The New Concorde?
Introducing the Birth of Quiet Supersonic Flight
At Aerion Supersonic, our minds are always working on the future of global mobility. We envision a future where we will connect any two major cities in three hours. Or less. Our first step is supersonic flight. But sometimes, we must peer into the past to build for the future. One historical date comes to mind: October 24, 2003.
On this chilly October day, the Concorde made its final flight from New York City to London, ending almost 30 years of service as the only fleet of supersonic jets available to the public. The Concorde was the ultimate status symbol of luxury. Business moguls, movie stars, and jetsetter politicians (no pun intended) bragged about traveling faster between continents than any of their peers. The last flight’s passengers included Christie Brinkley, Joan Collins, and a private couple from Ohio that paid $60,000 on eBay for the ride.
The Concorde stands as a landmark work of aeronautical engineering. From its distinctive slanted droop-nose that lowered during takeoffs and landings to its iconic delta wing configuration, it’s impossible to mistake the Concorde for another plane. But for all the marvels of its design — a joint effort between the British and French governments — the Concorde faced challenges throughout its lifetime.
Although the Concorde broke barriers holding us back from supersonic travel, it was costly and difficult to operate. Its four afterburner engines came from the world of fighter aircraft. This means they brought the noise of fighter jets with them. The Concorde was also limited from flying over land due to its massive sonic booms, preventing it from carrying passengers to more far-flung destinations — and introducing a distracting level of noise into the cabin.
Those same engines also consumed an astonishing level of fuel. (A whopping 6,770 gallons an hour to be exact.) Unsurprisingly, the Concorde received the brunt of an environmental movement just taking shape as the aircraft took flight — via demonstrations at airports by protesters.
Yet, despite these challenges, the Concorde made a stunning mark on aviation and transportation culture. Its supersonic flight capabilities allowed passengers to spend less time traveling and more with the people they love, forging business deals, and fulfilling many of the other important reasons we journey.
It has been 17 years since the Concorde stopped flying, and no supersonic replacement has taken to the skies. Aerion believes time is the most precious commodity we have. So why are we willing to waste it onboard aircraft? As pointed out by the Telegraph, air travel takes longer today than it did in the 1960s. We believe there is a better way to venture — a return to supersonic flight with the Aerion AS2 Supersonic.
The AS2 will bring us to the supersonic skies in style. We’ve designed this supersonic business jet (SBJ) to honor the legacy of the Concorde, but to improve on it in every way. In short, the AS2 can be summarized this way: “Goodbye, noise pollution, hello, sustainability!”
Aerion has engineered every inch of the AS2 to suit the demands of today’s discerning flyers. We don’t believe “low boom” supersonic flight is enough, so we’ve moved all the way to super-silent flight, featuring our “Boomless Cruise” technology and incredibly efficient new GE Affinity supersonic engines — the first civil supersonic engines designed in 50 years.
But the AS2 isn’t just quiet for those on the ground. When our SBJ passes overhead people will never experience the window-rattling sonic boom popular culture has associated with supersonic flight — and it’s whisper-quiet for those in the cabin as well. Whether you want to stay productive or chat with a companion, you’ll hardly know you’re traveling at more than 1,000 mph.
On top of all the incredible technology Aerion Supersonic has built into the AS2 airframe, we are also proud of its sustainability. The Concorde was met by protesters, but our “green speed” will not damage the environment. In fact, Aerion is the first aircraft manufacturer to commit to carbon neutrality from first flight; a promise encompassing our aircraft and the operations in which it is built.
Ultimately, the AS2 has the potential to not only carry passengers at incredible speeds, but to do so with a negative carbon footprint. Aerion Supersonic believes it is time to disrupt travel. And the AS2 supersonic business jet is the aircraft that will change how we journey through the skies, giving us time back for what matters most.
09 11 2020
3 Minute Read