September 25, 2014

Airbus join the race for first supersonic private jet

Great news this week that Airbus has joined forces with the Aerion Corporation – one of the front runners in the race to launch the world’s first supersonic private jet with the Aerion AS2. Their concept has been on paper for several years now, but Airbus’ involvement is an exciting step forward to making it a reality.

No details of the commercial arrangement have been released, but start-up Aerion will benefit from Airbus’ considerable expertise in design, manufacture and certification. A team of engineers, assembled from the Airbus Group’s military division, will join Aerion at their HQ in Reno, Nevada.

And of course Airbus will benefit from being involved in one of the most innovative areas of aviation development, working with a smaller start-up company that is bursting with ideas and energy. It’s fantastic to see this type of collaboration.

As Aerion’s CEO Doug Nichols put it: “This agreement accomplishes two major objectives. It provides validation from the industry leader in aerospace innovation, and it decisively kicks the program into high gear. Each company will benefit.”

The Aerion AS2 will cost around $100 million, with certification planned for 2021, after a first flight in 2019. The aircraft is projected to fly as fast as Mach 1.6. For more details on aircraft speed and supersonic flight, see previous post What does Mach mean when describing aircraft speed?

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