Before the epidemic began, many companies, led by NASA, began to explore the technology of silent supersonic jets. They hope that after many years of retirement of the Concorde, they can eliminate the ills of supersonic jets that are too loud and disturb the people and return to the sky. However, many companies are already facing the fate of bankruptcy under the epidemic situation without even the first word of their products, such as the Aerion Supersonic, which focuses on supersonic business jets. In addition to the difficulty in obtaining funding, the uncertain prospects of the supersonic business jet is also one of the main reasons for its closure.
The main product of Aerion Supersonic is called “AS2”, which claims to be the world’s first supersonic business jet. It does not target general passengers, but is built for big business owners, allowing them to travel around the world at the fastest speed, reducing the time wasted on the road. Its cruising speed exceeds 1,600 km/h, and it is relatively quiet both inside and out. Aerion has many well-known large companies in the aerospace industry as partners, including Boeing and GE. It has also selected Orlando, Florida as its production base. It is expected to fly for the first time in 2024 and enter service in 2026.
Of course, this is all in vain, but it is probably not too surprising. Product development in the aerospace industry is notoriously expensive, and technological breakthrough products like this are even more so-Aerion estimates that the development of AS2 will require US$4 billion in funding, and during the epidemic, long-distance transportation is basically suspended. Such funding is naturally quite difficult. More importantly, during the epidemic, companies have invested heavily in remote work, video conferencing, etc., which have permanently changed the way many companies operate. This also makes the demand prospects for supersonic business jets not optimistic. Even if the epidemic is over, there may not necessarily be the original estimated market size.
Having said that, this does not necessarily represent the end of the supersonic airliner. In addition to the aforementioned NASA research, there are also similar Boom Supersonic Such private companies continue to develop products and are expected to be commercialized in 2029.