If you are a talented young engineer working in one of the world's leading airlines, and suddenly you had the idea to tell the director about the new smart idea of developing a supersonic passenger plane, then you can bet that you will almost immediately be asked to leave the management office or be completely kicked out of work. However, the situation changes if you work in a small company. In this case, such a number can work, moreover, under such a project it will be possible to knock out some investments and even draw a certain number of beautiful sketches. This is exactly what young designers from Aerion Corporation have done, who have been exploiting the idea of building an Aerion AS2 SBJ (supersonic business jet) aircraft for a very long time.
This company has long wanted to create a private supersonic aircraft for the business community. With this idea, they are worn for quite a few years, regularly releasing news, reports and new machine renders. Not so long ago, they presented new innovations to the public, having decided to make changes to the draft. So, the Aerion AS2 SBJ aircraft will have to receive the 3 engine at once instead of the two originally planned ones.
Jokes aside, this decision of the designers should be recognized as logically correct. In the presence of the obvious disadvantages of such a solution - the overall rise in the cost of the project, the heavier the machine, the increase in the number of engines - there is also a very important positive effect in the form of a decrease in the specific thrust for each of the engines during takeoff. Less thrust on the engine means less noise. It should be noted that the roar is one of the Achilles' heels of many supersonic aircraft when it comes to passenger cars. Initially, the project developers planned to install 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines in a supersonic version on the aircraft. It is worth noting that this engine was created 50 years ago, and since then has been installed on many popular aircraft, in particular the B727, MD80, DC9 and many others.
The main distinctive features of the project Aerion AS2, which distinguish it from a number of similar projects, include the wing of the original design. The engineers of Aerion Corporation decided to abandon the deltoid or octal-shaped wing in favor of using their own design - Aerion "unswept" SNLF (supersonic natural laminar flow). According to the company, such a shape and wing profile give a significant increase in the area of laminar flow, which in turn reduces the total area of the airframe directly by 20%. They confirm their assertions with data that was obtained during the sweep of the model in the wind tunnel of NASA.
Obviously, modern technologies are not standing still, they are constantly striving for improvement. So exclude the fact that in the near future, airlines will begin to operate such supersonic aircraft that can reduce the time of flight over long distances to 1-2 hours, is not worth it. At the same time, there has been a lull in discussions about the future of large passenger supersonic liners and in their design in recent years. Along with this, a large number of small business-class supersonic aircraft projects appeared.
Supersonic aircraft of this class on 6-15 passengers are hardly easier to develop and create than a similar aircraft on 150 passengers, but it will cost significantly less, and experts predict a rather large demand for such machines. In Europe and the USA in the last few years a large number of projects of such small supersonic aircraft have appeared, which are currently at various stages of implementation. In fairness it should be noted that all projects are still only in the paper stage.
All projects of such machines, with all the variety of original components and parts, are one thing in common - they either look like grown-up fighters, for example, F-15 or Su-27, or significantly "shrunken" in size Tu-144 and "Concordes". The same double plumage, the same deltoid wings, etc. Against this background, it is the Aerion AS2 SBJ project that stands out from the general picture with a fresh look. Aerion AS2 is a small 12-seat aircraft, in the form of which the direct wing draws its main attention to itself, which is more correctly called a diamond-shaped one and the same plumage.
The Aerion AS2 is a business-class supersonic jet aircraft that attracts attention with an unusual diamond-shaped wing. It seems to some that this model will not be able to compare with fighters in terms of economy and speed of flight, but in fact they are mistaken. The fact that the project of this aircraft looks like the F-104 fighter, which has long since sunk into oblivion, which received the unflattering nickname “flying coffin” for numerous cases of pilot death, still does not mean anything. Aerodynamics of the wing of the aircraft was performed using the most new and advanced technologies. The wing span of the novelty is 19,8 m, the length of the aircraft is 44,15 m. These dimensions are of a design nature and may change by the time the aircraft is launched into production.
