Aerion Proceeds with OEM Talks, Research on SSBJ
Aerion of Reno, Nev., today said it is proceeding with research in the development of its supersonic business jet while it continues discussions with potential manufacturing partners that would lead to a joint Aerion-OEM design study. Aerion’s hope is that this design study–essentially the nine- to 12-month proof-of-concept phase of the program–would result in a decision by the partners to proceed with full-scale development and production of the Aerion SSBJ. According to a spokesman, the company does not plan to make an announcement about a partnering agreement this week at EBACE. However, Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents said, “We are confident we will reach an agreement with an OEM. The challenges are many, but there is a desire on the part of all parties to make this happen.” Meanwhile, Aerion plans to conduct a series of flight and wind-tunnel tests this year to set baseline configuration details (refining the shape of strakes, flaps, elevators, rudder and engine integration) and to assess the effects of wing-surface quality as a step toward setting production standards. Separately, Aerion is providing input on supersonic flight to government agencies and forums, as regulators consider how to treat the next generation of supersonic aircraft.