3,000-MPH Commercial Airliner Better Be More Than Just Another Concept

Aerion AS3 teaser 4 photos
Photo: Aerion
Aerion AS3Aerion AS3Aerion AS3
Imagine taking a trip from Tokyo to Los Angeles in 2.5 hours. That would be a distance of 5,400 miles (8,800 km) that present-day airplanes need around ten hours to complete.
The dream of civilian passengers traveling through the air at speeds greater than that of sound died long ago, with the Concorde's retiring. Average humans have dreamed of getting supersonic flight back ever since, and various companies and organizations indulge them from time to time with crazy concepts.

The most advanced (and serious) research conducted in this field is that of NASA. The American space agency is currently working on the X-59 QueSST project, one that should eventually bring about a replacement for the Concorde and not be hindered by the FAA restrictions.

Those restrictions prohibit “anyone from operating a civil aircraft at a true flight Mach number greater than 1 over land in the United States and from a certain distance off shore where a boom could reach U.S. shores.” To circumvent them, NASA is going innovative on sound reduction.

But a flight from Tokyo to LA mostly takes place over water, and that is why someone had the audacity to envision an aircraft capable of much more than the Mach 1.7 the Concorde was capable of.

Aerion Supersonic is how the organization is called, and ever since 2003, it has strived to come up with a viable solution for Mach-speed civilian transport. And now they say they found it.

It’s called Aerion AS3, a Mach 4 commercial airliner capable of transporting 50 passengers at speeds of up to 3,000 mph (4,800 kph) for distances of up to 8,000 miles (12,800 km).

Just like every time we hear something extraordinary like this, a well-devised plan seems to have been made. Aerion says we’ll have this thing up and flying by the end of the decade, thanks to a partnership signed earlier this year with NASA’s Langley Research Center.

“At Aerion, our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours. Supersonic flight is the starting point, but it is just that – the beginning. To truly revolutionize global mobility as we know it today, we must push the boundaries of what is possible,”
said in a statement Aerion’s CEO Tom Vice.

Now, we love it when companies get all excited and promise a future like no other, but the reality is we’ve heard such things before. So we’ll wait actually to see this thing before believing.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
Press Release
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories