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‘Son of Concorde’ May Take Off By 2021

A collaborative effort between Airbus and Nevada-based manufacturer Aerion, the supersonic AS2 could be in the skies by 2021.

If all goes to plan, the world’s first private supersonic jet is one step closer to take-off. The AS2, which is being built as part of a collaborative effort between Airbus and Nevada-based aerospace manufacturer Aerion, could be hitting the tarmac in as little as six years.

The private jet is designed to hit a maximum speed of Mach 1.5, cutting the flying time between London and New York to three hours and the Tokyo to Los Angeles run down to six hours.

Aerion and Airbus hope to select a suitable manufacturing site for the craft during the first half of 2016. They anticipate that test flights will be underway in 2021, with the possibility of commercial flights for businesses starting in 2023.

While it has been dubbed ‘Son of Concorde’, at 1,217 mph, the top speed of this modern craft is slightly slower than that of the iconic supersonic jet, which was capable of hitting 1,350 mph.

The initial designs for the craft’s carbon-fiber wing structure, fuselage, fuel and landing gear systems have already been created. However, the jet will also feature wings that reduce drag by 20 percent, enabling the craft to have greater fuel efficiency. This, in turn, will allow for a flying range of between 4,750 and 5,300 miles.

Inside the hull, these technical advances give way to luxury, with a 30-foot cabin that seats up to 12 passengers in spacious surroundings.

While Airbus will be providing all of the craft’s components, Aerion will be responsible for the jet’s final assembly.

Commenting on the progression of the manufacture of the AS2, Ken McKenzie, Airbus senior vice president for strategy and corporate development, said in a statement, “We see clear and achievable technical solutions to the design of a supersonic jet, and a realistic road map for helping Aerion proceed toward construction and flight.”

[Photo: Aerion]

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6 Comments
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PacificWave March 5, 2016

On Concorde, the Mach meter usually showed around 2.01 or so... seems like Mach 1.5 is way slower. Concorde JFK- LHR was a 3:30... Presumably the fares would be 2-3X present First Class in order to make it profitable... given the small number of PAX. And yet another SST design study announced... http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/new-concorde-2-will-fly-at-45-times-the-speed-of-sound-and-do-london-to-new-york-in-an-hour-flat-a6692216.html

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weero November 23, 2015

What an ugly piece of artwork. Glad that abomination won't ever come to fly.

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gum November 23, 2015

This is indeed great news! Sorry that I can't agree, jonsg! With approx. 360 inch of cabin length you may allocate a dedicated galley, two lavs and have enough space for a larger number of seats. If the airline would choose a 1+1 seating they could accommodate 8 rows (=16 passengers), with a 2+1 seating (I wouldn't recommend that) 24 seats. Think of the 16 pax layout: This is nearly exactly the size of the former First cabin of many B747-200 with First Claqss in Zone "A". I am convinced that there is a market for commercial travel as flagship product of an airline. Assume some larger routes where are today approx 5-10 widebody jets on the move (per day). Given that they offer a total of 80+ First seats the airline could win enough potential customers. The key to success will be the cost base/structure. If you could offer that for the price of a normal respectively discounted First Class people wil buy that instead of the slower suite on the widebody. IMHO the airframe is unsuitable as a commercial jet. No company has 12 executives who need to fly on one day between those two cities.

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CG November 21, 2015

We've been 5-6 years out from a supersonic business jet for at least the last 30 years! So lets see here, Aerion is a startup that has never built an aircraft of any kind, led by a CEO whose claim to fame was a CFO of a division at Boeing. Skeleton staff, no facilities, few if any actual workers. The typical cycle to build a new aircraft of any kind, by experienced aerospace companies who are merely providing incremental improvements on proven basic designs, is at least 5 years. The fact that this company thinks they can do something as revolutionary as a supersonic business jet in this timeframe is very revealing of how much they don't know what they don't know. They may pull this off, but I'll be willing to bet any amount of money it won't be anywhere near 2021!

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jonsg November 20, 2015

That's "Son of Concorde" in the same way that a Ferrari is "Son of Bus". It's faster, and travels in the same mode, but one's a private vehicle, and one's a public transport. Wake me when they've built a supersonic 100-seater!