Grey Havoc

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TomS

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Flight Global article wasn't paywalled when I saw it. Plane looks a bit like a cartoon of a supersonic jet, honestly, but the company founder seems to have some legit low-boom credentials.
 

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Moose

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At least that one has the correct paintjob.
 

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Sundog

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TomcatViP

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There is nothing?! No preliminary CAD design, perf charts etc...?!?
How have we gone down to that?
Don't read me wrong, I am fully supportive of this endeavor but you don't capture ppl attention with intends. Even in the Startup universe.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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Tomcat, I’m with you, it’s a sketch almost anyone could do, a few opinions, no technical details, no indication there’s anything’s behind it, so why are they giving him the time of day? A good friend of mine, with an eVTOL project has done way in excess of that, really clever IP and has so far failed to get any investment from numerous investors pitches.
 
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Grey Havoc

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I wonder did they hold any private briefings before hand.
 

CiTrus90

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So...

Guy #1 is a Stanford MBA graduate (2019) and aerospace engineer from UCLA (2014).
Claims to have worked for Skunk Works, Virgin Galactics and Northrop Grumman.
Mind you, Exosonic was funded 1 June 2019.

Guy #2 has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech (2013) and interned at Boeing (2012 and 2013).

In the 7th August 2019 presentation there is a third person shown as member of the team, which is not listed anymore on their company site and whose Linkedin account says worked with Exosonic from April to July 2020 and whose resume says:

CFD Engineer – Sonic Boom Prediction April 2020 - present
Exosonic, San Jose, CA
• Analysed flow over supersonic airplane geometries (including the X-59 QueSST) to capture the nearfield sonic boom
signature to be used for noise analysis in low boom supersonic aircraft design.
• Performed mesh generation for Euler and RANS calculations on geometries from AIAA Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop
(lbpw.larc.nasa.gov).
• Created tutorials on grid generation as part of the effort to develop analysis capabilities and knowledge base in the start-up.

In the 7th August 2019 presentation Robert Sandusky and Dave Boyer are clearly not listed as members of the team.

Also according to Linkedin Dave Boyer currently works for the Marvin Engineering Company in Inglewood, while according to this http://www.westhighalumni.com/hall elements/Sandusky.htm Robert Sandusky "was appointed Professor of Engineering and Applied Science for The George Washington University at the NASA Langley Research Center".

And, according to Crunchbase (https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/exosonic) the team is composed of only 2 people and the company is funded by 1 investor, which is Y Combinator, "a startup accelerator that invests in a wide range of startups twice a year".

Now...I'm not saying the USAF got Stavatti'ed, but...
 

CiTrus90

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Still looking around and at http://www.westhighalumni.com/hall elements/Sandusky.htm
Robert Sandusky is an Aerospace Consultant doing business as Sandusky Aeronautics.

1.jpg

And at the same address we can find Robert R. Sandusky.

2.jpg

Aged 80 years old.
I've some trouble believing an 80 year old gentleman that has had such a great career at Northrop Grumman and elsewhere, would be willing to spend time with a startup like Exosonic.

These 2 guys are either taking the p*ss or being maliciously naive.

I can't believe they got awarded a 1 million dollar contract on this.
 

djfawcett

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Some favors are definitely being done! The rendering are pretty much cartoons ...... just look at the engine nacelles.
 

yasotay

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$1M US ain't what it used to be. Lot's of money to us normal folks, but in DoD circles that is chump change. It's the end of the fiscal year and with COVID there are likely some offices with unused money. "Use it, or loose it" has always been the #1 maxim in DoD. This was likely one of those programs that got kept around to help with that.
 

riggerrob

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Dear Citrus 90,
Au contraire!
It is quite normal for retired generals, engineers, politicians, etc. to sell their names to support speculative concepts.
For example, a few years back General MacKenzie spoke publically on behalf of a project to revive the AVRO Arrow. The project had no hope of reaching production because all the prototypes and tooling were destroyed 60 years ago.

Retired generals also often sell their voices to TV networks as "military analysts" commenting on the latest war in Wheretheheckistan.
 

MaxLegroom

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And these days it's quite normal for such people to have a home office. I thought the address seemed quite familiar, in fact I drive through that neighborhood quite often, and it bears no resemblance to the map shown in the previous image. It's actually a fairly expensive neighborhood located near the high school I went to. That they showed it in somewhere that looked like D.C. or Philadelphia is suspicious. Screenshot 2020-09-14 201934.jpg Screenshot 2020-09-14 201934.jpg
 

MaxLegroom

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I would also ask which small aircraft (compared to the 747) the Air Force plans as the next Air Force One, as I've also read articles about another startup called Hermeus Aviation planning a hypersonic AF1, which already has a thread here. Neither of these will carry the accommodations of the current Air Force One.
 

galgot

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Hey, anyone has the right connections here ? We set up the next small SSBJ or SS-AF-One maker company, we call it something like "SP Jets".
I'm ready to make niiiices 3d concepts for a chuck of the $1M we could make :p
 

Zoo Tycoon

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Galgot
I’ve already registered the company name “SP Jets Inc”, I’ve spoken with thousands of pax’s about how disappointed they were at the speeds of modern civil air transport, only one person said they thought they were too fast. Most couldn’t give a stuff about the ticket price as it’s their companies paying.

