Some of my aviation friends are excited about “Aerion is working on a Mach 4+ supersonic airliner for 50 passengers”:
Aerion is looking beyond the 2027 launch of its AS2 supersonic business jet for the ultra-rich, to something for the rest of us. The AS3TM, if it gets built, would be a 50-passenger supersonic commercial airliner capable of speeds over Mach 4.
That’s at least twice the maximum speed of the venerable Concorde, and represents a ground speed somewhere over 3,000 mph (4,800 km/h). That would mean LA to Tokyo in under three hours, according to Aerion, instead of nearly 12 hours on today’s airliners.
The AS3TM would have a range around 7,000 nautical miles (12,964 km, 8,055 miles). If that’s a genuine, usable range figure and doesn’t include mandated fuel reserves, it’s enough to handle most long-haul routes outside the top 10 longest flights in the world. Aerion eventually wants to let people travel between any two points on the globe in three hours or less.
I don’t get it. If we assume that Covid variants are with us forever, thus rendering vaccines only partially effective, then coronapanic will be with us forever, thus rendering borders mostly closed except to those with a lot of patience for paperwork, time for testing, etc. If you have several weeks to spare on the paperwork effort, why don’t you have a few extra hours to stretch out in the First Class cabin of a big Airbus or Boeing?
Maybe this could be useful for the super-rich? If a rich guy/girl/other bought a Boeing Business Jet or Airbus Corporate Jet, why wouldn’t he/she/ze/they buy an AS3 in executive configuration when it is time to go supersonic?