Aerion announced at the NBAA 2015 that INAIRVATION will develop VIP cabin interiors for the AS2 supersonic business jet, as well as manage their certification and production. INAIRVATION, formed in 2014, is a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and F/LIST with preferred partners Design Q for interior design and SCHOTT for lighting.
The AS2 is expected to have first flight in 2021 and entry into service in 2023 and a search for a US factory site in underway, with groundbreaking expected in 2018.
Also at NBAA 2015, Flexjet placed a firm order with Aerion for 20 AS2 jets, which have a projected cost of $120 million US per aircraft. Flexjet provides fractional and leasing programs for business aircraft with Gulfstream, Bombardier, Embraer and Learjet airplanes in their expanding inventory.
In announcing the selection, Aerion CEO Doug Nichols stated: “INAIRVATION impressed us immensely for several reasons: the quality of their interior design thinking; their demonstrated commitment to innovation; their ability to integrate design, engineering, certification, and manufacturing; and the exceptional history of each individual company under the INAIRVATION umbrella.” “The INAIRVATION organization itself is an innovation,” he added, “and represents an advance in the integration of cabin technologies from various suppliers. Also, we are absolutely impressed with the passion and creativity INAIRVATION brings to the Aerion program.”
Lufthansa Technik, headquartered in Hamburg, is well known for complex completion projects, cabin management systems, and cabin integration services.
F/ LIST, based in Thomasberg, Austria, is a major supplier of cabin monuments, including galleys, cabinetry, side ledges, tables, and innovative, ultra-light wood and stone flooring.
INAIRVATION is also based in Thomasberg and led by co-CEOs Dr. Philip von Schroeter of Lufthansa Technik and Werner Kartner from F/LIST.
Preferred supplier SCHOTT is an industry leader in advanced cabin lighting systems, including LED and fiber-optic technologies.
Design Q is a specialist in automotive and aviation design, and won acclaim in 2014 for a fullscale Global 7000 mockup created for Bombardier.
“The opportunity to participate in the design of a supersonic business jet thrills our whole organization,” said von Schroeter. “It is the kind of technologic and aesthetic challenge for which INAIRVATION was created. We are brimming with ideas for making the AS2 cabin the most exciting and desirable interior environment in business aviation.”
Already the INAIRVATION team has built a full-scale engineering mockup of the AS2 interior at Design Q’s studio in Redditch, England. Aerion and INAIRVATION are using the mockup to assess possible configurations for cockpit and cabin. “The mockup provides an experience that is not possible looking at a 3D model on a computer,” said Nichols. “Stepping inside was instant confirmation that we would be able to offer the customer not only an incredibly fast airplane, but the ultimate passenger experience.”