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Order book at $4 billion as Aerion nears decision on manufacturing partner for its supersonic jet design

Aerion Corporation is nearing a decision on an aerospace manufacturing partner to lead the development and production of its pioneering supersonic business jet design.

The next step is to carry out a pre-launch phase jointly with the manufacturer to confirm the Aerion SSBJ performance, costs and market, prior to formal launch in the third quarter of 2010. Thereafter a five-year program is planned so that the Aerion SSBJ could be flying in 2013 and certified by late 2015.

The $80 million Aerion supersonic jet relies on a concept known as supersonic natural laminar flow to reduce airframe drag, thereby reducing engine power requirements and fuel consumption. The patented concept was developed by Dr. Richard Tracy, Aerion's chief technology officer, and demonstrated in NASA flight tests and in transonic wind tunnel testing.

The Aerion jet flies with efficiency comparable to a large subsonic business jet when operating below the speed of sound, making it practical for use over populous areas where sonic booms are prohibited. At supersonic cruise speeds up to Mach 1.6—nearly double the speed of most of today's jets—it also operates at costs competitive with large business jets.

"Both our customers and aerospace manufacturers are looking beyond the current economic turmoil," said Aerion Vice Chairman Brian Barents. "These companies understand that they need to think five to ten 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."

Press release issued by Aerion Corporation on June 15, 2009

 

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Aerion Corporation Airframer

 

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Aerion SBJ

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