Aerion Formal Launch Set for Late Next Year

 - June 18, 2009, 11:52 AM
Aerion this week at the Paris Air Show said it is nearing a decision on an aerospace manufacturing partner to lead the development and production of its supersonic business jet (SSBJ) design. According to the Reno, Nev.-based company, the next step is to carry out a pre-launch phase jointly with the OEM to confirm the Mach 1.6 jet’s performance, costs and market before formal launch in the third quarter of next year. Aerion then anticipates a five-year program, meaning the Aerion SSBJ could be flying in 2013 and certified by late 2015. Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents noted two positive economic signs for the program: the Aerion order book has held steady at approximately $4 billion–with each copy of the SSBJ costing $80 million–and OEMs have remained committed to pressing ahead with discussions at a time of economic uncertainty. “Both customers and OEMs are looking beyond the current economic turmoil,” said Barents. “OEMs understand that they need to think five to 10 years ahead and have new products in the pipeline. The development timeline for the Aerion supersonic business jet fits well with this sort of planning horizon.”