Supersonic Plane Could Fly From New York To London In Less Than Four Hours
The quiet, super-fast 'Son of Concorde' jet could be ready to fly in less than a decade, meaning we're one step closer to being able to get from London to New York in just a few hours.
With a travel speed of Mach 1.4 (1,074mph), the vehicle matches that of the classic Concorde. However, Aerion's modern version features a number of upgrades - from a quiet sound and streamlined design to significantly reduced fuel emissions.
Its release will mark the first-ever privately built supersonic commercial aircraft jet, reports Business Airport International.
Entering service in 1976, the original Concorde was extremely advanced when it was first used but became outdated at the turn of the millennium, and was eventually discontinued in 2003 due to environmental and financial issues.
Tom Vice, chairman, president and CEO of Aerion Corporation, previously told CNN: "Concorde was a brilliant piece of machinery, a noble experiment, but it put too much emissions in the environment, too much noise into our communities and was too expensive to operate.
He went on to say: "We had to design an aircraft that was incredibly efficient with the lowest fuel-burn possible, so we spent 10 years thinking about advanced aerodynamics and fuel-efficient engines."
Designing the aircraft around noise and emission reduction, the new plane differs from the Concorde by removing afterburners, a system whereby fuel is sprayed into the engine's exhaust and burned to boost thrust during takeoff and acceleration.
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"We ruled that out because it's too noisy and puts too much emissions in the environment," added Vice.
"The second thing we thought about was our energy source. We wanted an aircraft that wasn't dependent upon fossil fuels and that could operate on 100 percent synthetic fuels from day one."
Finally, the new jet features 'Boomless Cruise' tech that negates the sonic boom, another Concorde component that increased noise.
Aerion, which is backed by Boeing and recently partnered with Jetex, plans to start flight testing the AS2 in 2024.
And if the idea of commercial flights that slash travelling time in half wasn't exciting enough, Aerion isn't the only aircraft manufacturer in the race to launch a so-called Son of Concorde jet.
US-based Spike Aerospace is planning to introduce its S-512, a supersonic business jet, within the next seven years. Also eliminating the loud sonic boom, the vehicle is set to reach speeds of Mach 1.6 (1,227mph) and get up to 18 passengers from London to NY distance in just three hours.
The only downside? The ticket price. According to Blake Scholl, founder of Boom Technology - another company developing a supersonic jet prototype - a one way between these two cities will cost approximately £1,900, or £3,600 for a return.
Guess we'll have to stick with Ryanair until the Son of Concorde goes mainstream.
Featured Image Credit: Aerion Supersonic