The next two to three months will be vital times for the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet program. During that period the company expects to finalize the aircraft's engine configuration with Lockheed Martin and receive an engine analysis report from GE Aviation, Ernest Edwards, senior v-p and COO told AIN.
Before Aerion and Lockheed signed their cooperation agreement, the two companies worked together and identified that two of the engines should be moved from the rear to the wings.
“Lockheed and our engineers are now working on the configuration of the aircraft; in this case the implementation of the engines to the wings and the fuselage," Edwards said. "Within 60 to 90 days we should be able to put a stamp on the design. Lockheed will then be able to further provide their expertise as to starting the manufacturing process and vendor supply chain.”
The company is in constant conversation with GE Aviation almost every month to discuss the development of the engine, he added. “We met at EBACE two weeks ago and they are working on the analysis on items like costs, development process, and so on. We are also hoping to get the report by around the same time frame.“
The company hopes to sell 600 aircraft over a 20-year period, each costing $120 million. Edwards revealed that there are already conversations with potential clients in Asia.
“We all see the tremendous growth of business jets in China, and it will be good if we can deliver one or two aircraft into these markets [annually]," he said. “There are some challenges in terms of regulations, infrastructure in Asia, but there is no doubt they will catch up.”