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Aerion pushes supersonic bizjet planAerion pushes supersonic bizjet plan

<BR cmid="Article:Two Deck"><SPAN class=twodeck cmid="Article:Two Deck">It&rsquo;s all about the boom</SPAN><BR cmid="Article:Two Deck"><SPAN class=twodeck cmid="Article:Two Deck">It&rsquo;s all about the boom</SPAN>

Aerion super-sonic business jetCertification of the $80-million Aerion supersonic business jet could occur in 2015 if current development plans and discussions with contractors and governments go well. In the case of the FAA, it’s all about the boom.

The FAA’s Office of Aviation Policy, Planning, and Environment plans to call a third hearing soon on the topic of sonic booms over populated areas. The United States is the only country to prohibit Mach 1.0 flight over land, Aerion officials said in a press release. The FAA had requested more information on Reno, Nevada-based company’s plans for Mach cut-off, meaning supersonic cruise at Mach 1.15 but with no audible disturbance. By adjusting cruise speed based on temperature data, the sonic shock wave can be prevented from hitting the ground, Aerion officials believe, and will dissipate by a few thousand feet above the ground.

Aerion super-sonic business jet floorplansAerion is in discussions with potential manufacturers of the eight- to 12-passenger jet that is claimed to reduce a New York to Paris flight to four hours and 15 minutes. Approach speeds will be 120 knots, and the range is projected to be 4,000 nm at supersonic speeds, or 4,500 nm at subsonic speeds. The goal is to operate from 6,000-foot runways.

Aerion super-sonic business jet interior aftA series of flight and wind tunnel tests are planned for this year. A McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F–15 fighter will be used for testing late this year at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in addition to wind tunnel testing. The purpose of the tests is to refine the shape of strakes, flaps, elevators, rudder, and engine integration. The data will be used to set production standards. A wing section will be carried aloft to test laminar flow predictions.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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