Aerion Reports Progress In Partnership Talks

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Aerion remains determined to be first to market with a supersonic business jet, company chairman Robert Bass said in a news release this week. Armed with an order book worth $4 billion, Bass has been shopping around for an OEM partner to take on the project. "I said at EBACE earlier this year that I am committed to the Aerion program as long as we see progress in our discussions with OEMs," said Bass. "We are seeing progress. In fact, we are quite encouraged by our discussions. There is no question that the economic impact on the industry has slowed their decision-making progress, but it has not lessened interest in this program." He said the Aerion design is practical, because no regulatory changes are required for the jet to operate efficiently, and the supersonic natural laminar flow wing design is well proven. "There are no barriers to success," said Aerion Senior Advisor John Holding. "Technical risks are low, and the development of the jet is well within the capability of several manufacturers."

The Aerion team will be at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, which runs Tuesday to Thursday next week, with a mockup of its design. "Even when some of the major industry players are hunkering down, we have come to tell the industry that they will soon be able to embrace a faster future," said Vice Chairman Brian Barents. "That is why we are here at NBAA -- to spread this message." Watch for AVweb's team coverage of NBAA events all next week.