Aerion Supersonic, which intended to build quiet business jets that would travel twice as fast as most commercial aircraft, is shutting down operations. Aerion, which had the backing of Boeing, said it was unable to raise the funds to build its AS2 supersonic aircraft.
“The AS2 supersonic business jet program meets all market, technical, regulatory and sustainability requirements, and the market for a new supersonic segment of general aviation has been validated with $11.2 billion in sales backlog for the AS2,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.
“However, in the current financial environment, it has proven hugely challenging to close on the scheduled and necessary large new capital requirements to finalise the transition of the AS2 into production. Given these conditions, the Aerion Corporation is now taking the appropriate steps in consideration of this ongoing financial environment“.
Aerion CEO Tom Vice said in January 2020 that developing AS2 would likely cost the company around $4 billion. By this time, he had already spent $1 billion to develop the AS2 engine. In April 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Aerion was moving its headquarters from Reno, Nevada, to Melbourne, Florida, where a plant was to be built at Orlando International Airport.
The company planned to fly its first AS2 by 2024 and begin commercial flights by 2026. The supersonic AS2 business jet was slated to cost $120 million per plane.