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Aerion Corporation AS2

Supersonic aircraft developer Aerion Corp. on 21 May 2021 confirmed that it was ceasing operations of its AS2 business jet program after years of development, citing difficulty in raising the capital needed. to complete production. Aerion Corporation, owned by Texas billionaire Robert Bass, teamed up with Airbus to build the AS2 Supersonic Business Jet (SSBJ), which signals the next great advance in civil aviation. The company was taking orders for the initial 50 planes which were priced at $120 million each. The aircraft saves three hours across the Atlantic versus todays subsonic jets, and more than six hours on long trans-Pacific routes.

Smaller supersonic business jets for eight to 15 passengers might take off first. Since 2002, Aerion Supersonic has been working on such a jet. So far, no Aerion aircraft has taken to the air, but the company recently detailed its updated concept for the tri-jet AS2. Its first flight could be as soon as 2024; customer delivery might start in 2026. Reaching a maximum of Mach 1.4, it would be slower than the Concorde.

Aerion will bring to market a supersonic jet that operates efficiently within todays regulatory environment, including rules regarding supersonic flight over land. This takes advantage of the ability of the AS2 to operate efficiently just below the speed of sound at Mach 0.95 to 0.98, and at speeds up to Mach 1.5 over water and other areas where supersonic flight is permitted.

The Aerion AS2 business jet has a top speed of Mach 1.5, which is 67 percent faster than the top cruise speeds of current or anticipated long-range subsonic jets. Carrying eight to 12 passengers, the AS2 has an intercontinental-capable range of 4,750 nautical miles at supersonic speed, saving three hours across the Atlantic versus subsonic aircraft and more than six hours on longer trans-Pacific routes. The three-engine jet, now under development by Aerion in collaboration with Airbus Group, will make its first flight in 2021 and enter service in 2023.

Aerion Corporation of Reno, Nevada, was formed in 2002 to introduce a new era of practical and efficient supersonic flight. The program was formally unveiled at the October 2004 NBAA annual convention. Detailed design work was scheduled to begin in 2005. Once all risk-sharing partners were aboard, Aerion planned for a five-year development program. Entry into service was slated for 2011. By mid-2007, Aerion was still searching for risk-sharing partners at the Paris Air Show. Program cost had ballooned to $2 billion and the projected entry-into-service date slipped to 2013. The revised plan, however, was snuffed by the 2008 Great Recession.

Over more than a decade, Aerion demonstrated advanced wing technology in conjunction with NASA and other leading aeronautical institutions. This research includes breakthrough work in the area of supersonic natural laminar flow, the key enabling technology behind the companys AS2 business jet. In 2014, Aerion entered into collaboration with Airbus Group to develop the Aerion AS2 Mach 1.5 supersonic jet.

On November 16, 2015, with joint engineering efforts accelerating on the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet program, Aerion and Airbus Group, Inc. announced a new agreement that will expand North American-based Airbus Group, Inc. resources to the AS2 program. Support from Airbus Group operations in North America will include engineering, procurement and supply chain management, logistics planning, program management, and government relations. These new resources will augment engineering support from Airbus Defence and Space (AIRBUS D&S) in Spain. Airbus Defence and Space had made significant progress in the engineering of airframe structures, the AS2s digital (fly-by-wire) flight control system, its integrated fuel system, and landing gear.

To supplement the design process, AIRBUS D&S has built a sample titanium wing leading-edge section for evaluation and is testing composite material specimens to optimize material properties. Aerion is the lead for other systems, such as avionics, electrical, environmental control, hydraulics, and auxiliary power. In conjunction with AIRBUS D&S, Aerion had made preliminary space allocations for every system with weight and balance considerations in mind. Candidate suppliers have been identified and the supplier selection process has begun.

Aerion had identified existing core engines suitable for adaptation to the needs of supersonic flight. We will proceed with an engine that allows us to meet our performance goals with the minimum changes required, said Doug Nichols, Aerion CEO. Aerion is focused on an engine solution that meets Stage 4 noise standards while preserving long-range supersonic performance. This is a significant challenge with a low-bypass supersonic engine, but solutions are in sight with todays engine technology. On November 17, 2015 Aerion Corp., and Flexjet LLC, offering travelers access to the worlds most luxurious fleet of private jets, announced that Flexjet had placed a firm order for 20 of Aerions AS2 aircraft, which will be the first commercially available supersonic business jet. Flexjet became the inaugural fleet purchaser of the AS2. Throughout its history, Flexjet has been on the leading edge of aviation technology, introducing advanced performance to our Owners. Today, we are proud to be at the forefront of the next revolution in business jets, supersonic travel. We are pleased to be the first fleet purchaser of the Aerion AS2 and to be able to offer supersonic, intercontinental flight capabilities to our Owners, said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci.

