Aerion has announced that its AS2 supersonic business jet concept is beginning high-speed wind tunnel testing this month. The company also noted that it has completed computer modeling of the AS2 design using aerodynamic optimization tools that provided “thousands of data points to develop the aerodynamic shape to a high level of fidelity and detail.” According to Aerion, combining its modeling tools with wind tunnel testing has removed the need for a demonstrator aircraft in the early stages of the AS2’s development.
“While the onset of increasingly sophisticated computer modeling technology has greatly enhanced aerospace design, wind tunnel testing remains a key component in the development cycle,” said Aerion system test and evaluation director Robert Lewis. “We are working with the world’s best wind tunnel model builders and the global leaders in wind tunnel technology to validate our virtual findings and ensure the AS2 design exceeds expectations.”
Wind tunnel testing for the AS2 is being conducted with Modane, France-based aerospace testing and research lab ONERA. Aerion is looking to begin production of the 8-11 passenger supersonic business jet in 2023. The company says it plans to manufacture 300 AS2 aircraft during the first decade of production. As previously reported by AVweb, Aerion selected Melbourne, Florida, as the site for its AS2 manufacturing plant last May.