Aerion, the company that promised to bring supersonic aircraft back to market after the removal of Concorde models from active duty, is closing. It promised the first models of aircraft that exceeded the speed of sound for the business segment and will not be able to honor the orders of over $ 11.2 billion it had at the time of closing for the AS2 model.
Aerion AS2 could be the first supersonic aircraft after Concorde
The AS2 (Aerion Supersonic 2) aircraft were to be models of private aircraft, equipped with engines capable of supersonic propulsion. Each unit was priced at $ 120 million, and construction was to take place at the company’s new factory. Plans for the plant suggested it would be built at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. However, it will not be built.
According to company spokesmen, the company’s financial problems in the current economic climate have led to the decision to close the company:
“In today’s financial environment, it has proved very difficult to get close to the necessary and previously planned capital in order to complete the transition of the AS2 model to production.”
However, Aerion was not a joint-stock company, founded by visionaries with no experience in the field. The company had partners such as Boeing, General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway, who were to help the company meet the certification requirements of the authorities. This news is also surprising because it comes just three months after Aerion received an order for 20 units of AS2 aircraft from NetJets. NetJets was to become the sole operator for these business aircraft.
The dream of returning supersonic aircraft to active service thus remains a distant one. The development of such aircraft is very costly and the operating costs are very high, as demonstrated 20 years ago by Air France and British Airways, which abandoned Concorde in 2003.