BAE Systems is to supply the flight control system for Aerion Supersonic’s new AS2 supersonic business jet.

BAE will design, develop, and integrate a fly-by-wire flight control system, including active inceptors, for the new aircraft. The company has more than 40 years’ of experience developing and integrating fly-by-wire systems. The new flight control system builds on the company’s proven core technology, but uses smaller and lighter components to allow for integration on the AS2.

The system will comprise active inceptors, primary flight control computers, actuator control units, and remote electronics units.

Next-generation flight control system

BAE Systems vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions, Ehtisham Siddiqui, said: “We are leveraging decades of expertise and advanced technologies to architect a flight control system that will enable the future of flight. We are proud to be collaborating with Aerion Supersonic on this next-generation flight control system for the AS2 aircraft.”

Tom Vice, chairman, president and CEO at Aerion, added: “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.”

“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.”

Tactile feedback in the palm of a pilot’s hand

BAE Systems’ active inceptors will provide AS2 pilots with static and dynamic tactile force feedback in the palm of their hand. Unlike passive systems, 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 providing them with 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 (approximately 1,000 miles per hr – at 57,000ft).

Aerion production to start in 2023

The AS2 will commence production from the company’s new global headquarters, 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, UK.

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter