The Boeing logo is pictured at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition fair (LABACE) at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/Files

(Reuters) – Boeing Co said on Tuesday it had made a significant investment in Aerion, a developer of supersonic planes, as the world’s biggest planemaker looks to tap into rising demand for high-end business jets that can cut travel time.

The company will provide engineering, manufacturing and flight testing services for Aerion’s $120 million supersonic business jet, Boeing said in a statement.

The jet, Aerion AS2, slated for its first flight in 2023, can fly at speeds of up to Mach 1.4, or about 1,000 miles per hour, 70 percent faster than conventional business jets.

Both, Boeing and Reno, Nevada-based Aerion did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

U.S. startups Aerion, Boom Supersonic and Spike Aerospace are working to re-introduce supersonic passenger travel for the first time since Anglo-French Concorde retired in 2003.

Until now, supersonic designs have struggled to meet current subsonic noise standards due to engine constraints, but Aerion said in October it would be able to take off and land without regulatory changes in the United States, providing a potential boost to efforts to bring back faster air travel.

General Electric’s GE Aviation unit has said it completed initial designs for the new Affinity turbofan engine, which will be used in Aerion’s AS2 jet.

Honeywell Aerospace said it would develop the cockpit for AS2.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva


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