Aerion has started accepting letters of intent for the first 80 delivery positions of its projected supersonic business jet and has appointed Zurich-headquartered ExecuJet Aviation to offer half of them to customers outside the Americas. The first delivery position went to prominent Saudi businessman, Dr. Tarek bin Laden, who is expected at the airshow today.
Supersonic business jet
Business aircraft cabin specialist Infusion Design has long preferred a low profile. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Kansas City-based firm is happily stepping out of the shadow of anonymity, most recently with designs for Spectrum’s Freedom S-40 and Adam Aircraft’s A700 mockups, as well as concept designs for Aerion’s supersonic business jet proposal.
Supersonic Aerospace (SAI) and Aerion continue their quest to bring a speedy yet environmentally friendly supersonic business jet to market.
And you thought the dot.com bubble-burst was bad.
After a flurry of interest late in the last decade that appeared to lose momentum in the wake of 9/11, there is evidence that progress toward defining a supersonic business jet continues quietly.
The good news is that a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) is almost inevitable. The not so good news is that it is probably at least a decade away. And securing the funding for research may be as problematic as the noise from any sonic boom.
The slump in annual business jet deliveries that started three years ago will bottom out this year at about 470 shipments and begin a gradual increase to more than 820 in 2010, according to the 14th annual business jet overview and forecast from the Teal Group.
Cessna president Jack Pelton said it is inevitable that his company will design and manufacture a supersonic business jet (SSBJ), although when it will happen is anyone’s guess. Pelton made the remark during his keynote speech at the Society of Flight Test Engineers’ annual symposium in Wichita last month.
Three companies have expressed serious interest in developing a supersonic business jet (SSBJ), but none of the designs proposed by Aerion, Sukhoi or Supersonic Aerospace International has reached the launch stage, making it unlikely that any will emerge as a flying prototype anytime soon.
Aerion Corp. of Reno, Nev., plans to announce at the NBAA Convention later this month that it will build a supersonic business jet. While an Aerion spokesman would not release any details at press time, it is known that aviation industry veteran Brian Barents is the company’s vice chairman and billionaire Robert Bass is chairman.