Let’s crack on and get that mill
 
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MaxLegroom

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Galgot
I’ve already registered the company name “SP Jets Inc”, I’ve spoken with thousands of pax’s about how disappointed they were at the speeds of modern civil air transport, only one person said they thought they were too fast. Most couldn’t give a stuff about the ticket price as it’s their companies paying.

Let’s crack on and get that mill
The reaction of people you've talked to is interesting. I've had no such reaction, and the people I've talked to, largely from my former job at Langley AFB were surprised that the U.S. ever considered building a SST, and generally balked at the idea of going that fast. Of course, maybe showing them that painting of a NAC-60 in United colors, afterburners alight, intimidated them a bit...
 

TomS

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Galgot
I’ve already registered the company name “SP Jets Inc”, I’ve spoken with thousands of pax’s about how disappointed they were at the speeds of modern civil air transport, only one person said they thought they were too fast. Most couldn’t give a stuff about the ticket price as it’s their companies paying.

Let’s crack on and get that mill
The reaction of people you've talked to is interesting. I've had no such reaction, and the people I've talked to, largely from my former job at Langley AFB were surprised that the U.S. ever considered building a SST, and generally balked at the idea of going that fast. Of course, maybe showing them that painting of a NAC-60 in United colors, afterburners alight, intimidated them a bit...

I think that boom you just heard is the sound of the joke flying overhead at supersonic speed... :)
 

Grey Havoc

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From back in November:
“The United States Air Force is constantly looking for technological opportunities to disrupt the balance of our adversaries,” said Brigadier Gen. Ryan Britton, program executive officer for the Presidential & Executive Airlift Directorate, in a statement. “Boom is an example of the American ingenuity that drives the economy forward through technological advances.”

Along with Boom, the federal government contracted with startups Exosonic and Hermeus to develop supersonic aircraft for VIP transport, as well.
 

TomcatViP

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More pictures of the concept:
http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets%2F210402090059-exosonic-rendering-2.jpg


http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets%2F210402090142-exosonic-int-6.jpg


http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets%2F210402090215-exosonic-rendering-1.jpg



 

Archibald

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Quite ugly, but that's the price to pay to negate the sonic boom...

What's the point in having a supersonic AF1 ? while faster it can only lose some of the massively heavy protection systems buried into a 747... or maybe it is closer from AF2 - the 757 - that is, a complementary aircraft to the whole new 747-8 AF1 ?
 

Wyvern

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Why not just do what the HS.1023 did, and fly at Mach 1.15 as 60,000ft, the sonic boom would be inaudible. It was as possible in the Sixties as it is now, and it also looks sleek and elegant.
 

Archibald

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Sonic Cruiser tried it 20 years ago (twenty years ? geez) and it did not worked...
 

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4353.JPG

Low boom supersonic transport company Exosonic, Inc. is proud to announce a Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract award from the US Air Force (USAF). The contract will fund the development of a low boom supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator. Awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s AFWERX, the contract is in partnership with Air Combat Command and the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate.

Exosonic is excited to develop the first purpose-built supersonic UAV to aid the USAF in its pilot training mission. This vehicle will demonstrate technologies directly relevant to Exosonic’s quiet supersonic airliner and build a short-term path to revenue. The company plans to reinvest the profits from UAV sales to fund future supersonic product developments, such as the airliner.

Norris Tie, Exosonic’s CEO, says, “Our vision at Exosonic is to fly people supersonic everywhere with our airliner designed to fly supersonic overland with a muted sonic boom. The supersonic UAV work is critical to our company’s strategy due to how much we’ll learn about designing, manufacturing, and maintaining supersonic airplanes with our first UAV products. The UAV is also important to our company’s longevity. It will provide profits that we can funnel back into our company and give investors, suppliers, and customers confidence that we can deliver supersonic aircraft to the market before anyone needs to make a multi-billion dollar investment.”

This supersonic UAV will help the pilot training mission by acting as a near-peer adversary fighter to challenge fighter pilots in live flight training. Due to constrained training budgets and a pilot shortage, the USAF cannot efficiently produce new, fully-trained fighter pilots. As a result, a limited number of fighter pilots are receiving the adequate amount of live air training necessary to be prepared to defend our country against near-peer adversaries. Exosonic’s supersonic UAV will serve as a mock adversary to stress fighter pilots in live flight training exercises. Equipped with various payloads and sensors, training can be conducted at a fraction of the cost of existing live air training solutions. This could save taxpayers millions in training dollars and reduce wear-and-tear on existing USAF operational aircraft that serve as aggressors. Supersonic UAVs will also enable fighter pilots to focus their flight time on blue air training instead of flying as the enemy for their fellow pilots.

In addition to working with the USAF, Exosonic is working with government contractors, such as Tactical Air Support to understand how pilot training can be improved. Jim DiMatteo, Director of Communications and F-5 ADAIR pilot said, “Tactical Air Support is excited to see an emerging supersonic UAV platform that can operate jointly with a piloted contract adversary like the Tactical Air Support F-5 Advanced Tiger. These expanded capabilities will significantly enhance the DoD Blue forces training at a reduced cost.”

Exosonic has also received support from California’s 33rd Congressional District Representative Ted Lieu for this work.

"I’m pleased to support Exosonic’s recent proposal to AFWERX to develop a low boom supersonic UAV. Their supersonic UAV could be a cost-effective way to train future pilots and would help further flight innovation by demonstrating quiet supersonic overland travel with a muted sonic boom. I look forward to seeing Exosonic field its capabilities as the small business becomes a new player in California’s supersonic aviation industrial base," said Rep. Ted Lieu.

Exosonic will continue to explore more applications for its supersonic UAVs to help the DoD’s mission to modernize in the face of upcoming near-peer adversary threats. Exosonic will also use the UAV for its own purposes: to test its low boom technology in flight. This research will help validate Exosonic’s sonic boom loudness work. This data could be provided to civil aviation authorities as they look into replacing the supersonic overland flight ban with a sonic boom loudness restriction instead.

 

Archibald

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Ugly. Ugly as frack. And even with CGI vision (or artificial vision, you get the point) I wouldn't want to taxi that thing on any runway smaller than Mojave or Edwards or Dryden...
 

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An earlier official rendering of Exosonic UAV
 

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Exosonic Completes Quiet Supersonic Airliner Conceptual Review; Closes $4M+ Seed Round​

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Los Angeles, CA - As part of Exosonic’s AFWERX SBIR Phase II effort, the company has completed its first Conceptual Design Review (CoDR) of its latest quiet supersonic airliner design. During this 4-hour technical review Exosonic presented many aircraft subsystems and disciplines, ranging from the aerodynamic performance, low boom characteristics, structural layout, and seven other different engineering disciplines. As the first of Exosonic’s reviews with USAF stakeholders (Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate and Air Force Research Laboratory) it provided valuable feedback to the company.

The CoDR is a key milestone because it demonstrates the company’s ability to translate their understanding of Air Force requirements into a conceptual design at the subsystem level. Additionally, the review shows the capability of the company to apply sound engineering analysis to military relevant transport concepts as well as smaller scale, supersonic, unmanned aerial vehicle concepts. The company received valuable feedback on their design, which will be incorporated further as the concept matures from the conceptual design stage to the more detailed “Preliminary Design” stage.

In addition to their work with the Air Force under the Phase II Small Business contract, Exosonic recently closed its seed round, securing over $4M in capital to continue its mission to provide supersonic flight everywhere. This new funding will be used to grow the staff, establish an office, and further Exosonic’s hardware investments. Investors that participated in this round include YCombinator, Soma Capital, Psion Capital, Stellar Solutions, Unpopular Ventures, Gaingels, Prithvi VC, Asymmetry Ventures, Expansion VC, and several angel investors, such as Jude Gomila. The investor mix, which includes professional investors, dual-use tech / DoD investors, and climate-focused investors, helps Exosonic establish itself as a company focused on sustainably meeting its mission of providing supersonic aircraft to the US Government and commercial market.

“Exosonic’s seed fundraise is a statement of confidence from private sector investors. The Air Force has enduring mission requirements in the areas of executive transport, mobility, and training. It is clear Mr. Tie understands that creating synergy between the two potential customers (government and commercial) could propel his company to achieve his vision.” said Lt Col Joshua Burger, director of the Vector Initiative.

“We’re excited to have our new investors on board. Their support validates Exosonic’s differentiated approach of developing supersonic UAVs as a steppingstone towards the commercial supersonic airliner. These UAVs not only satisfy customer demands for affordable air combat training solutions but also help Exosonic de-risk its aircraft design, manufacturing, and sustainment abilities – all of which are important for future supersonic aircraft solutions,” said Norris Tie, Exosonic’s co-founder and CEO.

With the new funding round and the completion of the airliner CoDR, Exosonic will transition to work on its nearer term priorities: the development of its supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator. The supersonic UAV product line will address several missions, such as air combat training. In the next few years, the company will be focused on developing hardware to achieve a supersonic UAV first flight earliest in 2025.

 

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