Supersonic transport jets have been a thing of the past for about twelve years when BAC Concorde retired its last airliner. The French/British airliner Concorde and the Russian airliner Tupolev Tu-144 have been the only two civilian-designed supersonic planes that have seen the light of day, with the latter having retired back in 1997.
But this year, supersonic jet-maker Aerion aims to change that game. Aerion has just announced that flight service provider Flexjet has ordered 20 examples of Aerion’s AS2 supersonic jet, making Flexjet the first fleet operator to offer supersonic jet travel since 2003.
Each plane costs $120 million which means Flexjet’s going to be writing an enormous cheque to Aerion – a cheque worth $2.4 billion, to be exact.With its bright red and white, the AS2’s exterior is absolutely stunning, and the interior is no different. The supersonic jet seats 8-12 people in its 30-foot-long cabin and can reach speeds up to 990 mph, which is over the speed of sound (approximately 767 mph). Aerion and Flexjet will work together to design a custom premium interior but if Aerion’s original interior is any indication, the interior will be absolutely flawless. The difference between the AS2 and a typical long-range business jet is this: a normal business jet can fly approximately 250,000 miles in about 500 hours, while the AS2 can do the same distance in 300. And if you’re a regular air traveler, saving just a few hours can mean a huge difference. The first flight is expected for 2021.Source: [RobbReport]