Chicago - On February 5th, Boeing announced that it would partner with Aerion to accelerate the development of the company's AS2 supersonic business jet.
As part of the partnership, Boeing becomes the last and the largest company to invest in the AS2 project, which is expected to take off in June 2023.
Besides the partnership, Boeing said that it made a significant investment to help Aerion to accelerate the technology development and aircraft design.
Boeing will support Reno, Nevada-based startup by providing engineering, manufacturing and flight test resources during the development phase of the 12-seat supersonic jet. The aerospace giant will also help Aerion to introduce the AS2 to the market.
The AS2 is designed to fly at a speed of Mach 1.4, or about 1,000 miles per hour (1700 km/hour), around 70 percent faster than business jets currently in service. The aircraft will save about three hours on a transatlantic flight while meeting or exceeding environmental performance goals.
Founded in 2003 to develop new, more efficient aerodynamic technologies, Aerion launched its first design with the SBJ concept for a supersonic business jet capable of flying at speeds up to Mach 1.6, while also cruising efficiently below the speed of sound as well.
In September 2014, Aerion announced a partnership agreement with the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to develop the Aerion AS2, an updated design replacement for the previously launched SBJ concept.
GE Aviation signed an agreement with Aerion in May 2017, to launch a study to determine the ultimate engine configuration for the AS2. In 2018, the company unveiled the GE Affinity engine design, which meets current emission and noise standards. Finally, Lockheed joined forces in December 2017 to contribute to the development of the AS2.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and NASA are also working on their own design concepts for the future supersonic travel. Boom Technology, another US startup, revealed in March 2016 their 40-passenger supersonic jet project capable of flying at Mach 2.2.
Finally, in July 2017, Russian Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute TsAGI presented at the MAKS Air Show in Moscow a scale model of its Supersonic Commercial Jet with a low sonic boom, which will enable the supersonic jet to fly over land.