The world of supersonic will return, possibly before, in 2026 but it will look totally different than before….the target this time is corporate aviation. I have highlighted Aerion primarily but there are others involved who may beat Aerion’s product to the market and if this occurs their current orders may disappear.
If you are new to the 3DB then you probably have not read my previous articles on supersonic flight so I have links to two of the best below:
Florida’s Space Coast is about to become the Supersonic Coast with a startup that’s working to usher in the new era of supersonic travel that has just broken ground on a new campus in Melbourne, Florida.
Aerion is investing $300 million into Aerion Park, a 110.6-acre campus on the grounds of Melbourne International Airport in central Florida where the startup’s flagship craft, the AS2, will be built come 2023. Aerion Park will house the production plants capable of building 48 AS2 aircraft per year once at full strength and will be where customers come to design and then take delivery of their jets.
The AS2 was first announced in 2014 as the world’s first supersonic business jet that will be able to fly between eight and 10 passengers at supersonic speeds of up to Mach 1.4, significantly cutting down travel times. It will be among the first in a new wave of aircraft that will once again take flyers beyond the sound barrier, a feat that hasn’t been regularly accomplished since the iconic Concorde airliner retired from commercial service in 2003.
All assembly, testing, and completion will occur at Aerion Park with the manufacturing center the size of around 14 football fields, Vice said. Customers will visit Aerion Park to design their aircraft in the customer experience center and then return to take delivery of the aircraft once complete.
Sustainability will also be a key tenet of the facility, just as it is for the AS2, with a focus on green technologies such as solar to power the plant’s operations and 100% water recycling, including reusing rainwater. And for employees, Aerion Park will feature children’s daycare, laundry services, and vehicle charging stations.
Melbourne, Florida was chosen by Aerion after a two-year selection process with the central Florida city standing out in part due to the available talent in the region and the activities at nearby Cape Canaveral. “There’s a lot of excitement in the Space Coast and the Melbourne, central Florida area, Vice said, “not only with aerospace but obviously commercialization of space.”
Melbourne International Airport offers near-direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, over which the AS2 can perform its supersonic test flights outside of any populated areas. And Aerion will be in good company as it will be located on the same airport as Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and miles from where NASA and SpaceX are launching the next-generation of rockets into space.
Enjoy the videos below, have a good weekend, and join me again next week when we look back at other events in our history.
February 12, 2021