The Aerion SST—the most promising effort in years to represent the next step in supersonic travel since the demise of the Anglo-French Concorde—has reached the end of the line after the company said it had run short of cash. The Reno, Nevada-based aircraft builder said Friday it is closing its doors for good according to a story in Florida Today.
Aerion’s original plans called for construction of the AS2 at a yet-to-be-built $375 million facility at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport (KMLB). Though the company reported an order backlog of $11.2 billion, a spokesman said, “In the current financial environment, it has proven hugely challenging to close on the scheduled and necessary large new capital requirements to finalize the transition of the AS2 into production.”
Aerion had previously recruited a number of heavyweight partners—Boeing, General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway—to help it slog through the challenges of the aircraft certification process. In March 2021, NetJets offered Aerion a vote of confidence by ordering 20 of the SSTs as well as agreeing to become the exclusive fractional business jet operator for the new aircraft. Each AS2 was priced at $120 million in today’s dollars.