Flexjet places firm order for 20 ‘Son of Concorde’ supersonic Airbus backed jets.
Flexjet a US based company which allows customers to buy fractional shares of luxury aircraft has placed a firm order for 20 Airbus-backed ‘son of Concorde’ AS2 supersonic jets.
The AS2, a planned three-engine jet that can carry eight to 12 passengers, is being developed by Aerion, who are backed by Texas billionaire Robert Bass in collaboration with Airbus Group.
The supersonic jet which has been quickly dubbed ‘son of Concorde’ and is expected to make its maiden flight in 2021 entering service in 2023.
Flexjet are the first fleet provider to commit to the ambitious project offering the world’s first publicly available supersonic transport since commercial airline supersonic crossings ended service in 2003.
The collaboration with Airbus was announced last year and intends to fill a niche gap left vacant since the retirement of the Concorde.
Airbus will provide major components and Aerion will do the final assembly, the companies said in the statement released this week
Aerion needs a 40-hectare area near a US airport with a runway at least 2,700 metres long and plans to break ground on the factory in 2018.
The AS2 will fly at a speed of Mach 1.5, using supersonic laminar flow technology, and the wing design will allow for lighter fuel consumption and increased travel ranges by reducing aerodynamic drag by 20%.
New noise regulations coming in 2020 caused Aerion to change design from 2 to 3 engines.
“We see clear and achievable technical solutions to the design of a supersonic jet, and a realistic road map for helping Aerion proceed toward construction and flight,” said Airbus senior vice president Ken McKenzie.
All images Aerion corp.