The first supersonic business jet engine, GE’s Affinity turbofan, optizes supersonic flight and timed to meet the Aerion AS2 launch. Moreover, the Affinity balances performance across supersonic and subsonic flights. In this case, the engine integrates a blend of military supersonic experience, commercial reliability and advanced business jet engine technologies. Supersonic refers to a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound (Mach 1). For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 68 °F at sea level, this speed is approximately 768 mph.
GE’s Affinity is a twin-shaft, twin-fan turbofan controlled by a next generation Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) for enhanced dispatch reliability and onboard diagnostics. In particular, it enables efficient supersonic flight over water and efficient subsonic flight over land, with no mods to existing compliance regulations. Furthermore, the engine meets stringent Stage 5 subsonic noise requirements and beats current emissions standards.
GE’s Affinity Supersonic Business Jet Engine features:
- Efficient performance throughout the full flight envelope with a high-altitude service ceiling of 60,000.
- An advanced twin-fan with the highest bypass ratio of any supersonic engine.
- A special, non-augmented supersonic exhaust system.
- A proven engine core adapted from GE’s commercial airline portfolio with billions of successful and reliable hours of operational service.
- A durable combustor with advanced coatings for sustained high-speed operation.
- Advanced acoustic technology designed to meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
- GE’s additive design & manufacturing technologies to optimize weight & performance.
After two years of a preliminary study, GE Aviation and Aerion launched a formal process in May of 2017 to define and evaluate a final engine configuration for the AS2 supersonic business jet. To that end, a GE Project team works with Aerion in a formal and gated process. Finally, a design review in 2020 signals the beginning of detailed design and test article production.
Significantly, Aerion collaborates with GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell to develop the AS2.