Aerion, based in Reno, Nev., is at Booth No. 6202 in NBAA exhibit Hall C to describe preliminary results from the latest round of flight tests of a NASA F-15B on the road to what it envisions as the worlds' first supersonic business jet (SBJ). The tests during July and August in collaboration with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center achieved a top speed of Mach 2.0.
Supersonic business jet
Aerion, based in Reno, Nev., is at Booth No. 6202 in NBAA exhibit Hall C to describe preliminary results from the latest round of flight tests of a NASA F-15B on the road to what it envisions as the worlds’ first supersonic business jet (SBJ).
The airline industry did not embrace supersonic speed the first time around in the 1970s, and today, mired in a recession and struggling to cope with reduced passenger demand for cheap, old-fashioned travel at Mach 0.80, mere survival is consuming all its resources.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion today said it is evaluating preliminary results of a new global market survey indicating strong demand for its supersonic business jet. “It was time to take a fresh look at the potential for the Aerion supersonic jet, taking into account the globalization of the business jet market,” said Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents.
As expected, the recession has taken a toll on aircraft manufacturers and would-be manufacturers. But while the list of canceled and delayed projects includes the inevitable marginal programs, the crop of active manufacturers is–with few exceptions–forging ahead with new aircraft.
At last month’s Dubai Air Show, Aerion reiterated its ongoing efforts to find a manufacturing and development partner for its nascent supersonic business jet and confirmed that it still holds letters of intent backed by $250,000 refundable deposits for approximately 50 aircraft.
Aerion is here in Dubai to tap what it believes could be strong market for the supersonic business jet (SSBJ) it intends to have certified in 2015. According to the U.S. company, it still holds letters of intent for about 50 of the aircraft and has had to refund only two deposits since the start of the financial crisis.
Aerion chairman Robert Bass said that the company remains committed to its supersonic business jet program “as long as we see progress in our discussions with OEMs. We are seeing progress,” he told attendees at the NBAA Convention late last month. “In fact, we are quite encouraged by our discussions.
For Cessna Mustang owner Jeff Greenberg, NBAA’s 62nd Annual Meeting & Convention just wasn’t long enough. Attracted to the event held last month in Orlando by NBAA’s more than 1,000 exhibitors and the Light Business Airplane Conference sessions, Greenberg said he really wished the show lasted one more day.
High-Speed AirCraft (Hisac), a European research program studying the feasibility of a supersonic business jet (SSBJ), is coming to a close at the end of this year. The research has shown better understanding of the performance such a vehicle could achieve, but it came to no conclusion about the types of engines that would be needed.