The news that a California startup was working with the United States Air Force USA the development of a supersonic plane that could be used as Air Force One was released last September.
Exosonic won a contract with the Presidential and Executive Air Transport Directorate (PE) after impressing the military with its concept of a Mach 1.8 low-boom supersonic double jet.
Now the CNN Travel took an exclusive look inside the cabin of the executive transport aircraft designed to transport distinguished visitors (DVs) from the United States Executive Branch.
It is a 31-passenger derivative of the Exosonic 70-passenger commercial aircraft concept and is the ultimate in business jets – luxury leather, oak and quartz accessories, private suites for work and rest, and all twice as large than existing aircraft.
The functions of the presidential spaceships vary according to the need, but this airplane can be used mainly as Air Force Two, which is the call sign for jets that carry the vice president of the United States.
“With this concept, we are planning to implement new technologies that are not available today or that you do not (yet) see in commercial or business aircraft,” says Stephanie Chahan, chief aircraft interior designer at Exosonic, while leading the CNN on a virtual tour.
The first of the two private suites is the meeting room for three passengers, with a video conference so secure that distinguished visitors can work peacefully, go online or speak to the press.
The swivel seats are leather with wooden shells and the video monitor can be stored so there is room on the table for food dishes or presentation equipment.
“So whether you’re flying with the vice president or the first lady, or the first gentleman, we would have a lot of flexibility here,” says Chahan.
Low impulse supersonic flight
The second suite for eight passengers has straight seats and adjustable table height and is where senior employees can work and rest.
Then there is the main cabin with 20 seats in business class, plus two kitchens, two sinks and plenty of storage.
Following the trend of modern aircraft design, the seat backs have spaces to accommodate personal electronic devices instead of traditional backrest monitors.
“The design of the cabin was inspired by the executive branch of the United States and its mission and values, as well as the peregrine falcon, known for its speed – both for its movement and for its beautiful appearance,” says Chahan.
The Exosonic plane has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and, thanks to boom-smoothing techniques, it should be able to fly overland at almost twice the speed of sound without disturbing the residents below.
“The future for fast global passenger travel is low-boom supersonic flight,” said Exosonic CEO Norris Tie. “This allows travelers to fly at supersonic speeds without generating disturbing noises for those on the ground.”
Mach 1.8 manages to do about 1,381 miles per hour (2,222 kilometers), which is more than twice the cruise speed typical of a commercial long-distance vessel.
Tie say to CNN that the company expects its supersonic plane to be flying in the mid-2030s.
Exosonic is not the only aviation pioneer to receive investments from the United States Air Force.
The Atlanta-based Hermeus Corporation is working on a 20-seater hypersonic vehicle that promises to deliver passengers from New York to London in 90 minutes.
Last year, it partnered with the United States Air Force and PE to develop its Mach 5 spacecraft to support the presidential and executive fleet, and this March Hermeus announced that he was joining NASA.
Hypersonic travel is generally considered when it reaches five times or more the speed of sound. Hermeus successfully tested a Mach 5 engine prototype in February last year.
(Translated text, click here to read the original in English).
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