Supersonic jet developer Aerion has ceased operations after running out of cash.
The Nevada-based company spent more than $1bn (£707m) developing supersonic jets which could travel at 1,000mph.
The company, which had partnerships with Boeing and General Electric, planned to spend $375m on a manufacturing facility in Florida as part of a relocation of its headquarters to the state but failed to secure the capital required to commence with production of the jets. A statement by the company read: “In the current financial environment, it has proven hugely challenging to close on the scheduled and necessary large new capital requirements. Aerion Corporation is now taking the appropriate steps in consideration of this ongoing financial environment.”
AS2 business jet had $11.2bn sales backlog
Aerion had a $11.2bn sales backlog for its AS2 supersonic business jet, which it had hoped to build by 2024 before progressing to commercial flights by 2026. Schedule were pushed back in March, with the first commercial delivery rescheduled for 2027. The backlog included an order for 20 supersonic jets by NetJets.
Aerion’s AS2 jets was set to fly twice as quickly as standard commercial aircraft with a patented “boomless cruise” technology preventing the creation of sonic booms, a frequent cause of complaints from residents living under Concorde’s flight paths.
A spokesman for Boeing said: “While we are disappointed Aerion could not secure additional funding to continue its work, we remain committed to working with innovative and creative partners who, like Aerion, continue to push limits on groundbreaking technology,”
Aerion was reported to have been in talks about going public via a special purpose acquisition company earlier this year.
* FINN caught up with Dr Richard Tracy, senior vice president & chief technology officer at Aerion Aerion at EBACE 2017, shortly after it was announced that the company would be working with GE Aviation on an engine for the AS2 supersonic business jet.