Aerion has signed an agreement with Spirit AeroSystems to collaborate on the preliminary design of the AS2 Supersonic Business Jet’s forward, pressurised fuselage.

Under the agreement, Spirit will perform preliminary design work for the fuselage, with work set to start immediately.

Spirit AeroSystems president and CEO Tom Gentile said: “Joining a project team this early allows us to apply our technical expertise and commercial best practices to make the most positive impact.

“We can create cost-efficient, innovative engineering solutions that take into account Spirit’s highly efficient manufacturing processes. We are proud to be selected by Aerion for this programme and look forward to contributing to the success of this groundbreaking new aeroplane.”

“The AS2 will revolutionise global mobility.”

Currently under development, Aerion’s 12-passenger AS2 can achieve a supersonic cruise speed of Mach 1.4, approximately 1,000mph. According to the company, the business jet is capable of saving as much as three hours of flight time across the Atlantic and more than five hours across the Pacific.

Aerion chairman, CEO and president Tom Vice said: “The AS2 will revolutionise global mobility. We are proud to partner with Spirit AeroSystems. They are a leader in aircraft composite structures and we are excited that they have joined the AS2 team.”

Earlier this month, Aerion reached an agreement with Boeing to secure support for the supersonic business jet programme.

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As part of the deal, Boeing invested in the company to accelerate technology development and aircraft design, and ‘unlock’ supersonic air travel for new markets.

The AS2 project will receive engineering, manufacturing and flight test resources from Boeing, as well as strategic vertical content.

Aerion unveiled the design for the AS2 12-passenger business jet in 2014.