Currently, it takes over nine hours to fly from Los Angeles to Tokyo on a commercial airliner.
However, by the end of the decade, that time could be reduced to just two and a half hours if the vision of Florida-based supersonic jet firm Aerion comes to fruition.
This week it unveiled a ‘first glimpse’ of its AS3TM airliner, designed to transport up to 50 passengers at up to ‘Mach 4+’ – or at least 3,000mph.
Florida-based supersonic jet firm Aerion has unveiled a ‘first glimpse’ of its AS3TM airliner, designed to transport up to 50 passengers at up to ‘Mach 4+’ – or at least 3,000mph
The range of the aircraft would be around 8,000 miles.
Aerion said that conceptualization and design work for the jet was underway, ‘built around input from potential customers’.
The AS3TM will, the firm said, ‘incorporate revolutionary advances in technology to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of supersonic flight’.
Earlier this year, Aerion expanded its ongoing partnership with Nasa’s Langley Research Center, ‘with the intention of accelerating the realization of commercial high-speed flight and faster point-to-point travel, specifically studying commercial flight in the Mach 3-5 range’.
Aerion’s Chairman, President & CEO, Tom Vice, said: ‘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 revolutionize global mobility as we know it today, we must push the boundaries of what is possible. The AS3TM 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.’
Before the AS3TM takes to the skies, Aerion plans to launch its 1,000mph AS2 business jet.
The arrival of a new era of commercial supersonic travel is approaching, with Aerion breaking ground on a state-of-the-art global HQ (pictured) for its supersonic business jet, the AS2, next to Orlando Melbourne International Airport
The AS2 has covered the equivalent of 78,000 nautical miles in wind tunnel test flights
AERION AS2: FAST FACTS
Supersonic cruising speed: Mach 1.4 (around 1,000mph)
Subsonic cruising speed: Mach 0.95 (728mph)
Length: 148.5ft (45.2m)
Width: 87ft (26.5m)
Height: 29.5ft (8.9m)
Capacity: 8-10 passengers
This year, the firm broke ground on a state-of-the-art global HQ where the aircraft will be built, tested, customized, and ultimately launched for service from in 2027.
Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida, will produce 300 of the jets.
Mr Vice told MailOnline Travel: ‘Aerion Park will be a fully integrated campus for aerospace design, research and manufacturing. We will have all the main elements in place to build the entire aircraft onsite as well as engineering flight test headquarters, allowing us to test the AS2 direct from the site and in the surrounding airspace. Our next major milestone is to progress the AS2 to production in 2023, begin flight testing in 2025 and enter into service in 2027. All the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place on the schedule we need.’
The park will be vast, covering more than 110 acres, with the buildings alone covering two million square feet, the size of 14 football fields, said Mr Vice.
Aerion isn’t the only player in the supersonic marketplace – U.S start-ups Boom Supersonic and Spike Aerospace are also working to reintroduce supersonic passenger travel.
But Mr Vice believes Aerion is the leader of the supersonic jet pack.
He said: ‘I do believe Aerion is the leader. We welcome any endeavors which support a reintroduction of supersonic flight, but given the proven design, industry team of supply partners, future production site and investment backing supporting our company, we fully expect to be the first supersonic aircraft to enter commercial service in 51 years and the world’s first supersonic business aircraft.
The team behind the AS2 includes Boeing, GE, Spirit Aerosystems, Safran, BAE, Honeywell, Aernnova, GKN, and Raytheon Technologies
‘We firmly believe that speed and care for our environment do not need to be mutually exclusive and with the first certified aircraft to run on 100 per cent synthetic/carbon captured fuel – part of our commitment to be carbon neutral from flight one – we believe the AS2 will charter a new course for the future of air travel.’
He added that ‘significant’ progress has been made in bringing the AS2 to production in 2023.
Mr Vice points out that the team behind the AS2 comprises the ‘world’s biggest names in aerospace, including Boeing, GE, Spirit Aerosystems, Safran, BAE, Honeywell, Aernnova, GKN, and Raytheon Technologies’. They will partner with Aerion in designing and manufacturing the aircraft.
The AS2 has covered the equivalent of 78,000 nautical miles in wind tunnel test flights.