet"
By Robert Goyer / Published: May 19, 2015


Aerion announced at EBACE that it is taking position orders for its AS2 supersonic bizjet project and announced pricing for the jet, along with details on the sales program.

Aerion said that it is strengthening its ties with Airbus in a joint definition phase. The first 50 customers

, Aerion said, will get preferential pricing and other benefits, though it declined to specify what those perks would be.

Pricing for those first 50 jets is set at $120 million, a stratospheric figure to be sure but one that might attract a good deal of business. There are a number of jets that cost in excess of $60 million, with strong sales. Gulfstream has already delivered 110 of its G650 ultra-long-range jets.

Aerion also announced the addition of industry veteran Ernie Edwards as its new senior vp and chief commercial officer. Most recently, Edwards headed sales at Embraer Business Aircraft.
I've been reading Air International and it's predecessor since the mid-60s. I have seen dozens of projects like this, a man, a plan, and a snappy brochure. The only change is that the brochures have been replaced by snappy websites, and I will bet my mortgage payment that this project, like 99% of the others, will disappear without any metal or carbon fiber being cut.
royabulgaf said:
I've been reading Air International and it's predecessor since the mid-60s. I have seen dozens of projects like this, a man, a plan, and a snappy brochure. The only change is that the brochures have been replaced by snappy websites, and I will bet my mortgage payment that this project, like 99% of the others, will disappear without any metal or carbon fiber being cut.

Sad though it may sound, I agree 100% with you. And if major league names such as Grumman, Gulfstream, Lockheed and others have never managed to turn their supersonic biz jet projects into flyable prototypes (not yet at least), it is unlikely that a startup company with big ideas and no credentials could pull out such a feat.

And even so, they could very well build a prototype, but that doesn't mean there would be a market for it. Think of all these one-off business aircraft greats (both jet and prop) such as the Beech Triumph, the OMAC 300, the Foxjet, the Visionaire Vantage, the Swearingen SJ30, the Eclipse 500, the Adam A700, the list just goes on and on. None were faulty designs or flawed machines. They all could have served their purpose well. Simply they found no market to justify stepping up to production status. Even the Beech Starship, which attained production and was marketed by a respected, well-established and reliable company, had to be discontinued because it cost too much money!

Aircraft building is a strange business. There many good aircraft, that remains as single prototypes.
And others, looking, even more curious that for the certain reason produced in quantities.
I told, for example, about Piaggio P.180. Unconventional aerodynamic configuration, no too large company - and now we see, how lucky it is!
royabulgaf said:
I've been reading Air International and it's predecessor since the mid-60s. I have seen dozens of projects like this, a man, a plan, and a snappy brochure. The only change is that the brochures have been replaced by snappy websites, and I will bet my mortgage payment that this project, like 99% of the others, will disappear without any metal or carbon fiber being cut.

I agree
One of the showstopper issues for a supersonic business jet is that the United States and Europe currently ban overland supersonic flight. Aerion claims that their low-boom AS2 design is quiet, but how will the company satisfy governments that the aircraft is quiet enough so that it will be granted an exemption from these bans?
Triton said:
One of the showstopper issues for a supersonic business jet is that the United States and Europe currently ban overland supersonic flight. Aerion claims that their low-boom AS2 design is quiet, but how will the company satisfy governments that the aircraft is quiet enough so that it will be granted an exemption from these bans?

It's designed to cruise at very high subsonic speed overland (Mach=.95?) and then fly supersonically over water. They would like to be able to fly the entire route at supersonic speeds, but they've taken current laws into account.


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The article is about a patent that has nothing to do with the Aerion SBJ.

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