Spike Aerospace will begin a series of test flights of its first SX-1.2 demonstrator aircraft by the end of the month. The SX-1.2 is a scaled, proof-of-concept aircraft that will help validate the aerodynamics of the S-512 Supersonic Jet.
For Spike, this is the next phase of the company's flagship Supersonic Jet program.
"We're very excited to be crossing this milestone and going from conceptual design and pretty pictures to an actual flying aircraft." said Vik Kachoria, President and CEO of Spike Aerospace. The company has developed partnerships with 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.
On the path to that delivery, the test flights on the SX-1.2 validate stability and control at low speeds, which is critical for take-off and landings. The SX-1.2 will be followed by a series of successively larger and faster aircraft, leading ultimately to a supersonic demonstrator. Each time, the flight envelope will be expanded.
Kachoria explained the roadmap that Spike is executing, "We have done a lot of analysis using computational fluid dynamics tools and simulations, but until you get an aircraft into the air you don't really have proof of how it will handle". He added, "What we learn from each test flight will be incorporated into the next generation of the aircraft."
Spike is already building the third generation of demonstrators with the first two complete and ready for their first flights. "As we gather the low and high speed data," Kachoria stated, "Spike Aerospace continues to refine the designs of our crewed supersonic demonstrators."
Kachoria said Spike was on schedule to begin high speed testing by mid next year and planned to build the crewed high speed demonstrators in 2019. "Our goal is to be flying crewed supersonic test flights before the end of 2019, and we're on track to achieve that" Kachoria stated. That will lead to final designs, production and testing of the S-512.
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