Aerion supersonic jet ‘flying in 6 years’

The Aerion supersonic business jet is several steps closer to becoming a reality after deals announced at the 2015 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) show in Las Vegas.

An existing tie-up with Airbus was strengthened but more importantly, Aerion now has a launch customer. Flexjet has a fleet of private jets and has committed to buying 20 of the Aerion AS2 jet and expects them to enter-into-service in 2023. The order is valued at $2.4 billion.

“Throughout its history, Flexjet has been on the leading edge of aviation technology, introducing the best in performance, convenience and high-end capabilities to our aircraft Owners. Today, we are proud to make the next great step in business jet travel and offer what will be the first commercial supersonic flights in a generation,” said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci.

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The Aerion AS2 business jet will have a top speed of Mach 1.5, 67 percent faster than the top cruise speeds of current or anticipated long-range subsonic jets. Carrying eight to 12 passengers, the AS2 will have an intercontinental-capable range of 4,750 nautical miles at supersonic speed, saving three hours across the Atlantic and more than six hours on longer trans-Pacific routes.

The three-engine jet, now under development by Aerion in collaboration with Airbus Group, is expected to make its first flight in 2021.