Interest in Supersonic Business Jet Remains Strong

Supersonic natural laminar flow is the trump card for Aerion — the company that hopes to be the first to certify a Mach-busting business jet. Advanced aerodynamics at supersonic speed is projected to enable the Aerion aircraft to fly with dramatically low fuel consumption. Though Aerion acknowledges the depressed worldwide economy has slowed development, the company still claims it holds 50 letters of intent for the $80 million aircraft — a quarter of those orders from customers in Middle East countries, Pakistan or India. Aerion still has as much as a year to go on its "technical assessment phase" but targets the middle of the 2010 decade for the resumption of supersonic commercial service using its aircraft.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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