Aerion has revealed a glimpse of the next aircraft in its sights. Building on the achievements of the AS2 supersonic business jet it is developing, Aerion plans to create a Mach 4+ commercial airliner called the AS3. The company has a target for the AS3 to take flight before the end of the decade.
With conceptualisation and design work underway and built around input from potential customers, Aerion plans for the AS3 to incorporate revolutionary advances in technology to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of supersonic flight.
The company says the AS3 would be able to transport up to 50 passengers at a range of 7,000 nautical miles. A flight between Los Angeles and Tokyo could be achieved in less than three hours.
Earlier in 2021 Aerion expanded its partnership with NASA’s Langley Research Center, with the intention of accelerating the realisation of commercial high-speed flight and faster point-to-point travel, specifically studying commercial flight in the Mach 3-5 range.
“At Aerion, our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours,” said Tom Vice, Aerion’s chairman, president and CEO. “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. 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.”
Aerion’s pursuit of faster point-to-point travel will begin with the launch of the AS2 supersonic business jet, which is due to commence production in 2023. Further details about the AS3 are to be unveiled in late 2021.