Aerion Supersonic based in Melbourne, Florida announced on Monday that with its new developmental aircraft AS3, they are targeting Mach 4 or in normal terms 3069 MPH although there doesn't seem to be anything normal about 3069 MPH! To put that in context that's London to New York in One Hour or Los Angeles to Tokyo in under three. You may think that someone is to put it politely, dreaming but then you look at the list of backers and partners including NASA, Boeing, Honeywell and GE and you really have to take notice. According to Aerion, AS3 is a 50 passenger commercial aircraft with a range of 7000 NM that will be operational by the end of the decade, so where did it all start? AS2.
One of Concorde's biggest failings and one of the reasons for it's ultimate retirement from service was 'The Sonic Boom', Aerion claim to have solved the problem with AS2 with what it refers to as 'Boomless Technology' allowing the aircraft to fly at speeds of over 1,000 MPH or Mach 1.4 with no sonic boom hitting the ground, instead it is refracted up into warmer air bands and then dissipates. According to Tom Vice, Chairman, President and CEO of Aerion, AS2 is being designed to meet Stage 5 Airplane Noise Standards, the highest possible standard in commercial aviation. The goal? 8 to 12 passengers travelling from London to New York in 4.5 hours.
Aerion is also committed to carbon neutral operations from flight one with the aircraft being designed to accept 100% engineered, synthetic and sustainable fuels which are being pioneered by Carbon Engineering in consultation with GE. GE suggest that the AS2's engines will be the quietest, most fuel efficient supersonic engines in history with no afterburners that are noisy and damaging to the environment.
While details of the interior are not as advanced as the technical specifications, Aerion have promised a whisper quiet cabin, Purity climate control, a fully functional kitchen, full spectrum OLED lighting, high speed connectivity and an integrated digital lifestyle in an ultra modern and luxurious cabin. Production begins in 2023 with the goal of reaching full service in 2026 and to give AS2 even more credibility Netjets have placed purchase option orders for 20 aircraft at $120 Million a piece. The future of Private Aviation is Supersonic!
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