Spike Aerospace conducts test flight of SX-1.2 demonstrator aircraft


US-based firm Spike Aerospace has tested a subsonic, subscale version of its SX-1.2 demonstrator aircraft during a series of flights at a private airfield in New England, US.

The demonstrator used in the tests is an early unmanned prototype of Spike Aerospace’s S-512 Quiet Supersonic Jet, which will be able to carry up to 22 passengers once fully developed.

The latest round of tests comprised seven short flights that were primarily conducted to validate the SX-1.2 demonstrator's aerodynamic design and flight controls.

In addition, the trials provided a range of data regarding the flight characteristics and performance of the aircraft.

Adjustments were made to the jet’s centre of mass, balance and control surfaces between each flight, which were piloted by Krishna Kumar Malu.

Spike Aerospace president and CEO Vik Kachoria 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.”

Spike Aerospace expects to make further modifications to the aircraft based on data collected from the recent trials. Additional SX-1.2 test flights are also set to be carried out by early next month.

"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."

The company is planning to fly the S-512 aircraft by early 2021 and aims to begin delivery of the aircraft by 2023.

The S-512 aircraft will be designed to fly at a range of 6,200mi and at a speed of Mach 1.6 to save around 50% on flight times.

It will also be able to fly over land without creating sonic booms due to its low-boom signature.

Spike Aerospace has also recently commenced work on the development of its next demonstrator series, SX-1.3.


Image: Spike Aerospace’s S-512 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Spike Aerospace, Inc.