Aerion Supersonic announced this week that GE Aviation has been selected as the Electrical Power Systems provider for its AS2 supersonic 12 passenger business jet currently in development, with flight testing scheduled to begin in 2024. The system includes electrical power generation, distribution, conversion, and energy storage.
The AS2 electrical power system design and initial integration planning work will be conducted at GE’s Electrical Power Integration Centre (EPIC) in Cheltenham, UK, with final integration and procurement at GE’s Electric Power Integrated Systems Center (EPISCenter), the electrical power integration headquarters, located in Dayton, Ohio.
Aerion had previously announced in 2018 that GE’s Affinity engines will power the AS2. The Affinity engine is optimized with GE technology to provide exceptional and balanced performance across supersonic and subsonic flights and is the first civil supersonic engine to be developed in 55 years. The Affinity is a twin-shaft, twin-fan medium-bypass-ratio engine designed to enable efficient supersonic flight over water and efficient subsonic flight over land without requiring modifications to existing regulations. The Affinity has a high-altitude service ceiling of 60,000 feet according to GE Aviation.
“We are excited to expand our collaboration with Aerion and leverage our extensive electrical power expertise for this state of the art, supersonic AS2 program,” said Brad Mottier, GE Aviation Vice President and General Manager for Business and General Aviation & Integrated Systems. “Along with the GE Affinity engine, our electrical power system will be designed, integrated, and optimized to deliver outstanding overall system performance for Aerion and its customers.”
Aerion’s AS2 is the first-ever privately built supersonic commercial aircraft. Designed to be inherently environmentally friendly, the AS2 is the first supersonic aircraft with the ability to accept 100 percent synthetic fuel. The AS2’s forward, pressurized fuselage will be designed by Spirit AeroSystems through an agreement announced in February 2019. Spirit AeroSystems currently builds major composite structures for the Boeing 777 and Boeing 787.
“We conducted an extensive trade study, analyzing several providers and multiple power generation and distribution architectures,” said Aerion CEO Tom Vice. “As a result, we have selected GE Aviation as our partner for the AS2 electrical power system. We are excited to expand our outstanding relationship with GE.”
Once the AS2 is certified, it will use Boomless Cruise technology to reach speeds approaching Mach 1.4 (1,074 mph), depending on atmospheric conditions like air temperature and wind. According to Aerion, the AS2 will be able to fly Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) in 3 hours, 17 minutes, reducing coast-to-coast private jet travel by one hour, 25 minutes over current subsonic aircraft. A New York to London flight will take four hours and four minutes, a time savings of almost two hours.