Lockheed Martin and Aerion have teamed up to build the world’s first supersonic business jet. The two companies announced a Memorandum of Understanding late last week, explaining that they will go on to “define a formal and gated process to explore the feasibility” of creating a supersonic business jet dubbed the Aerion AS2. Kicking off that process will be a 12-month period during which the duo will create a framework for the overall project.
According to a joint announcement, the two companies have already engaged in extensive talks about the newly announced MOU. The discussions took place between Lockheed’s Skunk Works Advanced Development Programs team and Aerion. Lockheed Martin, of course, is known for being behind supersonic combat jets like the F-22 and F-16.
Talking about that and the new joint project is Aerion’s Chairman Robert M. Bass, who said:
This relationship is absolutely key to creating a supersonic renaissance. When it comes to supersonic know-how, Lockheed Martin’s capabilities are well known, and, in fact, legendary. We share with Lockheed Martin a commitment to the long-term development of efficient civil supersonic aircraft.
Aerion will be bringing its aerodynamic tech to the partnership, having provided the Aerion AS2 concept that caught Lockheed Martin’s attention. Aerion worked on that concept for the last 2.5 years, doing so under a former collaboration with Airbus.
That work resulted in the preliminary designs for the AS2’s systems layout, airframe structures, and wing, according to the companies. Earlier this year, Aerion entered into a deal with GE Aviation to “define” the concept’s supersonic engine. How long Lockheed and Aerion plan to work together isn’t clear.
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin