The race to develop the next generation of supersonic passenger aircraft continues to heat up, with news that Boeing is partnering with American manufacturer Aerion. Boeing said that it had made “a significant investment” in Aerion, and will provide engineering, manufacturing and flight test resources, as well as “strategic vertical content” to bring the company’s AS2 supersonic business jet to market.

Aerion had previously been working with Lockheed Martin to develop the AS2, but this partnership has reportedly now ended. The AS2 will fly at Mach 1.4 (approximately 1,000 miles per hour), a speed which should save around three hours on a transatlantic flight. Aerion is aiming for the aircraft to take its first flight in 2023.

“Aerion is the industry leader mapping out a successful, sustainable return to supersonic flight. The AS2 is the launch point for the future of regulatory-compliant and efficient supersonic flight,” Tom Vice, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aerion said in a statement.  

Last month rival company Boom Supersonic closed a $100 million Series B investment round for its Overture Mach 2.2 supersonic airliner. And last year Boeing unveiled concept images for a hypersonic jet aircraft which it said could have both commercial and military applications.

aerionsupersonic.com, boeing.com