Aerion SSBJ Update

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Also at Paris, Aerion -- the people working to bring a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) to market -- updated the industry on its efforts, which were first announced in October 2004. According to the company, Aerion's SSBJ could enter service as early as 2011, if its "detailed design and flight-test effort" continues without delay. "There are no impediments to the development of this aircraft from a technical standpoint," remarked Aerion Chief Operating Officer Mike Henderson. "From the business case standpoint, new research has validated a market of sufficient size to proceed." The company says it is in the process of "briefing original equipment manufacturers and first-tier suppliers" it would like to help share the develop risk leading to certification and production of the aircraft. Said Aerion in a press release, "The timing of alliances and the launch of development would determine the potential service entry date." According to the company, "proprietary market research conducted over the past nine months confirms sufficient demand to proceed with the development of the proposed Aerion supersonic business jet." Aerion says the study it commissioned demonstrates there is a market for 220 to 260 of Aerion's SSBJs over a 10-year period. Of that market, approximately 20 percent of projected sales would come from the fractional aircraft market. A 20-year program life could lead to production of more than 500 airframes, said Aerion. "This extensive research makes it very clear that there is sufficient demand to justify investment going forward," said Robert Bass, Aerion's chairman. "Leading corporations have told us conclusively that they attach a high value to speed. This should come as no surprise given the premium being paid today for the fastest subsonic jets, and given the increasing travel by executives in a globalized economy."