Aerion plans to launch a supersonic business jet for the wealthy in 2027 called the AS2. After the launch of the business jet, the company plans to turn its hand to something meant more for the masses. It’s currently planning a supersonic passenger aircraft called the AS3TM that would carry 50 passengers at speeds over Mach 4.
Previously, the only supersonic commercial aircraft was the Concorde, and the AS3TM is about twice as fast as that iconic passenger aircraft. Aerion’s AS3TM cruising at Mach 4 would represent a ground speed of over 3000 miles per hour. A passenger aboard the AS3TM cruising at that speed would be able to fly from LA to Tokyo in less than three hours.
For comparison, that flight takes nearly 12 hours on airliners today. AS3TM would have a range of about 7000 nautical miles, and it’s unclear at this time if that number is usable range without mandated fuel reserves. If that is usable range, it would be capable of operating most long-haul routes comprising the ten longest flights in the world.
Aerion wants to make it so people can travel between any two points on the globe in three hours or less. One significant mystery about the aircraft is exactly how much it would cost and how much a ticket aboard the aircraft would cost. It would certainly cost more to operate and fly aboard an aircraft limited to only 50 passengers than a typical large commercial aircraft.
AS3TM is intended to take to the skies before the end of the decade, but it has hurdles to overcome. One of the major hurdles are current regulations preventing supersonic flight over land due to noise created by supersonic booms.