Spirit Aero To Expand Work on Aerion Supersonic AS2

 - July 28, 2020, 11:52 AM
As it prepares for first flight in 2023, Aerion Supersonic is rounding out its supply and design team for the AS2 with the agreement for Spirit to design and build the forward fuselage. (Photo: Aerion Supersonic)

Aerion Supersonic continues to fill out the supply team for its Mach 1.4 AS2 business jet, expanding the role of Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems to cover design and production of the forward fuselage. Under a memorandum of understanding, Spirit will further invest in the AS2 and increase engineering.

This builds on the existing relationship between Aerion and Spirit that began in 2019, initially involving preliminary design work. Aerion said that by joining the project in the early stages, Spirit’s technical expertise has “significantly advanced the design evolution” of the supersonic jet as it prepares to kick off production in 2023.

Aerion anticipates Spirit will build 36 forward fuselage assemblies annually at full rate. The company further anticipates building 300 AS2s in the first decade of production at its final assembly facility in Melbourne, Florida.

“Spirit AeroSystems has been an outstanding partner in the design and development of the AS2, and their considerable aerostructures expertise has proven a core enabler in the evolution of our program,” said Aerion chairman, president, and CEO Tom Vice.

The announced agreement follows last week’s naming of Collins Aerospace to develop the flight control actuation system for the AS2. Other suppliers include GE Aviation, Honeywell, Safran, GKN Aerospace, Aernnova, and Potez Aeronautique. In addition, Boeing has collaborated on the program.

Aerion is targeting a 2025 first flight and a 2027 service entry.