Supersonic jet developer Aerion Corporation has decided to cease all operations. The company said it took the decision as it failed to secure enough money to start the process of making aircraft. Founded by Texas billionaire Robert Bass, Aerion had the backing of Boeing. The company was working on business jets that would be capable of flying twice as fast as other commercial aircraft and that too silently. “In the current financial environment, it is becoming extremely difficult to arrange scheduled and required capital for starting the production of supersonic jet AS2,” the company said. Aerion Corporation said that it is taking steps considering the financial environment.
Ever since the pandemic hit, Aerion was founding it difficult to arrange the necessary funds to take AS2 private jet to production level. It is worth mentioning that the company had said in March this year that it is hopeful that output of first planes would start in next 2-3 years. It said that the production would start at a factory in Melbourne, Florida. By 2027, it was hoping to start its first commercial delivery. Aerion had joined hands with Boeing and General Electric for this project and had amassed more than USD 11 billion in orders. It had recently got an order from NetJets which is a unit of American investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
The coronavirus pandemic has heavily affected aerospace manufactures. This is because the passengers were not willing to fly and this stopped airlines from buying new planes. Boeing was hit really hard. It was already reeling from the grounding of 737 Max following two fatal crashes. Boeing had announced its backing to Aerion in 2019 and had pledged to provide all engineering and manufacturing support. But it had to dissolve its Boeing NeXt investment because of one of the worst financial crises in aviation history. “We are disappointed with the development. However, we would continue to work with creative and innovative partners,” Boeing said. Earlier, Aerion was in talks to go public. Aerion was working on AS2 that was being designed to travel with a speed of more than 1,000 miles per hour. In other words, around 1.4 times faster than the speed of sound.