Quiet-supersonic airliner developer Exosonic has revealed several changes to the design of its aircraft in an updated concept drawing and video.
Key differences in the latest design of Exosonic’s aircraft include the use of more and smaller engines to allow it to better meet take-off / landing noise restrictions and an efficiency-improving wing design. The shape of the fuselage has also been changed to further reduce the noise made by its sonic booms.
The images were released after the aircraft’s first Conceptual Design Review (CoDR), a four hour technical review presented to the US Air Force. Exosonic’s quiet-airliner design is being developed for the US Air Force under contract as part of the AFWERX research program.
During the design review Exosonic described several aircraft subsystems and disciplines, ranging from the aerodynamic performance, low boom characteristics and structural layout. Feedback from the review is being incorporated into the airliner’s development from the conceptual stage to a more detailed preliminary design stage.
Meanwhile Exosonic is also progressing the design of a low-boom supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator for the US Air Force, the contract for which was awarded in October last year. The UAV will be used primarily for pilot training, although other applications are being considered.
The UAV will be around the same size as a fighter jet and use COTS engines. Technologies relevant to the quiet-supersonic airliner will be demonstrated in the UAV, which Exosonic plans to fly for the first time in 2025.
Norris Tie, Exosonic’s co-founder and CEO said, “These UAVs not only satisfy customer demands for affordable air combat training solutions but also help Exosonic de-risk its aircraft design, manufacturing, and sustainment abilities – all of which are important for future supersonic aircraft solutions.”
In addition to their work with the US Air Force, Exosonic has recently raised US$4 million, with which it plans to employ more staff and establish an office.
Tie said, “We’re excited to have our new investors on board. Their support validates Exosonic’s differentiated approach of developing supersonic UAVs as a stepping stone towards the commercial supersonic airliner.
Lt Col Joshua Burger, director of the US Air Force’s Vector Initiative said, “Exosonic’s seed fundraise is a statement of confidence from private sector investors. The Air Force has enduring mission requirements in the areas of executive transport, mobility, and training.
“It is clear Mr. Tie understands that creating synergy between the two potential customers of government and commercial could propel his company to achieve his vision.”