Aerion Gives Up on Its Supersonic Dream as It Shuts Down

Aerion AS2 6 photos
Photo: Aerion
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Aerion Supersonic, a Florida-based company that dreamed of developing business jets capable of flying nearly twice as fast as commercial aircraft, announced that it is shutting down.
According to Florida Today, the company announced on Friday, 21st May, that it has struggled to finance the development of its AS2 supersonic aircraft. The sudden decision comes just two months after the company unveiled its As3 concept, a 50-commercial airliner capable of reaching Mach 4. Its plans didn't stop there as last month it was boasting about its new flight service called Aerion Connect, which was claiming to provide "a seamless point-to-point travel experience."

Aerion's main focus was its AS2 supersonic jet which has been under development for more than 10 years. The 12-passenger aircraft was meant to cruise at a top speed of Mach 1.4 (1000mph) without the sonic booms. After extensive wind tunnel testing, AS2 summed up to 78,000 nautical miles flown during low and high-speed studies and gathered more than 200,000 in-flight data points. Initial plans were stating that the production would start in 2023, with the final goal to reach the market in 2026.

Back in March, Aerion's CEO Tom Vice was announcing that another fractional ownership company, NetJets, had acquired purchase rights for 20 AS2s, bringing Aerion's order backlog value to over $10 billion. Each AS2 was estimated to cost about $120 million.

At a USB conference, Vice stated that Aerion's development costs would be around $4 billion, with $1 billion spent on the engine. In addition, the company was also in the process of building a $300 million global headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. Aerion was also backed by partners such as Boeing and GE Aviation and had multiple collaborations as well.

While the AS2 met "all market, technical, regulatory and sustainability requirements and the market for a new supersonic segment of general aviation has been validated," it still failed to raise enough capital.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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