Spike Aerospace, which is developing the S-512 supersonic business jet, plans to begin test flights of its first demonstrator aircraft by the end of this month. The SX-1.2 is an unmanned scaled proof-of-concept aircraft that will help validate the control and stability of the S-512 at low speeds.
According to Spike, the SX-1.2 will be followed by a series of successively larger and faster aircraft, leading ultimately to a supersonic demonstrator. The Boston-based company intends to have the Mach 1.6 S-512 flying by early 2021, with customer deliveries starting in 2023.
“We’re excited to be going from conceptual design to an actual flying aircraft,” said Spike Aerospace president and CEO Vik Kachoria. “We have done a lot of analysis using computational fluid dynamics tools and simulations, but until you get an aircraft into the air you don’t really have proof of how it will handle.”
Spike has completed two unmanned demonstrators and is building a third. “As we gather the low- and high-speed data, Spike will refine the designs of our crewed supersonic demonstrators,” said Kachoria. He expects to begin high-speed testing by mid-2018 and build crewed high-speed demonstrators in 2019.
The company has partnered with Siemens, Quartus, Aernnova, Greenpoint, BRPH and others on the S-512, which will seat 22 passengers and have a 6,200-mile range.