Gulfstream Reinvigorates Supersonic Programs

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Gulfstream Aerospace this week said it appointed Gerard Schkolnik as director of its supersonic technology programs. In his new position, Schkolnik will direct the company’s research of structural concepts and advanced materials, propulsion integration and supersonic aerodynamics as they apply to supersonic flight. He will also continue the company's research into sonic boom suppression and comes to Gulfstream with nearly 20 years of experience in flight research, development, test and evaluation. For the past 15 years, he has worked for NASA at the agency’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Schkolnik's appointment apparently reinvigorates Gulfstream's efforts to bring to market a supersonic business jet (SSBJ). Long-time bizav observers will recall that, in the early 1990s, Gulfstream entered into a joint effort with Russia's Sukhoi Design Bureau to develop a small SSBJ, known as the S-21. Amid questionable market demand, an uncertain regulatory environment and presumed technology hurdles, Gulfstream eventually pulled out of the project, although Sukhoi continued work on the S-21.

“Gerard brings with him impressive experience in supersonic aircraft research,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. “I look forward to applying that experience to our research into sonic boom suppression and other technologies supporting supersonic flight.” While at NASA, Schkolnik's service included work as a liaison to the Naval Air Systems Command, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Prior to NASA, Schkolnik served as an aerodynamics, flying qualities and stability control engineer at the Air Force Flight Test Center, also at Edwards AFB, which involved work on the B-2 program and the F-15 STOL demonstrator, among other projects.