Spike S-512 could be the world's first supersonic business jet
With the Cessna Citation X set to receive FAA certification in early 2014 and knock the Gulfstream G650 off it's world's fastest civilian aircraft perch thanks to its maximum operating speed of Mach 0.935, Boston-based Spike Aerospace is looking to leave both those aircraft in its wake with its S-512. Spike says its S-512 will be the world's first supersonic business jet, boasting a cruising speed of Mach 1.6, and a maximum speed of Mach 1.8.
The Spike team, made up of engineers with experience at Gulfstream, Eclipse and Airbus, has spent the last couple of years designing the Spike S-512. Initially to be targeted at business users for whom time is money, the aircraft is designed to carry a maximum of up to 18 passengers in the luxury befitting an aircraft with an estimated price tag of between US$60 to $80 million.
The company says the Mach 1.6 to 1.8 speed capabilities of the aircraft will translate to a flight from New York to London taking three to four hours instead of six to seven, and the 14 to 16 hour flight time for a Los Angeles to Tokyo flight cut to eight hours.
Although the aircraft is still at the design and development stage and specifications are still subject to change, Spike currently says the S-512 will have a maximum range of 4,000 nautical miles (4,600 miles/7,400 km). The current design sees the aircraft measuring 131 ft long (40 m), with a wingspan of 60 ft (18 m), and cabin measuring 40 ft (12 m) long, 6.2 ft (2 m) high and 6.2 ft wide.
With potential problems surrounding the sonic boom, which severely limited the market for the Concorde, the Spike team acknowledges that reducing this to acceptable levels to ensure the S-512 meets FAA regulations surrounding sonic booms will be a major challenge. If it can overcome this and other problems, the company hopes the make the first deliveries of the S-512 in December 2018
The company has been playing its cards relatively close to its chest until now, but promises to release more information early in 2014.
The video below introduces the Spike S-512.
Source: Spike Aerospace