BAE Fly-By-Wire Selected For AS2 Supersonic Project

Aerion is developing the Mach 1.4 business jet AS2.
Credit: Aerion Supersonic

Supersonic business jet developer Aerion has selected BAE Systems to develop and integrate a fly-by-wire flight control system for the AS2 high-speed aircraft.

The package includes active control sidesticks, or inceptors, as well as primary flight control computers, actuator control units and remote electronic units. The BAE active sidestick, versions of which equip the Gulfstream G500/600 business jet family and Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft, provides tactile feedback to pilots and warns of approaching aerodynamic or structural limits.

The BAE active stick system—also used in Embraer’s KC-390 transport and KAI T-50—succeeds traditional mechanical, passive inceptors, which use position sensors to send electrical signals to the fly-by-wire system. As the mechanical system cannot affect the feel of the passive stick in real time, changes to the flight envelope of the aircraft cannot be fed back to the pilot as cues.

Aerion and Honeywell Aerospace are meanwhile continuing to define flight deck and connectivity features for the AS2 under a collaboration effort that began in 2018. Leveraging the company’s Primus Epic avionics platform, the AS2 flight deck suite definition work includes an advanced display system, which will support Aerion’s proposed boom-less cruise concept for transonic and supersonic speeds overland without producing a sonic boom on the ground.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, based in Los Angeles. Before joining Aviation Week in 2007, Guy was with Flight International, first as technical editor based in the U.K. and most recently as U.S. West Coast editor. Before joining Flight, he was London correspondent for Interavia, part of Jane's Information Group.