Momentum is building as Aerion Corp. moves forward with its three-engine AS2 supersonic business jet.

The Reno, Nevada-based company has opened its order book and set a $120 million price in 2015 dollars for the aircraft.

In addition, “we’ve set really aggressive milestones,” said Brian Barents, Aerion’s co-chairman.

The company is planning for certification in 2021 and entry into service in 2022.

“We’re staffing up,” Barents said. “We’re building momentum and we’re hitting our marks.”

The next move is to select an engine for adaptation for supersonic flight. “The engine is going to be the pacing item,” Barents said.

Last year, Aerion canceled the twin-jet design in favor of a larger, longer-range three-engine design.

“We hope to find an existing core that we can adapt to the airplane,” Barents said.

The original design included twin 19,600 lb. thrust Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines. “While a well-proven design, the JT8D originated in the 1960s,” Aerion said last year when it announced the revised design. It had excellent characteristics for a supersonic jet (for example, its low bypass ratio). However, Aerion subsequently determined that the engine was growth-limited.

Newer, more efficient and more durable engines with lower emissions are preferable, it said.

The selected engine will be in the 15,000-lb. thrust range, the company has said.

Aerion is also talking with customers.

The first 50 customers will receive preferential pricing and other benefits available only during the first round of orders.

“This is another step forward for Aerion,” chairman Robert Bass said. “We are offering a select group of forward-thinking business aviation users the opportunity to fly faster and to make history with us as we reintroduce commercial supersonic flight.”

The company will be having discussions with travelers who place a high price on their time, said Ernest (Ernie) Edwards. Edwards, the former president of Embraer Executive Jets, recently joined Aerion as senior vice president and chief commercial officer. They will save 3 hr. flying time between Paris and Washington, D.C. and more than 6 hr. between San Francisco and Singapore.

Minimum projected range is 4,750 nm with the intention to achieve a range of more than 5,000 nm.

Aerion is planning to carry out low-speed wind tunnel tests in September at the University of Washington. The company is expanding its engineering organization and has deepened its ties with the Airbus Group as they participate in a joint definition phase refining the AS2 design.

In March, Aerion moved into new and expanded offices in Reno to accommodate its growing staff and provide space for the two companies’ engineers to work together. Aerion has made “substantial progress in defining the AS2 from the inside out,” CEO Doug Nichols said.