Boeing has announced a partnership with Aerion, a Nevada-based company that is working to develop next-generation supersonic aircraft for launch in 2023. The deal includes Boeing making what it calls a “significant” investment in Aerion to accelerate technology development and aircraft design, and to unlock supersonic air travel for new markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In addition to funding, Boeing will provide engineering, manufacturing and flight test resources, as well as strategic vertical content, through its NeXt future mobility division, to bring Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet to market. The AS2 is designed to fly at speeds up to Mach 1.4 or approximately 1,000mph – up to 70% faster than today’s business jets, which could save approximately three hours on a transatlantic flight while meeting environmental performance requirements.
“Boeing is leading a mobility transformation that will safely and efficiently connect the world faster than ever before,” said Steve Nordlund, VP and general manager of Boeing NeXt. “This is a strategic and disciplined leading-edge investment in further maturing supersonic technology. Through this partnership that combines Aerion’s supersonic expertise with Boeing’s global industrial scale and commercial aviation experience, we have the right team to build the future of sustainable supersonic flight.”
Aerion was founded in 2003 to develop new, more efficient aerodynamic technologies for supersonic aircraft, and in 2014 revealed its AS2 12-passenger business jet design, planned to be powered by the GE Affinity engine.
“Aerion is the industry leader mapping out a successful, sustainable return to supersonic flight,” said Tom Vice, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aerion. “The AS2 is the launch point for the future of regulatory-compliant and efficient supersonic flight. Together with Boeing, we’re creating a faster, more connected future with tremendous possibilities for enhancing humanity’s productivity and potential.”