Aerion Now Eyeing Huge Supersonic Bizjet

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Aerion, which has been working on a supersonic bizjet for almost a decade, has gone back to the drawing board to deliver what it says customers want: a $100 million-plus big cabin jet that goes 5,000 nm at Mach 1.4. “The message from many of today’s long-range business jet operators is very clear: They want a supersonic jet sooner rather than later; a cabin comparable in comfort to today’s long-range jets; a range of 5,000 nm or better; and they are willing to pay more than $100 million for such an aircraft. That is the supersonic jet we are working to deliver,” said Aerion CEO Doug Nichols.

The revised design has three engines and is 160 feet long, 30 feet longer than a Boeing 737-800 and only 40 feet shorter than the Concorde. The cabin will be 30 feet long with two compartments, two lavs, a galley and a 98-inch ceiling. Operators wanting to stretch the legs of the aircraft will need 7,500 feet of pavement to get started but Aerion said a hop across the country or the Atlantic should only require Teterboro-style 5,000-6,000-foot runways. The new design is already in wind tunnel testing and Aerion says it's going to finance the development program itself.