BAE Systems to provide supersonic AS2 flight controls

British aerospace firm selected to supply the Aerion Supersonic with a flight control system for its AS2 business jet 

Farnborough-based BAE Systems has been awarded a contract by American start-up Aerion Supersonic to design, develop, and integrate a fly-by-wire flight control system, including active inceptors (control sticks) for its AS2 supersonic business jet. 

The agreement builds on BAE Systems’ more than 40 years of experience developing and integrating fly-by-wire structures.  

Aerion Supersonic
The Aerion AS2 is expected to be able to cruise at Mach 1.4 at 57,000ft. Aerion Supersonic

Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions for BAE Systems, commented: “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.” 

The firm’s 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 has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 – approximately 1,000mph – at 57,000ft. The AS2 will commence production from the company’s new global headquarters and manufacturing and research campus – Aerion Park – in Melbourne, Florida, in 2023.