The world’s first supersonic jet could take off in under six years, which is expected to reduce travel time from London to New York to as little as five hours.
Aerion Corporation is a giant step closer to making supersonic passenger travel possible again which is expected to shave hours off the transatlantic trip.
The company which partnered with Airbus last year, just signed its first order for 20 of the $120 million jets with Flexjet, a company that sells fractional ownership and leasing of private aircrafts. Jeff Miller, an Aerion spokeperson said Airbus will provide machineries and technology; as well as its expertise in bringing the aircraft from drawing board to commercial market.
If Aerion is able to execute its schedule for the launch of the new jet, AS2, it could be in the air in five years, making the jet the first passenger aircraft designed for trans-sonic travel—at speeds both above and below the sound barrier.
The AS2 would cruise efficiently at speeds just below the sound barrier while over land as well as at one-and-a-half times the speed of sound—over the ocean. The jet will have the capacity of carrying between eight and 12 passengers up to 4,750 nautical miles at supersonic speeds.
Whether there’s a large enough market for a supersonic passenger jet that costs twice as much as something like a Gulfstream G650 and whether the AS2 will be able to beat the bad economics of the last Concorde flight is yet to be seen.
Aerion however, expects most of its customers to be either high net worth individuals or charter operators that cater to affluent companies and individuals.
Earlier in July 2000, Air France and British Airways grounded their fleets for more than a year after 113 people died when one of the Concorde jets crashed minutes after takeoff from Paris.