There has been plenty of buzz surrounding the Aerion AS2 in recent years as those behind the aircraft seek to bring supersonic travel to the business jet industry. Significant progress has been made with the project today as private jet powerhouse NetJets has obtained purchase rights for 20 units of the aircraft. This move comes amid an expansive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed with NetJets and training specialist FlightSafety International.
The NetJets order for 20 AS2s extends Aerion’s global order backlog to over $10 billion. This is a significant figure as production is set to start in 2023. Aerion is planning for 300 units of the supersonic plane to be manufactured in the first decade after production commences.
Tom Vice, chairman, president and CEO of Aerion, said the following about the move, as per a press release seen by Simple Flying:
“At Aerion our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours and this new partnership is a significant step towards realizing that vision. Our strategy is to connect the very best partners in the world within a new mobility ecosystem optimized for speed and founded on sustainability.
”In NetJets and FlightSafety International we have two such partners; both globally recognized leaders in their fields who share our passion for a new era of mobility that is both fast and at the same time kind to our planet.”
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A strong partner on board
Meanwhile, NetJets is excited about the developments. It is the owner and operator of the world’s largest and most diverse fleet of private jets.
The firm highlights that the MOU is providing additional opportunities. It is exploring to become the “exclusive business jet operator” for a global mobility platform, titled Aerion Connect. This “vision for a future global mobility ecosystem,” will integrate various, presently isolated urban and regional networks. This process will ultimately offer smoother point-to-point travel.
Adam Johnson, chairman and CEO of NetJets emphasized that his company is a leader in private aviation. So, it is always looking for ways to expand on new technology and grow its fleet. Overall, the company is honored to be the chosen partner for Aerion Connect.
Taking everything into account
Aerion is also aligning with FlightSafety International, a leading professional aviation training outfit, to develop a flight training academy for civil, commercial, and military supersonic planes. With this move, Aerion looking to shape the future of supersonic flight crews.
FlightSafety International CEO Brad Thress added the following in the release:
“We’re excited to bring FSI’s signature passion for safety to Aerion’s training academy. This partnership marries Aerion’s innovation and our long-established experience, opening up new opportunities in the supersonic aircraft space and the future of the industry as a whole.”
Altogether, there are high hopes for the AS2, with Aerion taking several factors into consideration with the jet. Last, year, the company’s SVP of marketing & communications, Matthew Clarke, told Simple flying that unlike standard business jets, his firm is concentrating on combining sustainability with supersonic travel.
Previously the technology for sustainable supersonic flying wasn’t around. However, Aerion, promotes that the AS2 will be the first commercial plane to fly at supersonic speeds over land “with no supersonic boom striking the ground.” Now, with this partnership progress, there is a lot to look forward to ahead of the aircraft’s planned 2026 introduction.
What are your thoughts about Aerion AS2? Are you looking forward to the introduction of the plane? Let us know what you think of the aircraft in the comment section.