Unless you're in the armed forces or an astronaut, you haven't flown at supersonic speeds ever in your life. Well that's about to change thanks to the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet, a project backed by Airbus. Look at that damn thing! Mach 1.6 (that's about 1,200 mph) means the jet can fly from New York to London in less than three hours.
Please prepare for take-off.
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Normal cruising speed of the jet will be between Mach 1.4 and 1.6, and Aerion is claiming that the jet won't lose efficiency at supersonic speeds like the Concorde. That's due to the odd shape of the wings, which they've been testing in conjunction with NASA by attaching a scaled version to the bottom of an F15.
Inside, the small cabin regains some space normally lost to the galley, for which there's a greatly reduced need, since the flights are shorter. It can seat up to 11 people and comfortably sleep four.
The plane is made out of carbon fiber and titanium which helps keep the weight to a minimum, in turn reducing the need for long runways. Translation: this can take off and land at most airports.
The catch? Well, there are two: United States law still prohibits supersonic flight over the mainland because of sonic booms—though Aerion is convinced the AS2's boom will be significantly quieter than that of the Concorde—and you'll have to wait a while before selling your kidneys and placing your order. Even with Airbus's help, first flights are still a few years off. Still, this is a realistic look at the future of every CEO's new travel plans.
Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. His grandfather flew on the Concorde and didn't bring him along. He's still never gone supersonic.