Looking to the Future
By Tom Vice on May 26, 2020
5 min read
Humanity is confronting the most extraordinary crisis our generation has ever seen. We are being challenged with the simultaneous impacts from a global health crisis, as coronavirus has rapidly spread across both our country and our world, and a devastating financial crisis, not just to the global markets but also to the economic impacts being felt around every kitchen table.
As a company, we are taking the necessary actions to navigate this crisis. We aren’t just going to hunker down and weather this storm; instead we will look forward to a brighter tomorrow. We remain steadfast in our resolve to have a profound impact on our world. We will emerge stronger.
Ingenuity and courage will defeat this virus, our financial markets will recover, and we will get people back to work. It will not be easy – in fact, it will be excruciatingly hard. However, I deeply believe that the greatest leaders and innovators are born out of times like these. We will persevere. We will beat this. And when we do, human connections will be more important than ever; human connections will rebuild our world.
Aerion is fundamentally disrupting the mobility and transportation market. We are built on the incredible vision of our founders. Dr. Richard Tracy is a technical pioneer and the godfather of Aerion. He created the original inspiration for Aerion and continues working with us today on our product roadmap and technologies of the future. Robert Bass is focused on an unwavering commitment to make Aerion and the AS2 successful. His interest in the technical details and willingness to support the team in countless ways drives us to be our very best. Both leaders genuinely love this company, people and the mission.
Our goals are far greater than just getting somewhere faster. As part of our mission to bring supersonic mobility to the world, we are committed to addressing climate change in aviation and will work hard to be part of the solution to reverse it. We take environmental stewardship very seriously and have a plan for carbon-neutral operations from flight one. Aerion’s AS2 will be the first supersonic aircraft designed with the ability to accept 100% synthetic fuel and reach supersonic without an afterburner. We’re so committed to driving change that we will share our research on biofuels with the world.
Over the last two years, Aerion’s world class team has seen tremendous growth. Developing the next generation of supersonic aircraft requires incredibly talented aerodynamicists, configuration engineers, software tool designers, manufactures and support staff. We have brought together some of the most talented professionals from aerospace, technology, automotive and defense industries. Many have left world-renowned and innovative start-up organizations, uprooting family and relocating to take a chance on building something special at Aerion. The dedication and innovative spirit of our team is incredible. I am so very proud of the women and men of our company. This is our eighth week working virtually. Our team is safe and healthy, but we miss one another.
Much of 2019 was focused on aligning with key suppliers who bring world class expertise to the AS2. Boeing, GE, Spirit, Aernnova, GKN, Safran, and Potez have records of excellence in aerospace. These suppliers are working with Aerion’s engineers and designers on a daily basis, creating breakthroughs like the exceedingly efficient GE Affinity supersonic engine and the AS2’s ingenious Boomless Cruise™ technology. The AS2 will be the first commercial aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds over land with virtually no indication on the ground. We have built a global team that is rapidly maturing the AS2 from design concept to reality.
Flexjet, our launch customer has boldly supported Aerion with a $2.6 billion order for twenty of the first AS2 aircraft. They have continued to be a staunch supporter of the program and share our passion for sustainable supersonics, challenging the status quo of the industry. Kenn Ricci and the Flexjet team are fellow visionaries and pioneers.
While working virtually, we have released the design of our new aircraft and announced our new home, Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida. Our new global headquarters will be more than a design and manufacturing facility – it will be an environmentally responsible center that our team and the local community will be proud of, an integrated campus for research, design, manufacturing and support that will generate at least 675 jobs in the Space Coast and Brevard county.
Our vision and our purpose have not changed. We will hold our heads high, act always with integrity and empathy, and remain compassionate, respectful and committed. We will sacrifice in the short term in order to achieve our long-term purpose. High speed travel is not for a select few. While we have started with the business jet market, we are rapidly expanding to defense and commercial markets. Applying our company’s technologies, innovations, and know-how to support the women and men in uniform, who put their lives on the line to protect freedom around the world, is not only a privilege, it is a duty.
The AS2 is just the first in a family of Aerion Supersonic aircraft. We envision disruptive, innovative products in every segment of aviation, challenging an industry that hasn’t seen this kind of innovation in over 50 years. New technologies are invariably born in niche markets first, providing the basis for more widespread adoption. Aerion’s endeavor opens the world to the widespread adoption of new, high speed, sustainable innovation.
Supersonic is back. So is innovation in global mobility. Join us and change the world.