Aerion Supersonic shuts down, ending quiet business jet plans
Artist’s drawing of a supersonic jet designed to fly at speeds up to Mach 1.4 or about 1,000 miles per hour.
Aerion Supersonic, The Nevada-based company, which planned to build business jets capable of silently flying nearly twice as fast as commercial jets, is shutting down, the company confirmed to CNBC on Friday.
“In the current financial environment, it has proven extremely difficult to come to a conclusion on the new capital requirements planned and necessary” to begin production of its AS2 supersonic aircraft, the company said in a statement.
“Aerion Corporation is now taking the appropriate steps in light of this continuing financial environment,” the company said.
Florida today first reported the abrupt closure of the company.
Aerion aimed to fly its first AS2 jet by 2024, with the goal of launching commercial services by 2026. The company has developed a patented technology it calls “boom-free cruise,” which it says would allow AS2 to fly without creating a sonic boom – an issue that plagued the Concorde supersonic jets of the past.
The AS2 was priced at $ 120 million per aircraft. Aerion CEO Tom Vice told a UBS conference in January 2020 that he expected it to cost the company around $ 4 billion to develop AS2, $ 1 billion having been spent at the time to develop an engine.
The company had accumulated several partnerships along the way, including with Boeing, General Electric, and Berkshire HathawayNetJets – and had an order book of $ 11.2 billion for its AS2 jets. Earlier this year, Aerion, at a press conference with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, revealed it will build a $ 375 million manufacturing plant at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
An Aerion spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment on what will happen to Aerion’s assets.