Exclusive: Aerion’s AS2 supersonic private jet is in jeopardy

AS2 supersonic jet

Two sources tell Private Jet Card Comparisons that Aerion is informing customers it plans to cease operations

Aerion says, it “is now taking the appropriate steps in consideration of this ongoing financial environment.”

The much-talked-about Aerion supersonic private jet program looks to be running into headwinds. The AS2 is supposed to carry eight to 10 passengers. Its range of 4,200 nautical miles at Mach 1.4, about 1,000 miles per hour, would cut the flying time between New York and London to just over three hours.

However, two sources tell Private Jet Card Comparisons that Aerion is ceasing operations after failing to raise enough money. The sources both said the company has been informing customers over the past several days.

NetJets is going supersonic with 20 Aerion AS2 private jets

AS2 supersonic jet

NetJets has obtained purchase rights for 20 AS2 supersonic business jets. Aerion’s global order backlog grows to $10 billion + ahead of a planned 2023 production start

Aerion signed a memorandum of understanding with NetJets and FlightSafety to explore wide-ranging cooperation

NetJets customers are set to break the speed of sound. The Berkshire Hathaway unit said it had obtained the right to purchase 20 Aerion AS2 supersonic private jets. The list price for the AS2 is $120 million. The order extends Aerion’s order book to over $10 billion. The new aircraft promises speeds of over 1,000 miles per hour.

Aerion AS2 supersonic private jet

NetJets Flexjet Aerion AS2

Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet profile, including current pricing, manufacturing dates, cabin size and passenger capacity, range, speed, fractional ownership and jet card options

Aerion AS2 Facts

One of several supersonic jet concepts aiming to fill the gap in high-speed commercial travel has been void since Concorde’s last flight in 2003. The Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet is planned to go into production in 2023.

The supersonic AS2 promises a range of 4,200 nautical miles at Mach 1.4, or over 1,000 miles per hour.

Aerion says it has over $10 billion in orders for the AS2. List price is $120 million, and about half of the fast private jets are designated for jet sharing companies. Flexjet was the launch fleet customer in 2015 with an order for 20 AS2s, and more recently, NetJets said it has negotiated options for 20 of the supersonic private jet.

According to JetNetIQ, at least three speed of sound breaking jet types are likely to make it to market.

Boom Overture’s Boom Supersonic jet will seat 55 passengers and has attracted support from Japan Air Lines and Virgin Group. The AS2, however, is fully targeted at the private aviation market, with seating for between 8 and 12 passengers.

Aerion says there is a market for over 300 supersonic private jets. The company has been working on the concept since 2002.

The AS2’s GE engines will use 100% sustainable aviation fuel which can reduce CO2 output by 85%

On May 21, 2021, Aerion was telling customers it was returning deposits and ceasing operations. The company issued a statement that is was taking appropriate actions in light of its inability to raise sufficient funding.

Manufacturing Dates

Production Start: 2023 is the planned start date for production at Aerion facilities in Melbourne, Florida

Production Ends: Pre-production

The Aerion AS2 is a clean sheet design. It is expected to be the first commercial supersonic aircraft to enter service since the last flight of the Concorde in 2003.

Cabin Category

Supersonic

Fleet Size

The first AS2 isn’t expected to enter service until around 2026. Aerion predicts a market for around 300 supersonic private jets.

AS2 Cabin Size and Passengers

Aerion AS2 private jet

Height of Cabin: 6 feet

Width of Cabin: 7.5 feet

Length of Cabin: 30 feet

Seating Capacity: 8 to 12

Range

Supersonic Range: 4,200 nautical miles

Subsonic Range: 5,400 nautical miles

Speed

Supersonic Cruising Speed: Mach 1.4

Subsonic Cruising Speed: Mach 0.95

Baggage Space

There will be a large aft space for baggage accessible from the passenger cabin

Access

Fractional Ownership – Yes

Dedicated Jet Card – Unknown

Pricing

A new Aerion AS2 is listed at $120 million

Supersonic models currently in development

Compare over 150 private jet models in the Private Jet Performance Guide.

Spike Aerospace S-512

Boom Supersonic

Lockheed Martin X-59 QueSST

Aerion Supersonic AS2

Virgin Galactic

Is NetJets worth the price?

NetJets may be ubiquitous with the concept of fractional ownership, and by far the dominant player in the market, but the big question remains, is the unit of Berkshire Hathaway worth a premium?

(Updated August 26, 2021) – There’s no question NetJets is the biggest player in the private aviation sector. And for the over 3,000 subscribers to Private Jet Card Comparisons since we launched just over three years ago (Thank you!), I get to talk with perhaps 20%. It is likely more day-in-day-out contact with private aviation consumers than any other journalist. And if there is one company that comes up more than others, it’s NetJets.

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