Supersonic Stories: GE’s Newest Engine

Any business professional knows that, in order to stay relevant and successful, one must keep his or her thumb on the pulse of their respective industry. I thoroughly enjoy learning as much as I can about new practices, methods and technologies that affect my industry, directly or indirectly. That is precisely why I wanted to highlight GE’s brand new supersonic engine.

The supersonic jet has been retired for quite some time, but as I’d discussed in previous blogs, it is making something of a comeback. Travelers want to get from point A to point B in record time; in order to do that, we must revive the notion of supersonic travel. Well, luckily, GE and a handful of aviation companies are looking to do just that.

GE, in association with Lockheed Martin and Honeywell, is working on a supersonic jet engine that could power the aviation industry into the future. Dubbed the Affinity, the new engine is set to power the Aerion AS2 supersonic jet. According to reports, GE is keeping a tight lid on the new engine, but the company boasts that the Affinity can function at a max of 60,000 feet and, most importantly, will keep the noise down and adhere to the multiple sound requirements enforced by various countries and territories.

As is the case with most of today’s new technology, the Affinity will be monitored and controlled by a computer known as a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). These FADECs are quite popular in the aviation industry. As of now, the Aerion is scheduled to make its maiden voyage sometime in 2023, so there is still quite some time for GE and company to perfect the engine.

I am incredibly excited about the ability to travel by plane at supersonic levels. As a professional in the industry who’s constantly traveling, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to cut down the commute time by a few hours. I truly hope that GE can deliver on their promises and make the Affinity one of the greatest supersonic engines the aviation industry has ever seen. I will keep you updated on this story as it develops.

Written by

Dave Pflieger is currently the CEO of Island Air and previously the President and CEO of Silver Airways. Previously, Dave Pflieger was the CEO & Managing Director of Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways). Before joining Air Pacific, Mr. Pflieger was a Founding Officer and Senior Vice President at Virgin America from 2004 to 2010.