According to Aerion market research, there is sufficient demand to proceed with development of the company’s proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ). The Reno, Nevada-based firm publicly unveiled its SSBJ program last October at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas, saying the natural-laminar-wing aircraft could be in service by 2011.
Supersonic business jet
Gulfstream Aerospace President Bryan Moss made his company’s position on supersonic business jets clear at a Paris press conference yesterday when he said, “If you want to get me fired, just report that Gulfstream is developing a supersonic business jet.”
A market research study commissioned by Aerion Corp. has confirmed the demand for the Aerion supersonic business jet (SSBJ) concept to the satisfaction of chairman and chief investor Robert Bass, while low-speed wind-tunnel testing of an 8-percent scale model has shown the need for some refinements of the design.
The U.S. Exim Bank has approved a long-term loan guarantee to support the sale of three Gulfstream G350 business jets to Saudi Arabian executive air transport provider National Air Services. Gulfstream signed a letter of intent in May for the aircraft, which the Exim Bank accord finalizes. The transaction is structured as an asset-based financing arrangement with the G350s serving as collateral. Arab Banking Corp.
Supersonic business jet hopeful Aerion is still building a consortium to develop its airplane. In March the board of the Reno, Nevada-based company approved continued funding of the project through to program launch.
Research carried out in the field of supersonic transport within the European Commission’s 6th Research Framework Program (FP6) has come into the spotlight recently since Italy’s Alenia and Russian design bureau Sukhoi concluded a cooperation agreement.
Dassault’s plans for a supersonic business jet are still pretty much alive. The French manufacturer is leading a European research project called Hisac, which stands for hi-speed aircraft. Three families are being studied. Shown on the pictures below are the three configurations partner Sukhoi is studying in the low-boom (differential pressure below 15 Pa) family.
Reno start-up Aerion said yesterday that its board recently approved continued funding of the Aerion supersonic business jet through program launch, the point at which production design and prototype development would begin. “All of our activities to this point have shown that the aircraft is technically and economically viable,” claimed Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents.
Gulfstream Aerospace president Bryan Moss has dismissed the company’s long-discussed “Quiet Supersonic Jet” (QSJ). At a press conference at EBACE earlier this month, he asked, “Will Gulfstream build a supersonic business jet? Read my lips: No!” He said the company is devoting its research efforts in this field to two issues: rule changes that would allow supersonic flight over land and sonic-boom suppression.
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.