Aerion and Flexjet will work together to design stunning and unique interiors for the AS2, continuing the tradition of premium interiors such as those in Flexjets recently launched Red Label fleet. Flexjet anticipates that many customers will, through its innovative Global Access program, use the AS2 in combination with other large-cabin Flexjet aircraft, taking advantage of the AS2s speed to meet especially demanding travel schedules, such as intercontinental round trips in a single day.

On 03 March 2021 Supersonic aircraft company Aerion forged an expansive collaboration with NetJets, the largest private aviation company in the world, and FlightSafety International, the leader in professional aviation training, both Berkshire Hathaway companies to shape the future of global mobility. At Aerion our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours and this new partnership is a significant step towards realizing that vision, said Aerions Chairman, President & CEO, Tom Vice. Our strategy is to connect the very best partners in the world within a new mobility ecosystem optimized for speed and founded on sustainability. In NetJets and FlightSafety International we have two such partners; both globally recognized leaders in their fields who share our passion for a new era of mobility that is both fast and at the same time kind to our planet.

NetJets, the owner and operator of the worlds largest and most diverse private jet fleet, and Aerion will explore NetJets becoming the exclusive business jet operator for the global mobility platform, Aerion Connect. A vision for a future global mobility ecosystem, Aerion Connect will integrate multiple, currently siloed urban and regional networks and provide a seamless point-to-point travel experience, optimized for speed and luxury across multiple modes of transportation.

As the leader in private aviation, we constantly look for ways to be on the cutting-edge, and expanding our fleet to become the exclusive business jet operator for Aerion Connect is a thrilling next step, said Adam Johnson, Chairman and CEO of NetJets Inc. Together, we will be exploring the integration of the AS2 supersonic business jet into NetJets global network, and we are honored to be their chosen partner to enable the Aerion Connect vision.

In collaboration with FlightSafety International, the premier professional aviation training company, Aerion will also develop a supersonic flight training academy for civil, commercial, and military supersonic aircraft. The Aerion-branded facility will channel FSIs comprehensive global training expertise to provide a center of excellence for supersonic flight training and education, shaping the flight crews of the future. Were excited to bring FSIs signature passion for safety to Aerions training academy, said Brad Thress, CEO of FlightSafety International. This partnership marries Aerions innovation and our long-established experience, opening up new opportunities in the supersonic aircraft space and the future of the industry as a whole.

Underlining the long-term focus of the partnership, NetJets has also obtained purchase rights for 20 AS2 supersonic business jets, which start production at Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida in 2023. With significant growth achieved through 2020 and 2021, Aerions global order backlog for the AS2 is now valued at more than USD $10 billion. The new AS2the first supersonic aircraft to enter commercial service in 51 years and the worlds first supersonic business aircraft continues to advance toward manufacturing start after concluding wind tunnel validation late last year.

NetJets commitment to Aerion Connect cements its industry-leading expertise through its diverse jet offerings. With more than 760 aircraft worldwide, 385 of which were delivered in the past 11 years, the partnership announcement further comes on the heels of NetJets newly launched Global Sustainability Program, a worldwide commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of the brand and its Owners, with a focus on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) investment, corporate and consumer offsetting.

Aerion and NetJets are united by a shared commitment to usher in a new era of sustainable flight that is kind to the planet and part of the solution to reverse climate change. As part of this agreement the two companies will also work together on domestic and international actions intended to facilitate the global availability and broad adoption of synthetic aviation fuels.

Aerions pursuit of faster point-to-point travel begins with the launch of the AS2 supersonic business jet. Designed to be inherently environmentally responsible from first flight, the AS2 is the first supersonic aircraft designed to be powered by 100% engineered synthetic fuel and reach supersonic speeds without the need for an afterburner.

The manufacture of 300 AS2 aircraft is planned for the first decade of production. The AS2 will be the first aircraft assembled at the companys new global headquarters in Melbourne, Florida-Aerion Park. The state-of-the-art developmentpowered by sustainable technology will incorporate headquarter operations plus an integrated campus for research, design, build, and maintenance of the companys supersonic aircraft.



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Page last modified: 31-05-2021 13:07:29 ZULU