This Private Jet Would Be the First to Break the Sound Barrier

Proposed 12-seat business jet will top out at speed of Mach 1.4

Visual mock-up of planned Aerion AS2 (Photo credit: Aerion)
Visual mock-up of planned Aerion AS2 (Photo credit: Aerion)
By Reed Richardson / April 14, 2019 12:27 pm

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In the next decade, the uber-wealthy may be able to enjoy luxury air travel at speeds previously confined to public flights on the Concorde or somehow cadging a ride-along in a fighter jet. That’s because the private aircraft company, Aerion, plans to build a 12-seat business jet capable of traveling at a top speed of roughly 1,000 miles per hour, or roughly 40-percent faster than the speed of sound.

This supersonic plane, dubbed the AS2, is still in the very early stages of development—the first delivery to customers isn’t expected until 2026. Nevertheless, Aerion, which recently sold a 40-percent stake to aircraft giant Boeing, has already banked 24 pre-orders at $120 million each.

“We have to build an aircraft that doesn’t just meet the need of speed,” said Aerion chairman and CEO Tom Vice. He added that the plane must also meet “the needs of market economics, and those of the regulators.” Adding to this complexity, Vice claims the AS2 will be designed to fly “100% on biofuels, since we’re committed to a significant reduction in emissions.”

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