Florida-based Aerion wants you to travel at Mach 4-plus speeds by the latter half of this decade as they’ve revealed plans for a supersonic commercial airliner, all set to change the complexion of air travel in five years time.
If all goes as planned, then the Aerion AS3 commercial jet will be able to haul 50 passengers from New York to London in mind-boggling sixty minutes flat. The makers have a long-term vision to make air travel possible, wherein, you can go from point A to B, anywhere on the planet, in under three hours.
Sustainability at the forefront
The Aerion AS3 airliner will be centered on sustainable travel with the use of synthetic fuel which will power the machine using direct air capture process to lessen CO2 output. According to Aerion CEO and Chariman, Tom Vice their team is working on technologies that will mitigate the sonic boom.
This will ensure absence of any irritating rattle of supersonic jet while you’re sitting at home, having coffee. The range of the aircraft will be 8,000 miles on one full refueling, and travel from Los Angeles to Tokyo will be possible in just 2.5 hours.
The NASA link and current developments
Aerion has been in partnership with NASA’s Langley Research Center to develop high-speed airliners, capable of touching Mach 3-5 speeds. Just to give you an idea, we are talking speeds in excess of 2,302 mph going up to 3,836. As per Tom, the AS3 is the right step in a long-term vision, aiming to bring, “high Mach flight capability to a broader audience.”
Right now the company is working on 1,000 mph AS2 business jet that’s already cocked 78,000 nautical miles in wind tunnel testing. They plan to produce 300 such jets on the Aerion Park campus in Melbourne. Everything from aerospace design to research and manufacturing will be taken up here. The AS2 is scheduled for 2023 production and test flights in 2025, followed by commercial flights in 2027.