Las Vegas Start-up Forges Ahead on SSBJ

 - April 25, 2007, 10:20 AM

Supersonic Aerospace International of Las Vegas is still working with Lockheed Martin on the Quiet Small Supersonic Transport (QSST), the 4,000-nm, 12-passenger, Mach 1.8, no-boom supersonic business jet (SSBJ) that SAI announced at last year's NBAA Convention. According to company president J. Michael Paulson–son of the late business aviation pioneer Allen Paulson–the project is now in Phase 2, which mainly involves refining and optimizing the SSBJ's design. Interestingly, SAI is no longer considering building a 60-percent-scale demonstrator to prove the QSST's design in Phase 2. Paulson said his company will choose one of three competing engine designs from General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce for the supersonic twinjet when Phase 2 concludes late next year. First flight of the QSST is set for mid-2011, with FAR Part 25 certification planned in 2013.