Aerion, the Nevada-based company hoping to bring to market the world's first supersonic business jet, has announced that its AS2 aircraft will be sold for $120m, subject to inflation.
The company plans to have the AS2 aircraft certified in 2021 and enter service the following year. The AS2 will have a maximum speed of Mach 1.5 (1,141mph), a cruising speed of Mach 1.4 and a range of 4,750 miles.
To entice buyers, Aerion has offered the first 50 launch customers preferential pricing and other benefits available only for this first tranche of orders.
“This is another step forward for Aerion,” said Aerion Chairman Robert Bass. “We are offering a select group of forward thinking business aviation users the opportunity to fly faster and to make history with us as we reintroduce commercial supersonic flight.”
The company has continued to expand its engineering organisation and deepen ties with Airbus as the two entities participate in a joint definition phase, refining the AS2 design. Aerion moved into new and expanded offices in Reno, Nevada in March to accommodate a growing staff and provide space for Aerion and Airbus engineers to work together.
Under the agreement, Airbus Group, through its Defence and Space Division, will provide technical and certification support, which will include the assignment of senior engineering staff to Aerion’s expanding development organisation. Over the longer term, Aerion will provide proprietary technology and assistance to Airbus Group in its high-performance aircraft technology development. These technologies include Aerion’s extensive research, its proprietary design tools and patented aerodynamic designs.
“[This] puts us solidly on track toward our objective of certifying the world’s first supersonic business jet in 2021,” said Bass. “Needless to say, we are thrilled with the resources Airbus Group will bring to the program.”
Aerion also announced that Ernest (Ernie) Edwards, formerly president of Embraer Executive Jets, had joined the company as senior vice president and chief commercial officer. “We will be having some very interesting discussions with travellers who place a high value on their time,” he said. “They can save three hours between Paris and Washington, D.C., and six and a half hours between San Francisco and Singapore. That speed advantage will be quite meaningful to them.”
New low-speed wind tunnel tests are planned for the AS2, which will take place at the University of Washington wind tunnel complex in September.
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