Aerion Supersonic biz jet developer to shift base to Florida


Aerion Supersonic is to build a US$300 million campus called Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida that will include its global headquarters and research, design, manufacturing and maintenance facilities for its supersonic aircraft .

Aerion’s AS2 is the first-ever privately built supersonic commercial aircraft and will be capable of speeds up to Mach 1.4. The 12-passenger business jet is scheduled to begin flight testing in 2024.

Aerion plans to break ground on the new campus at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) later this year ahead of manufacturing of the AS2 business jet commencing in 2023. In addition to the 675 new jobs created by Aerion at the site, Aerion Park is expected to attract key aerospace suppliers within the supersonic technology ecosystem to bring business to Florida, creating additional roles for scientists, designers, engineers and aircraft builders.

The development will take place on more than 60 acres of vacant airport property located at the northwest corner of MLB. The airport already hosts facilities for several aviation, aerospace and defense companies, including Northrop Grumman, L3Harris, Embraer, Collins Aerospace and Thales.

Tom Vice, Aerion’s chairman, president and CEO said, “We are building the next generation of high-speed transportation networks that will revolutionize global mobility without leaving a carbon footprint on our world. Our AS2 business jet – the world’s first privately built supersonic aircraft – is the first stage in that exciting endeavor. Having evaluated a number of potential locations for our new home, we are excited to partner with Florida and the Melbourne community to create a sustainable supersonic future.”

The announcement of Aerion Supersonic’s integrated campus and long-term investment in Melbourne is a major win for a community looking to emerge from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis said, “The Space Coast has become a hub for the aviation and aerospace industry, and my administration continues to make it a priority to expand this high-wage and important business sector.

“We are thrilled that Aerion has selected Melbourne for its new global headquarters and look forward to the company’s success.”

Frank DiBello, president and CEO of local development agency Space Florida said,  “The decision to locate manufacturing of this technologically advanced supersonic flight vehicle here in Florida is a testament to the growing strength and global recognition of the importance of Florida as a world-leading aerospace state. Space Florida is pleased to have provided financing, structure and development assistance to this project.”

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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