Spirit AeroSystems Commits To Production Role For Aerion AS2

AS2 illustration
Credit: Aerion

Spirit AeroSystems has started a long transition into the production phase for the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet. 

The Wichita-based supplier for mostly Boeing and Airbus commercial aircraft agreed to an expanded role on the AS2 that includes producing the forward fuselage, the companies announced on July 28. 

Aerion and Spirit have been working together to finalize the preliminary design for the AS2’s pressurized forward fuselage for about 18 months. The milestone should be completed in 2021. 

The agreement on Spirit’s new role comes as Reno, Nevada-based Aerion prepares to start building AS2 jets in 2 1/2 years. 

“I’m delighted to have expanded our already excellent relationship and look forward to continued collaboration between our two companies as we bring the AS2 to market,” says Tom Vice, Aerion’s CEO. 

The collaboration on the forward fuselage includes the only pressurized sections of the aircraft, such as the cabin and cockpit. 

“We have contributed innovative and cost-effective design solutions to help make the AS2 supersonic jet a reality,” Spirit CEO Tom Gentile says. 

Aerion plans to break ground privately on a new final assembly plant for the AS-2 in September or October, a spokesman said. A date for a public event to commemorate the milestone is “a little unclear at this point” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spokesman said. 

GE Aviation has also signed on to deliver non-afterburning Affinity jet engines for the AS2.

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.