Business jet operator NetJets, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Aerion to acquire 20 of their AS2 supersonic business jets. Aerion now has a potential order book of 300 aircraft. The company values the backlog at over $10 billion.
Aerion also reached an agreement with FlightSafety International, another Berkshire Hathaway company, to open a supersonic flight training academy for civil, commercial, and military supersonic aircraft. “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,” said Brad Thress, CEO of FlightSafety International.
The first AS2 should enter production in 2023 at Aerion Park, the company’s new headquarters recently opened near the Orlando-Melbourne Airport (MLB), in Florida. The aircraft should be able to carry 12 passengers at a speed of Mach 1.4 (about 1,700 kilometers per hour) over 7,780 kilometers (4,200 nautical miles).
In November 2020, Aerion completed high and low-speed wind tunnel testing of its AS2 business jet. The experiment was carried out with the assistance of French aerospace testing and research experts, ONERA.