Aerion is here at the show, still far from having a flying prototype of their supersonic business jet to wow us with, but continuing to make positive progress. Their engineers conducted wind tunnel tests this August in Germany that confirmed their wing design will attain supersonic laminar-flow performance at cruising altitudes of 45,000 feet and up, the company said. "These were historic tests," said Richard Tracy, Aerion's chief technology officer. Tracy designed the wing, which the company says is the enabling technology behind the aircraft's efficiency at both subsonic and supersonic speeds. Where supersonic natural laminar flow exists, drag is reduced by up to 90 percent, according to the company. "It's almost as if the wing isn't there," Tracy said.
Aerion is also continuing to build a management team of industry veterans, and announced here at NBAA that Doug Nichols, who spent 28 years at Boeing, will join the company as chief financial officer. Aerion has collected over 50 secured orders for the $80 million jet. Target date for certification is 2014.