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New SST Contender Aims For Mach 1.8

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Spike Aerospace, an engineering firm based in Boston, has joined the ranks of companies working to bring to market a new supersonic jet. Spike, which launched in 2011, says its S-512 will carry 12 to 18 passengers, sell for about $80 million, and reach speeds up to Mach 1.8. The company hopes to find a manufacturing partner soon and have its first jet flying in 2018. At Mach 1.8, the jet would reach its destination about twice as fast as today's fastest business jets. Spike says its design team brings experience from companies such as Gulfstream, Airbus, Boeing and Eclipse.

Other companies working to launch in the supersonic-bizjet field include Hypermach Aerospace, which hopes to fly its 32-passenger Mach 4 jet by 2024, and Aerion, which has said it will select an OEM partner by next year to build a prototype supersonic jet that will fly in 2018. NASA also has been working with Boeing and Lockheed Martin to develop supersonic technology. Spike Aerospace said it will have an exhibit about the airplane at EAA AirVenture this summer.

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