Supersonic Aerion AS3 airliner could fly LA to Tokyo in three hours

(CNN) – Right now, many of us can’t even fly from our own countries, but if we believe the Florida Aerion-based developers, by the end of the decade we will be able to fly between Los Angeles and Tokyo for three hours.

The Aerion AS3 is a Mach 4+ commercial aircraft, it was revealed on Monday that its manufacturers say it will be able to carry 50 passengers over 7,000 nautical miles.

“Our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between two points on our planet in three hours. Ultrasonic flight is the starting point, but it’s just the beginning,” said the president, president and CEO. of Aerion, Tom Vice President, in a statement. “We have to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

Earlier this year, Aerion expanded its ongoing partnership with NASA’s Langley Research Center, with a particular focus on the Mach 3-5 series commercial flight.

To put it bluntly, this is 2,300 to 3,800 miles per hour, or 3,700 to 6,200 km / h – or up to seven times faster than a normal long-haul passenger aircraft.

Conceptual and design work is in progress, with more details to be revealed later in 2021.

Work has begun on Aerion Park, Aerion’s new Florida HQ.

Courtesy of Aerion

The AS3 is the second aircraft to be unveiled in the Aerion family of jet aircraft, and there are also future plans for hybrid-electric supersonic aircraft.

The AS2 – which promises to fly to New York in London in 4.5 hours – is Aerion’s effort to become the first supersonic passenger aircraft to enter commercial service in more than 50 years.

The 8-12 passenger aircraft will travel to Mach 1.4 (over 1,000 mph), with production starting on the supersonic vessel in 2023. The first flight of the AS2 is scheduled for 2024 and the company intends to transport the aircraft on the market in 2026.

The Aerion AS2 could fly from New York to London in 4.5 hours.

The Aerion AS2 could fly from New York to London in 4.5 hours.

Courtesy of Aerion

New ultrasound era

The last supersonic passenger aircraft to cross our skies was, of course, the Concorde, which was retired from service 17 years ago. While an engineering marvel, it was high in cost and high in environmental impact.

“The Concorde was a brilliant piece of machinery, a noble experiment, but it put a lot of emissions into the environment, a lot of noise in our communities and it was very expensive to operate.

“What we are trying to do is very different,” Vice told CNN Travel in 2020.

Aerion’s ambitions are for its aircraft to operate well in the skies: “The world cannot wait until 2050 to become carbon neutral. “We have to do it today,” said Vice.

“Lowest possible fuel combustion”

Interior Aerion AS2

A performance of the AS2 cab.

Courtesy of Aerion

Aerion AS2 partners include GE, which produces the Affinity ultrasonic engine, and Spirit AeroSystems, which builds the AS2 spindle.

At cockpit, Honeywell revolutionizes flight deck, using its supersonic military aircraft know-how to design AS2 processors, monitors, sensors and flight control systems.

“We had to design an aircraft that was incredibly efficient with the lowest possible fuel consumption, so we spent 10 years thinking about advanced aerodynamics and fuel-efficient engines. We designed specifically around noise and emissions,” says Vice.

One of the things it would not have – which the Concorde did – is the afterburners, a system that sprays fuel on the engine exhaust and burns to increase boost during acceleration and acceleration.

“We ruled it out because it is very noisy and emits excessive emissions into the environment,” says Vice. “The second thing we thought of was our energy source. We wanted an aircraft that was not dependent on fossil fuels and that could run on 100% synthetic fuel from day one.”

The company is also committed to a major reforestation program to ensure carbon offsets for each customer on each flight.

“Cruise without boom”

Then there is noise. Vice told CNN in 2020 that the AS2 is designed to meet Stage 5 aircraft noise standards, the strictest landing and take-off noise regulations. “We believe we have solved this problem,” he said. “Our aircraft will be as quiet as other planes around airports.”

But perhaps one of the most innovative features of the AS2 is the “boomless cruise” that allows the aircraft to fly supersonic over the ground without hitting the arm. Instead, noise rises in the atmosphere.

Aerion invented the “boomless cruise” because the alternative type of quieter supersonic flight, called “low boom”, while less noisy than the Concorde, still produces noise on the ground similar to that of distant thunder.

Vice wants to prove that new technology can work and “when regulators see that we can do it reliably, we will have the first aircraft in history that can fly supersonic over the ground and no one on the ground will hear the explosion ».

Vice estimates that the “fragrance-free cruise”, combined with carbon-neutral features, will offer exciting productivity benefits for prospective AS2 customers.

Ultrasound family

Pictures of Aerion AS2 type January 2021

Aerion has big ambitions beyond AS2.

Courtesy of Aerion

“We analyzed the way business owners fly. We looked at a company outside of New York that flew business aircraft around the world and when we replaced an AS2 for them and re-operated these flights for each person who flew on their plane, the “AS2 saved them 142 hours a year,” he said.

Aerion has many competitors in the supersonic and supersonic airfields, but right now it is creating the biggest buzz.

In October 2020, the Denver-based start made history by unfolding the XB1 demonstration aircraft, the first independently developed supersonic aircraft.

Named the Baby Boom, the 71-foot-long fuselage is a 1: 3 scale prototype of the upcoming Overture commercial supersonic jet, which has a top speed of Mach 2.2, enabling it to fly to London, New York in just three hours and 30 minutes. minutes.

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