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Supersonic airliner could fly London to New York in an hour

The AS3 could travel at speeds of Mach-4, nearly 5,000 mph (Photo: Aerion)

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Concorde made its last flight, and we may finally have a new kid on the block.

American aircraft manufacturer Aerion announced its new AS3 plane this week, which will be able to zip across the Atlantic in an hour, rocketing at speeds of Mach-4 plus.

The supersonic jet business has partnered with Nasa to design its planes, and hopes that the plane, which will be able to carry 50 passengers for 7,000 miles, could be ready for its inaugural flight before the end of the decade.

Partnering with the American aerospace company, Aerion says it wants to achieve ‘commercial high-speed flight and faster point-to-point travel, specifically studying commercial flight in the Mach 3-5 range [2302 mph to 3836 mph].’

Aerion has already been designing a smaller version of the plane, the AS2, for a number of years, and claims production will begin in 2023 at its new 100-acre production facility in Florida, USA.

The AS2 will aim to start production in 2023 (Photo: Aerion)

‘The AS3 forms the next step in our long-term technology roadmap and will bring Aerion’s high Mach flight capability to a broader audience,’ said Aerion CEO Tom Vice.

‘Our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours.’

The jet company also released some tantalising concept pictures of the new jet, bearing a striking resemblance to the now defunct supersonic jet Concorde.

Vice says there will be more designs out later this year.

Vice did not reveal more than just a shadowy version of the rendering, saying the company would share more of the design later this year.

In a statement, Vice continued: ‘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’

‘The AS3 forms the next step in our long-term technology roadmap and will bring Aerion’s high Mach flight capability to a broader audience.’

Unlike the Concorde, the AS3 will focus on sustainability, aiming to use synthetic fuels from a process called direct air capture, where carbon dioxide is taken out of the air to use in the fuels, rather than adding carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.

The company also claims that it has technology to negate the sonic boom often associated with supersonic travel.

‘If you’re sitting in your home, you’re not going to want to hear the rattle of a supersonic jet,’ CEO Vice told the Robb Report.

‘There are now passive shaping technologies, but we’re designing active technologies to mitigate the sonic boom. We have to be a responsible supersonic design company.’

Supersonic jet prototype is the ‘new Concorde’ that’ll reach New York in 3.5 hours

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