Aerion AS2 airplane
The Aerion AS2 airplane. Source: Aerion Supersonic.

Supersonic Flights to Return? Perhaps — But…

A erion Supersonic has partnered with Airbus Group in an agreement to collaborate on technologies to advance the development and commercialization of the Aerion AS2 — to become the first supersonic business jet in the world — for the possibility of high-performance supersonic flights in the future, according to this press release.

“This is a major step forward for Aerion,” said Robert M. Bass, who is the chairman and principal investor of Aerion Supersonic. “It puts us solidly on track toward our objective of certifying the world’s first supersonic business jet in 2021. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the resources Airbus Group will bring to the program.”

In return for the defence and space division of Airbus Group to provide technical and certification support, Aerion Supersonic will provide proprietary technology and assistance to Airbus Group in its high-performance aircraft technology development.

At first glance, the Aerion AS2 resembles Concorde, whose operations ceased in 2003; but it will be used as a business jet rather than for commercial air travel. However — at 1,217 miles per hour — it is slightly slower than Concorde, which was capable of traveling at 1,350 miles per hour…

…but if you want to purchase this airplane, you might want to look under your couch for some extra loose change which would hopefully add up to approximately $100 million.

I was fortunate to be a passenger on Concorde operated by Air France during its last week of operation in May of 2003. I posted a photograph of the Concorde aircraft on which I was a passenger in this article back on March 5, 2012 pertaining to my point of view of the best and worst views of frequent flier loyalty program miles. Flying as a passenger at twice the speed of sound is an experience about which I will never forget…

…but if the possibility of traveling on the Aerion AS2 in the future might seem slim for you at best, fear not: the possibility of traveling from New York to Beijing in two hours either via sub-orbital flights or an evacuated tube transport system may be possible in as soon as six years…

Image of the Aerion AS2 airplane courtesy of Aerion Supersonic.

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