Boeing Partners with Aerion to Speed Development and Testing of Next-Generation Supersonic Aircraft, Accelerate Supersonic Travel

Aerion is developing the AS2 for a Mach 1.4 cruise speed for overseas flights and for use in China—where there are currently no restrictions on sonic booms. However, the company stipulates that at high altitudes the sonic boom created by the AS2 travelling at Mach 1.2 would not reach the ground, potentially qualifying it for more applications and markets.

The AS2 from Aerion  in Reno, Nevada, will be the first supersonic business jet to market, Boeing officials in Chicago predict. Boeing (NYSE:BA) is providing engineering, industrial, and financial resources in partnership with Aerion to accelerate technology development and aircraft design, with the goal of bringing supersonic air travel to new markets.

Boeing will provide engineering, manufacturing, and flight test  resources, as well as strategic vertical content, to help bring Aerion's AS2 supersonic business jet to market. The aircraft is slated for first flight in 2023.

The AS2 is designed to fly at speeds up to Mach 1.4 or approximately 1,000 miles per hour. The next-gen supersonic aircraft will be able to fly up to 70 percent faster than current business jets, shaving approximately three hours off a single transatlantic flight while meeting environmental performance requirements.

Aerion introduced its AS2 12-passenger business jet design in 2014 and unveiled the AS2's GE Affinity engine design in 2018. Aerion was founded in 2003 to develop new, more efficient aerodynamic technologies for supersonic aircraft.

Read: GE, Lockheed Martin commit to Aerion's supersonic bizjet

Aerion is mapping out a sustainable return to supersonic flight, explains Tom Vice, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Aerion. “The AS2 is the launch point for the future of regulatory-compliant and efficient supersonic flight. Together with Boeing, we're creating a faster, more connected future with tremendous possibilities for enhancing humanity's productivity and potential.” Boeing officials are calling it a significant investment in Aerion, although terms of the deal were not disclosed. “This is a strategic and disciplined leading-edge investment in further maturing supersonic technology. Through this partnership that combines Aerion's supersonic expertise with Boeing's global industrial scale and commercial aviation experience, we have the right team to build the future of sustainable supersonic flight,” says Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt .

Read: Aerion and Honeywell collaborate on revolutionary flight deck for supersonic bizjet

“Boeing is leading a mobility transformation that will safely and efficiently connect the world faster than ever before," Nordlund adds. Boeing NeXt works with industry partners and regulatory agencies “to lead the responsible introduction of a new mobility ecosystem,” officials say. The division's portfolio includes prototyping activities and programs intended to shape the future of urban, regional, and global mobility, such as autonomous air vehicles and passenger-carrying hypersonic aircraft.

Courtney E. Howard  is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International. Contact her by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..