Reno, Nevada-based Aerion announced it is proceeding with plans to develop a supersonic business jet. The company reported it is continuing discussions with possible manufacturing partners. The design-study, proof-of-concept phase is expected to cover nine to 12 months. Aerion hopes the initiative will lead to an agreement to go forward with full-scale development and ultimate production of the airplane. Obstacles to the development of a supersonic business jet include containing the sonic boom that currently precludes overland flight. Researchers have projected that refining the shape and aerodynamics of the airframe could reduce the impact of the boom to politically acceptable levels. Aerion Vice Chairman Brian Barents said, "We are confident we will reach an agreement with an OEM. The challenges are many, but there is a desire on the part of all parties to make this happen."