Airbus is teaming up with US-based Aerion Corporation in an attempt to make supersonic business travel a reality.
The companies have agreed to collaborate on developing technologies which will make the AS2 supersonic business jet a commercially viable method of travel.
Airbus Group’s defence and space division will offer up technical support, including senior engineering staff to Aerion which is trying to build and certify the world’s first supersonic business jet by 2021.
In return Aerion will provide proprietary tech to Airbus which includes patented aerodynamic designs.
“This is a major step forward for Aerion,” Aerion chairman and principal investor, Robert Bass said. “It puts us solidly on track toward our objective.”
Aerion CEO Doug Nichols said the Airbus agreement will help legitimise the idea.
“It provides validation from the industry leader in aerospace innovation, and it decisively kicks the program into high gear,” he said.
“Each company will benefit. Aerion moves quickly toward building a supersonic jet, and Airbus Group gains exclusive access to more than a decade of successful research and proprietary high-performance aircraft technology.”
The supersonic business jet is expected to wipe three hours off a flight from Paris to Washington and just under 4.5 hours off a trip from San Francisco to Tokyo. So a 14 hour flight becomes 9 hours and 7 hours in the air becomes just 4.
Here’s what Aerion’s supersonic jet is expected to look like.
It’s narrow and sleek for efficiency.
The wing design reduces friction by about 50 per cent compared to a conventional plane.
The cabin can comfortably seat up to 11 people.
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