Aeralis sets new standard with transonic modular jet

Aeralis revolutionizes military aviation with its modular light jet, offering versatility, transonic capability, and cost savings.
Can Emir
Aeralis' modular light jet
Aeralis' modular light jet


UK-based aerospace company Aeralis has unveiled its groundbreaking modular light jet, set to redefine military aviation capabilities. 

The company introduced its innovative aircraft, including the Advanced Jet Trainer, at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event. 

Aeralis's vision is to provide maximum flexibility to customers while significantly reducing maintenance costs, and their modular approach is central to achieving this goal.

“I am incredibly proud of the work the Aeralis team has done to develop this cutting-edge design which represents a significant offering in the military light jet market. The modular design provides the Aeralis jet with maximum flexibility whilst including a first-of-a-kind design to enhance aircraft performance. I look forward to quickly progressing the aircraft to its next stage,” said Tristan Crawford, founder and CEO of Aeralis.

Modularity: Redefining military aviation

Aeralis's modular principles have been at the heart of the aircraft's design from the beginning. This approach allows the aircraft to cater to various markets and adapt to different needs seamlessly. The core of this concept is the Common Core Fuselage (CCF), which will serve as the foundation for Aeralis's future aircraft fleet.

Sir Julian Young, who chaired a recent design review, highlighted a key innovation: a unique wing architecture featuring both an inner wing and an outer wing. This innovation enables the aircraft to operate effectively at both low and high speeds, providing it with transonic capability – a game-changer in military aviation.

Aeralis sets new standard with transonic modular jet
Aeralis' modular light jet

Flexibility is the hallmark of Aeralis's new aircraft design. It offers multiple configurations, including the Advanced Jet Trainer, Aggressor, Companion, ISTAR, and Tanking options. All these configurations are based on the CCF, which allows customers to acquire additional modules to tailor the platform to their specific requirements.

Aeralis Chief Airframe Engineer Peter Curtis said at the Royal Aeronautical Society's Bedford Branch, "We're not selling an aircraft, we're selling a whole system, we're selling the ability to train pilots – which includes an aircraft, but also all the bits and pieces around it. With the actual flying product, what we're trying to do is maximize the commonality of structures, systems and parts, and add onto that some modularity so that we can have a range of bespoke capabilities, but in a mostly common aircraft."

The aircraft's sleeker design not only enhances its aesthetics but also accommodates additional fuel capacity and electronic capabilities. This ensures increased resilience, maintainability, and overall performance gains. Additionally, significant changes to the fuselage design and the introduction of new wings eliminate the need for bespoke landing gear seen in previous iterations, resulting in readily available commercial off-the-shelf landing gear. This simplifies maintenance and substantially reduces associated costs.

Modular cockpit innovation

Aeralis's modular cockpit is a versatile feature of this innovative aircraft. The single-seat configuration offers extra room for Electromagnetic Warfare (EW) capabilities or additional fuel payload, while the dual-seat option accommodates an additional pilot. Furthermore, the inclusion of a full combat radar in the nose cone enhances combat effectiveness for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and EW configurations, making the aircraft equally adept at real-world missions and training scenarios.

A milestone in military aviation

The unveiling of Aeralis's modular light jet marks a significant milestone in the development of next-generation military aircraft. Tristan Crawford, founder and CEO of Aeralis, expressed his pride in the team's work, emphasizing the aircraft's modular design's flexibility and groundbreaking performance. With Aeralis's commitment to innovation, this aircraft is set to become operational later in the decade.

Aeralis has been busy forming partnerships with companies like Honeywell, Thales, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, and others. It has acquired approximately $13 million in financing from "a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund" and has won several contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence.

In February 2021, the Royal Air Force awarded Aeralis a three-year research and development contract for the modular jet's development and design, highlighting the military's interest in this groundbreaking technology.

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