The worlds very first supersonic business jet is currently in development with a rapidly growing list of would-be owners. Created by Aerion, a firm based in Reno, Nevada, the jet will be capable of flying up to 12 passengers more than 4,600 miles at speeds of up to 1,050 mph, or 1.6 times the speed of sound. Even more importantly, it will also be able to cruise efficiently at subsonic speeds. This capability to cruise at slower speeds is crucial to the jet’s success, since supersonic flight is not allowed over America due to the noise pollution caused by sonic booms. Unlike the Concorde, this craft will be able to efficiently cruise above and below the speed of sound. And even in places where supersonic speeds are allowed, it’s unique “natural laminar flow” wing design allows the plane to still travel at 1.15 times the speed of sound without creating a sonic boom, permitting it to fly under international rules.
Aerion has already begun accepting letters of intent for it’s first 40 planes and plans on selling 300 of the $80 million planes over the next 10 years.
[via The Economist]