Images revealed of supersonic jet that could be the next Air Force One

Californian startup predicts plane to be flying by mid-2030s

James Crump
Tuesday 06 April 2021 17:32 BST
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Exosonic has unveiled the first images of the supersonic jet that could be used as Air Force One in the next decade.

The plane, which will be able to carry up to 31 passengers at a time, has been designed to transport the US Executive Branch’s distinguished visitors around the world at twice the speed of sound.

The jet, which is expected to be flying by the mid-2030s, is being created by Exosonic after the Californian company was granted a contract by the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate last year.

The startup company was handed the contract in September 2020 after impressing the US military with its concept design of a low-boom supersonic Mach 1.8 twinjet, with certification for the aircraft hoped to be acquired by 2029.

Speaking to CNN last week, Stephanie Chahan, Exosonic’s principal aircraft interior designer, said that the jet will be different to any other already available.

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“With this concept we are planning to implement new technologies that are not available today or that you don’t (yet) see on commercial or business aircraft,” Ms Chahan said while giving the outlet’s travel team a virtual tour of its aircraft design.

The company is creating the plane to fly at 1,381 mph, or 1.8 times the speed of sound, with CEO Norris Tie explaining to CNN that if the jet was flying any faster, there is risk of it generating sonic booms that could be disruptive to people on the ground.

“The future for global rapid passenger travel is low-boom supersonic flight,” Mr Tie said. “Low boom allows travellers to fly at supersonic speeds without generating disruptive booms for those on the ground,” he added.

The plane will include two private suites and one main cabin, which will house 20 business-class seats, two galleys and two bathrooms, with the back of seats designed to house personal electronic devices.

The first private suite will be a meeting room designed for three passengers, including the ability to teleconference or address the press from the sky.

While the second suite will have adjustable seats and will primarily be used by staff members looking for a quiet place to work or if they need to lie-down for a rest.

CNN reported that the jet, which is being designed to have a 5,000-nautical-mile range, could be used as Air Force One in the future, but is likely to be primarily used at first as Air Force Two, which is the plane used by the US vice president.

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