|Aerion AS2. Photo: Aerion
[Avionics Today 11-18-2015] Flexjet has become the launch customer for Aerion’s AS2 aircraft, the first commercially available supersonic jet, placing a firm order for 20 of Aerion's AS2 aircraft at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention and exhibition this week.
The Aerion AS2 business jet has a top speed of Mach 1.5, which is 67 percent faster than the top cruise speeds of current or anticipated long-range subsonic jets, according to Aerion. Carrying eight to 12 passengers, the AS2 has an intercontinental-capable range of 4,750 nautical miles at supersonic speed, that promises to traverse the Atlantic three hours faster than subsonic aircraft and more than six hours on longer trans-Pacific routes. The three-engine jet, now under development by Aerion in collaboration with Airbus Group, will make its first flight in 2021 and enter service in 2023.
"We are pleased to be the first fleet purchaser of the Aerion AS2 and to be able to offer supersonic, intercontinental flight capabilities to our owners," said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci.
Aerion and Flexjet will work together to design interiors for the AS2. Flexjet anticipates that many customers will, through its innovative Global Access program, use the AS2 in combination with other large-cabin Flexjet aircraft, taking advantage of the AS2's speed to meet especially demanding travel schedules, such as intercontinental round trips in a single day.