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Aerion Supersonic: the future of travel is coming, and soon

We speak to Aerion CEO Tom Vice about a plane that’s faster than sound, carbon neutral, and definitively next-gen.

If you could shave twenty minutes off your daily commute, would you do it? How about hours? International flights – sans during the time of Covid-19 – have long been the bugbear of busy, time-hungry individuals. Aerion Supersonic, an American aircraft company based in Nevada, is looking to change all of that – how does a four-hour flight from New York City to London sound?

Their AS2 business jet – which also happens to be equipped with the first new civil supersonic engine in half a century – is the key. Not only will it change the way you fly (in abject comfort, if you’re wondering), but how you fly as well – on emission-free fuel.

(Related: In the world of high-end business jets, technology remains key to survival)

AerionAS2

To that end, they’re taking a multi-pronged approach. The AS2 will be the first certified aircraft to run completely on synthetic biofuels that don’t require afterburning engines to break the sound barrier, significantly tempering the craft’s fuel needs. 

In order to get that kind of speed, much of the company’s research dollars are going into creating the most advanced aerodynamics possible – crafted from sustainable, renewable materials whenever they can – along with an end-of-life process that minimises the AS2’s environmental impact, says Vice.

It furthers its commitment to the environment with the promise of planting 100 million trees by 2036 to offset any and all emissions from AS2s in operation – which comes at no additional cost to customers, thanks to the company’s Clean Speed program.

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Their latest facility in Florida, dubbed Aerion Park, is set on becoming the global hub of sustainable, supersonic transportation. Its operations include assembly, flight tests, completion and delivery of the aforementioned AS2s, all while powered completely by clean energy and a minimal waste philosophy. 

“We don’t believe speed and protection of the environment need to be mutually exclusive. We take environmental stewardship very seriously and as part of mission to bring supersonic mobility to the world, we are committed to addressing climate change in doing so – our intent is to be part of the solution to reverse it,” says Vice.

Apart from carbon emission, they’re working on noise pollution as well. “We believe the only acceptable sonic boom is no boom at all,” says Vice. Through a combination of proprietary tech, natural temperature variations in the atmosphere and other factors like the plane’s design, they’ll reflect the resulting sonic boom generated when objects break the sound barrier upwards. 

Within the plane, expect all your usual creature comforts like a sound-insulated cabin, plush, comfortable seats and everything else you’d expect from a private jet aimed at executives who love and live to fly fast.

All said, the Aerion Supersonic isn’t just fast, or clean, or luxurious – it’s a combination of the three, and more. What the AS2 brings to the market is the ultimate luxury – time. Which is why the future of luxury air travel, naturally, is from getting more of it. “It’s the only thing we can’t make more of – and today’s mobility networks have become slow and time inefficient.”