|Headquarters||Reno, Nevada, USA|
|Key people||Robert Bass, President and Chairman; Brian Barents, Vice Chairman; Doug Nichols, CEO; Dr. Richard R. Tracy, CTO|
|Products||supersonic business jet, natural laminar flow consulting|
Aerion Corporation is an American aerospace firm founded by Robert Bass and based in Reno, Nevada. Aerion continues research the group began more than 20 years ago, with the current focus on the design of a practical and efficient supersonic business jet employing patented natural laminar flow (NLF) technology, as well as application of this technology for subsonic and transonic aircraft through a wholly owned consultancy business named Aerion Technologies Corporation.
Aerion is working on the Aerion SBJ, a concept for a supersonic business jet, which is capable of flight at speeds up to Mach 1.6, while also cruising efficiently just below the speed of sound (Mach .95 to .99) where necessary. The firm is headed by several veterans of the aerospace and financial industries. The firm's name is derived from the mythical horse Areion—belonged to Adrastus and born to Demeter and Poseidon.
Execujet of Switzerland and Indigo Lyon are the firm's sales agents worldwide, with the exception of North America. 50 letters of intent have been taken, with deposits; each aircraft is priced at $80,000,000 in 2007 year dollars.
The Aerion SBJ’s key enabling technology, supersonic natural laminar flow, has been conclusively demonstrated in transonic wind tunnel tests and in supersonic flight tests conducted in conjunction with NASA. While SBJ discussions continue with selected airframers, data from the Aerion-designed calibration fixture aboard a NASA F-15B in the summer of 2010 was used to guide the design of a second test surface flown during the first half of 2013. The new test surface was designed to provide large extents of laminar flow and be shaped so boundary layer instabilities grow relatively slowly and smoothly. These characteristics should facilitate good boundary layer imaging of the roughness and step-height experiments performed in next phase. The experiments were intended to influence future laminar flow airfoil manufacturing standards for surface quality and assembly tolerances.
The Aerion supersonic business jet will be powered by the latest generation of the ubiquitous Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine. A derivative of the existing JT8D-200 series engine, derated to 19,600 pounds thrust, can provide the performance necessary for sustained cruise at speeds up to Mach 1.6 without afterburners. The use of a JT8D derivative reduces technical risks, time to market and the cost of developing a new engine. This engine provides the thrust and bypass ratio needed for efficient supersonic and subsonic performance, while still meeting all applicable emissions standards and Stage 4/Chapter 4 noise requirements with margin.
Aerion Technologies Corporation
Increased demand from a variety of aircraft manufacturers for Aerion’s natural laminar flow expertise drove the company to launch Aerion Technologies Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary, in May 2011. Aerion maintains that the same proprietary technologies and design tools that enable a practical SBJ also have subsonic and transonic applications. During the past 10 years, Aerion has developed an extensive portfolio of NLF test data and methods for optimizing its application to aircraft design, as well as assuring practical manufacturing and operational aspects. Aerion Technologies’ NLF technology and design tools may help airframers push speed and efficiency limits for next-generation civil and military aircraft. The company has signed consulting contracts with unnamed airframers.
Aerion’s board includes: Robert Bass, chairman of Aerion and president of investment group Keystone Group, LP; Brian E. Barents, vice chairman of Aerion and former president and CEO of Galaxy Aerospace and Learjet; Doug Nichols, chief executive officer of Aerion; Dr. Richard R. Tracy, Aerion’s chief technology officer and pioneer of the supersonic natural laminar wing concept; Michael L. Henderson, Aerion’s principal scientist and Boeing’s former program manager for high-speed civil transport; Robert Morse, a partner at Oak Hill Capital Management; and James Stewart, CEO of Mubadala Aerospace MRO Network. In addition, John Holding, previously Bombardier Aerospace’s executive vice president, Integrated Product Definition and Planning, is senior advisor to the company.
- Aerion's SBJ enters phase two of development, European Business Air News, 12/1/05
- Indigo Lyon Selected as Sales Representative for Aerion SBJ, BART International, 3/14/12
- "NBAA: Aerion gets supersonic test results". Archived from the original on 1 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- NBAA: Aerion gets supersonic test results, Flight International, 10/18/10
- Supersonic Laminar Flow Tests Continue on NASA's F-15B, NASA, 05/22/13
- Aerion Steps Up Testing for Supersonic Business Jet, Aviation International News, 05/14/12
- Second Set of SBLT Tests Planned on NASA's F-15B, NASA, 05/15/12
- Aerion Tests Further Efforts to Develop Supersonic Bizjet, Aviation International News, 10/29/12
- Aerion makes progress on supersonic business jet, Wichita Eagle, 12/21/12
- Want Laminar Flow? Talk to Aerion, Aviation Week, 5/16/11
- Aerion to subsonic set: Go with the (natural laminar) flow, Aviation International News, 5/17/11
- EBACE: Aerion seeks fresh revenue stream, Flight International, 5/16/11
- Aerion’s tech subsidiary brings laminar flow to subsonics, Aviation International News, 10/10/11
- NBAA: Aerion goes with laminar flow, Flight International, 10/11/11
- NBAA: Aerion talks up transonic options as F-15 tests resume, Flight International, 10/29/12
- Aerion Promotes Doug Nichols to CEO and Board member, Aero-News Network, 01/08/13
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