Boeing has announced a partnership with Aerion to pioneering next-generation supersonic aircraft. Boeing is making a significant investment in the smaller Reno, NV based firm to accelerate technology development and aircraft design, which it says will unlock supersonic air travel for new markets.
The aerospace giant will provide engineering, manufacturing and flight test resources to help bring Aerion's AS2 supersonic aircraft to market. The AS2 will fly at speeds up to Mach 1.4 (approximately 1,000mph), 70% faster than today's business jets, enabling it to save approximately three hours on a typical transatlantic flight.
The AS2 will cruise at Mach 1.4. (Aerion)
The aircraft will seat between six and eleven passengers depending on the interior fit selected by the customer. The firms claim the AS2, which is expected to fly in 2023, will meet environmental performance requirements.
Aerion says that over land, the AS2 will cruise at Mach 0.95 without producing a sonic boom. It claims that 'Boomless Cruise' flight is feasible at speeds approaching Mach 1.2, depending on atmospheric conditions, principally temperature and wind.
The AS2 is expected to cut 1 hr 55 minutes off a flight from New York to London. (Aerion)
The firm adds that post certification of the AS2, it will work with certifying authorities to approve the supersonic cruise capability. It believes the AS2 will cut one hour and 55 minutes from a trip between London and New York, and one hour and 57 minutes for a flight between New York and Tokyo (with a fuel stop in Anchorage, AK).
Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt said:"This is a strategic and disciplined leading-edge investment in further maturing supersonic technology.
The AS2 will seat between six and 11 passengers. (Aerion)
Through this partnership that combines Aerion's supersonic expertise with Boeing's global industrial scale and commercial aviation experience, we have the right team to build the future of sustainable supersonic flight."
Tom Vice, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aerion added: "The AS2 is the launch point for the future of regulatory-compliant and efficient supersonic flight."
Terms of the deal between Boeing and Aerion have not been disclosed.
Editorial comment: The work being undertaken by Aerion and Boeing parallels activities at Denver-based Boom. The Aviation Oracle reviewed the Boom Overture 55-seat airliner project on January 8: Boom - supersonic resurgence
Text © The Aviation Oracle