World Economy

Airbus to Help Build World’s First Supersonic Business Jet

Airbus to Help Build World’s First Supersonic Business JetAirbus to Help Build World’s First Supersonic Business Jet

Airbus Group has signed an agreement with US firm Aerion Corporation to help develop the world’s first supersonic business jet.

Aerion, who has been working on the 12-seater Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet concept since 2002, can expect Airbus to provide technical and certification support to the project as part of the collaboration.

“This is a major step forward for Aerion,” said the company’s chairman and principal investor, Robert M. Bass. “It puts us solidly on track toward our objective of certifying the world’s first supersonic business jet in 2021. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the resources Airbus Group will bring to the program.”

Aerion is targeting a first flight of the AS2 in 2019. The plane is expected to sell for around $100 million and will travel at a speed of 1,931 km/h. By comparison, the Concorde flew at a speed of 2,179 km/h, while the fastest business jet currently on the market, the Cessna Citation X, can travel up to 1,126 km/h.

Airbus in turn will be able to use Aerion’s proprietary technology, research, design tools and patented aerodynamic designs for its own aircraft developments.

“Aerion’s pioneering work has broad applications for both performance and efficiency. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation,” said Jean Botti, Airbus Group Chief Technical Officer.

While Aerion CEO Doug Nichols added: “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. Aerion moves quickly toward building a supersonic jet, and Airbus Group gains exclusive access to more than a decade of successful research and proprietary high-performance aircraft technology.”