Aerion Supersonic has announced plans to create a new supersonic jet that will be able to transport passengers from London to New York in less than an hour.
Reaching speeds of Mach 4-plus, or 4,828 kilometres per hour, the AS3 will make its first flight before the end of the decade, with the ability to transport 50 passengers up to 11,265km.
Aerion’s mission is to make air travel “an exciting, enjoyable, efficient and luxurious experience once again”. But while the company is committed to bringing supersonic mobility to the world, it is also dedicated to stopping climate change, it says.
Its AS2 supersonic aircraft, a precursor to the AS3, is designed to be the first certified aircraft to run on 100 per cent engineered carbon-captured synthetic fuels, essentially extracting carbon dioxide from the air. It will also utilise trademarked Boomless Cruise technology to ensure sonic boom never reaches the ground. And it will be the first supersonic aircraft that does not require after-burning engines.
Production of the AS2 supersonic business jet is scheduled to begin in 2023, with its first flight pegged for 2025. Orders for the supersonic aircraft have already topped $6.5 billion, with NetJets, which owns the world’s largest fleet of business jets, having placed a purchase order for 20 AS2s.
“At Aerion, our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours. Supersonic flight is the starting point, but it is just that – the beginning. To truly revolutionise global mobility as we know it today, we must push the boundaries of what is possible,” says Aerion’s chairman, president and chief executive, Tom Vice.
“The AS3 forms the next step in our long-term technology roadmap and will bring Aerion’s high Mach flight capability to a broader audience; we look forward to sharing more on our design later this year.”
The company has already started development of its 44.5-hectare Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida, where the AS2 and AS3 will be produced. "Aerion is an exciting place, fuelled by entrepreneurs, creators and innovators," says Vice.
“We are building more than the airplane of tomorrow – we are building the global transportation networks of the future and we will seek the smartest, most creative and collaborative minds to join our team and our journey to tackle the toughest mobility challenges of the future.”
Earlier this year, Aerion expanded its ongoing partnership with Nasa’s Langley Research Centre, with the intention of accelerating the development of commercial high-speed flight and faster point-to-point travel, specifically studying commercial flight in the Mach 3 to 5 range.