The upgrade parade that has been a hallmark of recent NBAA Conventions continued to march along pretty much unabated at last month’s show in Orlando, Fla., where no fewer than seven new models made triumphant debut appearances, but only one entirely new airplane bowed in–and it was a very light jet (VLJ) from a start-up company few people had ever heard of before the show.
Supersonic business jet
Aerion, a Reno, Nev. start-up that says it plans to have a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) in service before the end of 2010, selected Infusion Design of Kansas City, Mo., to develop eight- to 12-passenger interior concepts for the aircraft’s 30-foot long passenger cabin. Infusion Design has developed executive interior concepts for a variety of business jets since 1997.
Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI) of Las Vegas said it continues to work with Lockheed Martin on the Quiet Small Supersonic Transport (QSST), the circa-$80 million, 4,000-nm, 12-passenger, Mach 1.8, no-boom supersonic business jet (SSBJ) it announced at the NBAA Convention last year.
Last month at the Paris Air Show, Reno, Nev.-based Aerion said its market research, conducted over the past nine months by aerospace market research and strategy firm I2, indicates that there is sufficient demand to proceed with development of the company’s proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ).
Gulfstream Aerospace has appointed Gerard Schkolnik as director of its supersonic technology programs. Among other projects, the former NASA engineer will work on sonic-boom suppression. Gulfstream has under study a proposed “quiet supersonic business jet.”
Gulfstream Aerospace president Bryan Moss dismissed the company’s long-discussed “Quiet Supersonic Jet” (QSJ) during last month’s EBACE, prompting the aircraft’s removal from AIN’s In the Works chart. Moss pre-empted inquiring minds at a press conference by asking and answering the question himself: “Will Gulfstream build a supersonic business jet?
Reno start-up Aerion, which is developing a supersonic business jet (SSBJ), 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., this summer.
After an initial round of meetings with potential OEM partners on its supersonic business jet (SSBJ), Aerion is refining its business case. To lead this effort Aerion hired James Stewart, former CFO of Bombardier Aerospace, as its CFO.
Gulfstream is using this NASA F-15B to test a “telescopic quiet spike” that the company hopes will reduce the supersonic noise signature of any potential supersonic business jet. Manufactured from composite materials, the 14-foot-long spike weighs 470 pounds and extends to 24 feet in length for supersonic flight.
Supersonic transport research carried out within the European Commission’s 6th Research Framework Program has received attention since Italian manufacturer Alenia and Russian manufacturer Sukhoi signed a coop- erative agreement.