After a whole lot of fanfare two years ago, when the Aerion and Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI) quiet supersonic business jet (SSBJ) concepts were first announced at the 2004 NBAA Convention, work continues on the development of these and other supersonic business jet designs, albeit more quietly.
Supersonic business jet
Would-be supersonic business jet (SSBJ) maker Aerion (Booth No.
Aerion SSBJ–Aerion continues on track with development efforts for its supersonic business jet. High-speed testing on the Aerion supersonic natural-laminar-flow wing was expected to be carried out last month by using a rocket sled to achieve the necessary Mach 1.5 test speed.
It was always going to be a close race, but in the end Cessna became the first manufacturer to obtain full FAA certification of a very light jet (VLJ), the new breed of compact business airplane that holds the promise of changing the industry forever.
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.
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?