According to the creators of this supersonic aircraft, its main advantage over competitors should be the most quiet flight at supersonic speed. Until the plane reaches the speed of 1,1 M, a sonic boom will not be heard on the ground. Thanks to this aircraft, the road to mass operation is opened without claims and conflicts that concern permits and approvals from the authorities of those states over whose territory the flight route will be laid.
When flying over populated areas, the plane can keep to speeds from 0,99 M to 1,1 M, which is still significantly faster than ordinary passenger planes and small business-class cars. At the same time, when flying over the ocean or sparsely populated terrain, the plane will be able to reach speeds of up to 1,6 M. At this, even at that speed of flight, the force of the sonic boom will be noticeably lower than that of smaller supersonic fighters and significantly less than that of the same "Concord" .
Today the main question is whether such an aircraft will be in demand by the market. The company gives skeptics such an example - a flight from Tokyo to New York with landing in Anchorage (1 hour rest) on the new Aerion AS2 aircraft takes only 9 hours 33 a minute, including the rest time itself, while traveling without rest (but with performing one refueling) on business jets takes 14 21 hours a minute. At the same time, the maximum flight range is almost 8 thousands of kilometers with a cruising flight speed of 1,4 M. Very serious indicators.
At the same time, the aircraft will be able to take off not only from large airports. The landing speed of the car, which, according to the information of the designers, is 237 km / h, allows it to land on airfields with a total length of 1,5 km. Landing on a strip of aircraft such as "Concorde" would be very difficult, but in practice practically impracticable. The takeoff of the aircraft is also relatively small - about 1,8 km, which is quite a good indicator for a supersonic machine. This is the advantage of using a diamond wing in combination with flaps, which are made throughout its span.
At the same time, there is one more important point, which is one of the main reasons why supersonic liners have not pushed ordinary passenger cars at subsonic speeds to the side of the road - the cost of air tickets. Now, returning to the idea of supersonic passenger traffic, but already applied to business class compact airplanes, manufacturers in various countries believe that people who are rich and value their free time can overpay for higher flight speeds and shorter flight times in 1,5, and and 2 times. It was against this background that the Aerion aircraft project appeared, the creators of which announced that the flight on their plane would be no more expensive, but even slightly cheaper than the existing subsonic jet aircraft designed to carry passengers from 10 to 20 passengers.
The company's engineers claim that their model will have air drag at supersonic flight speed, despite using a diamond-shaped wing, will be 20% lower than that of aircraft equipped with a deltoid wing of the same size. It also adds well-known turbojet engines from Pratt & Whitney, which is widely regarded as one of the industry leaders. All this allowed Aerion Corporation to talk about developing a fast, but at the same time quite economical aircraft, costing approximately $ 80 million. However, before the start of mass production and sales, the cost of a new item may increase significantly. At the same time, the company's specialists estimate the current market for supersonic business-class aircraft at approximately 300-400 aircraft per year.
Previously, the company even reported that 19 buyers were found on the plane, which is currently in the process of being created, and the total amount of contracts concluded is 1,5 billion dollars. First time in stories Business class supersonic aircraft were presented to the public at the Dubai Air Show. Of course, the price of this aircraft cannot be compared with the amount that a person decided to put out who wished to buy the world's largest A380 airliner. But unlike the Airbus, the new Aerion AS2 has its main advantage - the speed of flight.
The maximum speed of the aircraft should be 1,6 M (about 1900 km / h). Given the fact that in all countries of the world there is a law banning supersonic flights over continental territories, the aircraft will not be able to reach its maximum speed everywhere. At the same time, he will be able to fly in supersonic over the surface of the ocean, as well as over states that have extensive sparsely populated territories. Among such countries can be identified Russia, Canada and Australia. In these countries, there is the possibility of obtaining special permission for such flights.
Aerion AS2 SBJ - "fighter" for business
- Yuferev Sergey