Supersonic commercial aviation was, during the latter part of the last century, considered one of the great technological breakthroughs. Improvements in engine and airframe technology mean that breaking the sound barrier for long journeys is no longer so far-fetched.
AS3 Mach 4+ is capable of reaching 4000kph
The American company Aerion, which already has several lines of development of supersonic aircraft, has presented AS3. Boeing took notice of this company and invested in 2019 in the AS2, the company’s jet, but the aeronautics giant announced the withdrawal of its participation in 2020 following the pandemic crisis.
Following the media success of the AS2 model, Aerion has just announced the AS3 model in order to expand its fleet of supersonic aircraft. This time it is going much further in carrying capacity and speed.
Aerion AS3 Mach 4+ is capable of reaching 4,000 kilometers per hour, this is 4 times the speed of sound. Mach 4 is very close to the hypersonic range, which starts at Mach 5 and which for the moment is reserved for ballistic missiles and certain US, Russian and Chinese weapons programs.
“With conceptualization and design work underway, and built around input from potential customers, Aerion plans for the AS3 to incorporate revolutionary advances in technology to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of supersonic flight,” the company said. The latter is also critical because of the so-called ‘sonic boom’ that occurs when the sound barrier is broken.
Aerion’s new aircraft will be able to carry 50 passengers
On the other hand, they also point to some interesting specifications on which the aircraft is based. It will be able to accommodate a total of 50 passengers and transport them a distance of 7,000 nautical miles, almost 13,000 kilometers. A range that allows this plane to reach practically any part of the globe.
To put it in perspective, this aircraft would be able to link London and Los Angeles in a couple of hours or Madrid and Santiago de Chile in about three hours. Taking into account the acceleration and deceleration processes.
Aerion also points to its close relationship with NASA Langley Research Center, where they are working together on “accelerating the realization of commercial high-speed flight and faster point-to-point travel, specifically studying commercial flight in the Mach 3-5 range.”
“Our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours. 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,” concluded Vice.