There is a new entrant in the (slow) race to bring a supersonic business jet to market, Spike Aerospace. Headquartered in Boston, Spike Aerospace was founded by engineers and consultants with experience working at Airbus, Boeing, Eclipse, Gulfstream, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA. The Spike S-512 is targeting a Mach 1.6 cruise speed and Mach 1.8 maximum speed.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s G650 added another city-pair record to its résumé, flying the 5,905-nm route from Honolulu to Singapore for the 2014 Singapore Airshow on Friday in 14 hours 6 minutes. The aircraft, which carried two passengers and five crewmembers, averaged Mach 0.85 over the record-breaking flight, despite flying against headwinds exceeding 100 knots for more than half the flight. Once the U.S. National Aeronautic Association validates the new record, the flagship Gulfstream will have amassed 39 such milestones.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion is releasing results from recent flight tests of a natural laminar flow (NLF) wing test article this week here in Las Vegas, while the company continues to work to have its supersonic business jet enter service in 2020. The goal of these tests was to measure “real-world robustness” of supersonic NLF, which is a key technology for the Aerion SSBJ, in regards to surface quality and manufacturing tolerances.
Former U.S. Air Force pilot Sean Gillette announced yesterday the launch of a new “personal jet” program, the Saker S-1, a twin-engine two-seater capable of flying 1,600 nm and cruising at Mach 0.95. With twin vertical fins, tandem seating and short fighter-like wings and stabilizer, the S-1 brings to mind the Aviation Technology Group Javelin.
Aerion, which has been defining and refining its design for a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) for the past 11 years, is here at EBACE (Booth 7030) still quietly confident that it will someday be able to add the word “producer” to its résumé. To that end, a NASA F-15 has been flying this spring from Dryden Flight Research Center in California with an 80- by 40-inch section of Aerion airfoil attached to its belly.
A Gulfstream G650 set a city-pair speed record last month on a flight between Shanghai and Newark, N.J., flying the 6,855-nm route in 13 hours and 32 minutes, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. The jet took off from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on April 18 carrying five passengers and four crewmembers. ATC restrictions kept the G650 below FL310 for the first hour before it was cleared to climb to its normal cruising altitude of FL410 to FL510.
The transonic speed spat between Cessna’s Citation Ten and Gulfstream’s G650 is likely to hit of the stops at Mach 0.95 when it encounters not “the sound barrier” but required safety margins. With the Ten’s top speed now pegged at Mach 0.935, Gulfstream’s G650 could thus leapfrog the Ten only slightly, if the Savannah-based aircraft manufacturer even chooses to do so.
Here are some fascinating supersonic facts about the Concorde:
•Just over 202 feet long, nine-foot-wide tube;
•Tail and cockpit sections added at Filton were built at Weybridge (Vickers, later BAC);
•Stretches six to eight inches in flight;
•Pressurized to 6,000 feet, so comfortable in cabin;
•Cruise: 1,350 mph (Mach 2 at 60,000 feet);
•Range: 4,300 miles, with 100 passengers in single class;
Aerion is preparing to start another round of test flights in the development of what would be the world’s first supersonic business jet. A new test article is set to fly in the centerline position beneath one of NASA’s F-15Bs either this month or next.
Aerion Corp. is preparing to start another round of test flights in the development of what would be the world’s first supersonic business jet (SBJ). A new test article is set to fly in the centerline position beneath one of NASA’s F-15B aircraft in either June or July.
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