Aerion Supersonic hits $10 billion in orders for futuristic jets to be built in Melbourne

From Florida Today


Aerion Supersonic Logo

As president of Northrop Grumman’s aerospace systems sector, Tom Vice helped guide expansion of the defense giant’s Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence off NASA Boulevard at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.

Dedicated in 2013, Northrop Grumman’s expansion spawned thousands of high-paying jobs — drawing engineers from New York, California, and elsewhere to settle on the Space Coast.

Now, Vice is president and CEO of Aerion Supersonic. Company goal: Design and build America’s first large-scale production supersonic business aircraft.

Aerion has already accumulated a backlog of orders topping $10 billion for its futuristic AS2 business jets that should fly at Mach 1.4 — and the company is seeing “accelerating demand,” Vice said.

Design planning is underway for Aerion’s $375 million global headquarters, slated for construction at the Melbourne airport within eyeshot of Northrop’s campus. Called Aerion Park, this 110-acre complex will house aircraft design, manufacturing, flight test and completion centers. Components will be shipped in from suppliers across the globe.

Aerion Park construction should start later this year, Vice said. Company officials plan to manufacture 300 AS2s in Melbourne during the facility’s initial decade — creating 675 jobs by 2026.

“I’ve lived here since 2009. I constructed the Northrop Grumman facility at the other side of the runway. It’s a great place to raise a family,” said Vice, a Satellite Beach resident.

“It’s exceptional schools, elementary through high schools through universities. If you look around and just think about the number of companies that are here — Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Blue Origin, SpaceX, L3Harris — there’s just an incredible amount of talent here,” he said.

–Read more at Florida Today