Aerion Supersonic, a Las Vegas-based company that aimed to build a supersonic business jet and gained backing from Boeing, abruptly announced Friday it was shutting down.
Florida Today reported that the company, which had touted plans to build a $375 million jet-building facility at Orlando Melbourne International Airport, said in a statement Friday that “in the current financial environment, it has proven hugely challenging to close on the scheduled and necessary large new capital requirements to finalize the transition of the AS2 into production.”
The company was developing a 12-passenger jet, the AS2, capable of reaching speeds of Mach 1.4 or approximately 1,000 miles per hour. It was slated for first flight in 2023.
In February 2019, Boeing invested an undisclosed amount in Aerion. Mike Sinnett, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ vice president for product strategy and future airplane development, joined the company’s board and remains a director, Boeing said Friday.
“While we are disappointed Aerion could not secure additional funding to continue their work, we remain committed to working with innovative and creative partners who, like Aerion, continue to push limits on groundbreaking technology,” Boeing said in a statement Friday.
Aerion officials were not available for comment.
“The AS2 supersonic business jet program meets all market, technical, regulatory and sustainability requirements, and the market for a new supersonic segment of general aviation has been validated with $11.2 billion in sales backlog for the AS2,” the company’s statement said. “Given these conditions, the Aerion Corporation is now taking the appropriate steps in consideration of this ongoing financial environment.”