...Aerion Completes Phase I...

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The SSBJ -- supersonic business jet -- is alive and well, says Aerion Corporation Brian Barents. "We are keeping to an aggressive timeline moving toward routine supersonic business jet travel," he said in a statement at NBAA. Announced at last year's show, the company says its ongoing work has confirmed the aircraft's configuration through "extensive" wind-tunnel testing and computer analysis. Additionally, Aerion says the business and engineering objectives it announced last year -- which include 4,000-nm range, a "boomless" cruise of up to Mach 1.1 and top speed of Mach 1.6 -- have been validated by the testing.

"The major questions about the technical feasibility of this objective has been answered and we are now able to present to potential partners a design that is well-researched and quite achievable," Barents added. The company says its market studies confirm demand for up to 300 SSBJs in the first 10 years of production. Aerion says its analysis has included performance, stability, noise, cockpit visibility and other characteristics necessary to ensure a certifiable design. In the process, the shape of wings, fuselage, strakes, nacelles and empennage have been refined and tested. Aerion expects little to change at this point in terms of external configuration. No dates or schedules were announced.