18/04/2012 AERION PREPARES FOR NASA FLIGHT TESTS
Aerion Corporation released details about its next round of supersonic test flights, a vital element in the company’s plan to design the world’s first supersonic business jet (SBJ).
Aerion has designed the next test article that will fly in the centerline position under NASA’s F-15B aircraft. The last round of tests during the summer of 2010 reached Mach 2.0 and used an instrumented flat plate to map the high-speed flow field under the F-15B and validate computer modeling. After analyzing the resulting data, aerodynamic design work for the new test article began in late 2010, followed by mechanical design in mid-2011. Fabrication of the 40-inch vertical span by 80-inch chord device is now underway and will be complete by the end of May. A series of ground checks will be followed by one-hour supersonic test flights at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in June and/or July, pending aircraft availability.
The new test article will be more representative of the Aerion wing in order to evaluate supersonic boundary layer transition properties as they relate to manufacturing standards for surface quality and assembly tolerances, both crucial to future production of the SBJ.
“This year’s planned F-15B test flights of the latest Aerion test article prove our partnership continues to be mutually beneficial,” said Dr. Richard Tracy, Aerion’s chief technology officer. “Our work with NASA will further refine future practical applications of aerodynamics for safe and efficient flight at higher speeds compared to today’s conventional subsonic civil aircraft.”