Early Saturday morning Oct 07, 2017, Spike Aerospace successfully test flew the subsonic subscale SX-1.2 demonstrator aircraft for the first time. The jet is an early unmanned prototype of the company’s 18 passenger S-512 Quiet Supersonic Jet. The SX-1.2 test flights proved that the aerodynamic design of the aircraft is valid and provided a tremendous amount of data regarding the flight characteristics of the aircraft.
The prototypes is for a supersonic jets that will have a top speed of 1,354 mph.
The plan if for $60 million 18 passenger S-512 Quiet Supersonic Jet.
In total, seven short flights were performed to test the design and flight controls of the jet. Between each test flight, adjustments were made to the aircraft’s center of mass, balance and control surfaces. Additional performance data was observed and collected.
KrishnaKumar Malu piloted the aircraft, assisted by Mike Ridlon, at a private airfield in New England. Mr. Malu said “These test flights are providing incredibly valuable information which we can use to refine the design. I am very excited about how helpful these tests will be to our supersonic development program.”
Vik Kachoria, President and CEO said “The SX-1.2 test flights were conducted in a real world situation, and provide significantly more data than wind tunnel tests done in an artificial environment. We were able to test not only handling, but also a range of other considerations.”
The weather was absolutely perfect, with winds at 7-10 mph and temperature near 70 F. The company is planning to make additional modifications based on data collected from the initial tests and will conduct more test flights on the SX-1.2 in early November. Work on SX-1.3, the next in the demonstrator series, has also begun.
Significant engineering resources and assistance was provided by Siemens, Quartus, Aernnova, Greenpoint, BRPH and others who have all been part of the development efforts to date.
Spike intends to have the S-512 aircraft flying by early 2021, with customer deliveries beginning in 2023. The S-512 will seat up to 22 passengers, with a range of 6200 miles and a cruise speed of Mach 1.6, saving 50% on flight times. And due to the aircraft’s low-boom signature, it will be able to fly overland without creating disturbing sonic booms.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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