Zurich-based ExecuJet Aviation Group has started taking orders for the Aerion Supersonic Business Jet (SSBJ), even though it is not expected to be ready for delivery until 2014.

The company is taking refundable deposits of $250,000 for the jet, which is being developed now at Aerion’s Nevada headquarters. ExecuJet has signed a letter of intent for 40 early delivery positions for customers outside the Americas, with a sale price per jet of $80 million at 2007 exchange rates.

“Market demand has driven our decision to begin accepting deposits,” says Brian Barents, Aerion vice chairman. “We have been approached by a number of prospective customers wanting to secure positions. We would be remiss to ignore their enthusiasm and interest.”


ExecuJet chief executive Niall Olver expects initial demand to come from Europe and the Middle East, with increasing demand from emerging markets such as Russia, India and China. “When we look at the market opportunity, Aerion offers the most balanced package and is the closest to reality. We are very much looking forward to the day when we are routinely flying customers in these aircraft,” he says.

Today ExecutJet serves Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia with charter management and sales. It is a Bombardier Business Aircraft sales representative in 33 countries and represents Grob Aerospace’s business jet aircraft sales globally outside North America.

The Aerion SSBJ aims to be just as fuel efficient as today’s business jets at low speeds, but with twice the maximum speed. It can reach maximum speed of Mach 1.6 over water and desolate regions, and Mach 1.15 with no sonic boom over populated areas. The business model is built for efficiency without changes to regulation limits of speeds above Mach 1.

However, extensive research to manage sonic booms has Aerion planning careful course plotting through altitudes and atmospheric conditions. A selective course can minimize the boom and aim it to terminate at 5,000ft above ground level.
Patented supersonic natural laminar flow technology in the wing substantially reduces drag at supersonic as well as high-subsonic cruise speeds, allowing high speeds with existing Pratt & Whitney engines. Inside, the 1.88m (6ft 2in) tall cabin can seat eight to 12 passengers in a variety of configurations.

The Aerion SSBJ programme was formally unveiled in October 2004, and the company continues to seek a manufacturer to build it. Aerion is in discussions with candidate companies and anticipates an agreement within the first half of 2008, six years before first delivery in 2014.

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Source: Flight Daily News