Aerion is taking the next step in its quest for a family of supersonic jets. It recently revealed the initial details for its second aircraft—the 50-passenger, Mach 4-plus AS3. The company sketched out a goal of near-hypersonic speeds and a 7,000-nautical-mile range for the AS3 and said it expects to provide further details later this year about this airliner companion to its AS2 Mach 1.4 business jet.
Aerion anticipates that the AS3 will fly before the end of the decade and said that it will build on the AS2, which it anticipates will be in service by then.
The company added that the AS3 will also benefit from the fruits of its ongoing partnership with NASA’s Langley Research Center. Earlier this year, Aerion announced an expansion of that partnership to study flight in the Mach 3 to 5 range.
“At Aerion, our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours,” reiterated Aerion chairman, president, and CEO Tom Vice, who outlined this goal during an AIAA Aviation Forum in June 2020. “Supersonic flight is the starting point, but it is just that—the beginning. To truly revolutionize global mobility as we know it today, we must push the boundaries of what is possible.”
Vice called the AS3 the next step in the company’s long-term technology roadmap and said it “will bring Aerion’s high-Mach-flight capability to a broader audience; we look forward to sharing more on our design later this year.”
Meanwhile, Aerion said it is on track to begin production of the AS2 in 2023.