If the 2020s goes for even a fraction of recent years’ transportation pipe dreams — luxury cruise-like zeppelins, hyperloops, flying trains — we’re in for a decade of revamped travel and convenient commutes.
The latest (and fastest, bar none) concept to throw its hat into the ring? Aerion Supersonic’s AS2 Jet, designed with an assist from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, is a sleek, big-cabined jet poised to travel at 1.4-mach — well past the speed of sound at a whopping 1,075-MPH.
a2 (5 images)
This isn’t the first time engineers have tried integrating supersonic flight into global commercial travel. The Concorde, a British-French turbojet, ferried passengers across the Atlantic in record flight times for decades. But it was a financial albatross, and had to call it a career in 2003, mainly leaving those bone-rattling, thunderclap sonic booms in its wake.
The AS2, key to its production, will be sonic boom-free, and cruise at Mach 0.95 while crossing over land. Once over an ocean, the thing’ll really let loose. Dreams of shaving three hours off a San Fran to Tokyo flight, four hours off a London to Sydney flight and two hours off a New York to London flight are all within reach. And for such a technical machine, the interior cabin looks like a great spot to unwind with a drink or watch a couple movies. It comfortably holds 12.