BAE Systems has received a contract from Aerion Supersonic to supply the flight control system for its new AS2 supersonic business jet. BAE Systems will design, develop, and integrate a fly-by-wire flight control system, including active inceptors, for the new aircraft.
“We are leveraging decades of expertise and advanced technologies to architect a flight control system that will enable the future of flight,” said Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions for BAE Systems. “We are proud to be collaborating with Aerion Supersonic on this next-generation flight control system for the AS2 aircraft.”
The new flight control system adds to BAE Systems’ more than 40 years of experience developing and integrating fly-by-wire systems. The system builds on the company’s proven core technology, but uses smaller and lighter components to allow for integration on the AS2 aircraft. The system will comprise active inceptors, primary flight control computers, actuator control units, and remote electronics units.
“BAE Systems’ extensive industry experience and innovative product portfolio enable us to create a technologically advanced and reliable flight control system tailored to the unique needs of the AS2 supersonic business jet,” said Tom Vice, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Aerion. “We are delighted to expand our long-standing relationship with BAE Systems and for them to join our growing team of globally-renowned technical partners who will support bringing the AS2 to production.”
BAE Systems’ active inceptors will provide AS2 pilots with static and dynamic tactile force feedback in the palm of their hand. Unlike a passive system, the active inceptor includes electronic controlled actuators that send tactile feedback to the pilot through the flight stick. The feedback warns pilots of structural or aerodynamic operating limits – giving them improved situational awareness to maintain a safer, more stable flight.
Aerion’s AS2 private jet is the first supersonic aircraft to use only synthetic fuel and reach supersonic speeds without the need for an afterburner. The business jet will enhance point-to-point travel with a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 – approx. 1,000 miles per hour – at 57,000 feet. The AS2 will commence production from the company’s new global headquarters and manufacturing and research campus – Aerion Park – in Melbourne, Florida, in 2023.
The flight control system development will be conducted at BAE Systems facilities in Endicott, New York, and Rochester, U.K.