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Supersonic business jets to shorten air travel time

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

A new business jet will get travelers from New York to London in three hours.

The Airbus group's Defence and Space Division will provide technical and certification support to Aerion for the first supersonic business jet.

The Nevada-based Aerion Corporation aims to create a supersonic jet that will fly at 1,217 mph. That is faster than the speed of sound (about 768 miles per hour at sea level) and almost as fast as the now retired Concorde, which flew at 1,350 mph. Regular commercial airliners typically fly from between 480 - 560 mph.

aerion-as2

The Aerion AS2 business jet will be made mostly from carbon fiber composite material and will use proprietary supersonic laminar flow technology that claims to reduce drag on wings and fuselage by 20 percent. Its 30-foot-long cabin is designed to carry 12 passengers and will have seats that will berth for overnight flights.

aerion-as2h

The projected price of the AS2 is more than $100 million.

Aerion hopes to begin test flights by 2019.

Boston-based Spike Aerospace's S-512 Supersonic Jet is designed to fly at Mach 1.6, while seating 12 to 18 passengers.

The company says the plane will fly from London to New York in three hours and from Los Angeles to Tokyo in six hours.

UK-based HyperMach is developing the SonicStar, a business jet it claims will be capable of reaching Mach 4 (about 2,600 mph, or almost twice the speed of the Concorde), and which it says will be able to make the flight from New York to Dubai "in the time it takes to watch an inflight movie."

The company has said the plane could enter production in the 2020s.

The world's only supersonic passenger jet service ended in October 2003 when British Airways retired the Concorde from service.

The Concorde had a cruising speed of 1,350 mph, more than twice the speed of sound. A typical London to New York flight took a little less than three and a half hours, as opposed to about eight hours for subsonic flights.

Modern commercial long-haul jets typically cruise at speeds between 480 and 560 mph.

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