Aerion SSBJ Rocketing Forward
Reno start-up Aerion said yesterday that its board recently approved continued funding of the Aerion supersonic business jet through program launch, the point at which production design and prototype development would begin. “All of our activities to this point have shown that the aircraft is technically and economically viable,” claimed Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents. “This has given us the confidence to enter into discussions with OEMs and first-tier suppliers who would become consortium partners.” The program is “on schedule and on plan,” with ongoing efforts to further refine the design and to confirm supersonic performance. Aerion is evaluating different means of demonstrating full-scale supersonic natural laminar flow performance, including use of a rocket sled. To verify the feasibility of such a test, the company plans to conduct an evaluation test on a supersonic rocket sled at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, Calif., in June or July. Aerion continues to project a five-year certification timeline from program launch, which would mean that a supersonic business jet could enter service in 2011 or 2012.