Aerion Supersonic is currently working on the AS2 business jet, an aircraft capable of carrying 12 passengers at a speed of Mach 1.4 (about 1,700 kilometers per hour) over 7,780 kilometers (4,200 nautical miles).
Meanwhile, the company is already working on its next supersonic aircraft, the AS3, capable of reaching Mach 4 and carrying up to 50 passengers inside. “The AS3 Mach 4+ commercial airliner is targeted to take to the skies before the end of the decade and build upon the AS2® supersonic business jet to bring Aerion’s innovation to commercial air transportation,” Aerion wrote in a statement. At such a speed, the aircraft would fly between Los Angeles and Tokyo in less than three hours.
The company has partnered with NASA’s Langley Research Center for a joint five-year study on ultra-high-speed commercial flight. They will explore solutions for flights between Mach 3 and Mach 5. This is the third collaboration signed between Aerion and NASA.
But first, the AS2 must hit the market. Aerion expects the business jet to enter production in 2023 at Aerion Park, the company’s new headquarters recently opened near the Orlando-Melbourne Airport (MLB), in Florida. In March 2021, the manufacturer signed a Memorandum of Understanding with business jet operator NetJets, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, to acquire 20 of their AS2 supersonic business jets. Aerion now has a potential order book of 300 aircraft. The company values the backlog at over $10 billion.