Boeing has become the latest – and biggest – aerospace company to partner with supersonic business jet developer Aerion.
The world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer is to provide “financial, engineering and industrial resources”, as well as help with flight testing, to the Reno, Nevada-based firm, which is aiming to fly its AS2 prototype by June 2023, the 20th anniversary of the retirement of Concorde.
Boeing has also made “a significant investment in Aerion to accelerate technology development and aircraft design, and unlock supersonic air travel for new markets”. Neither company is disclosing terms.
“Boeing is leading a mobility transformation that will safely and efficiently connect the world faster than ever before,” says Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, the company’s innovation lab.
Aerion was founded in 2003 and introduced its 12-passenger AS2 in 2014. In October, GE Aviation launched its Affinity supersonic engine, with the AS2 as launch platform. Aerion also announced Honeywell as the supplier of a “revolutionary” cockpit design and cabin systems.
Those developments came after more than 10 years of hints from Aerion that major deals with major airframers and engine manufacturers were imminent, causing some to speculate that the project was failing to gain support among the wider aerospace community.