Exosonic is working on research to build a supersonic Air Force One — which could reach its destination in half the time it takes now.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center announced the new contract between the U.S. Air Force’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate and Exosonic on Tuesday, August 31.
The future aircraft Exosonic will help create will carry U.S. leaders and diplomats and will take about half the time it does now to reach a destination. The company is already developing a Mach 1.8, 5000 nmi range, 70-passenger supersonic airliner that will be able to fly overland with a muted boom.
Exosonic specializes in manufacturing so-called “low-boom” supersonic aircraft.
“The future for global rapid passenger travel is low-boom supersonic flight. Low-boom allows travelers to fly at supersonic speeds without generating disruptive booms for those on the ground,” said Exosonic CEO Norris Tie. “Exosonic is excited to win this contract as it represents not only commercial but government promise for low-boom supersonic travel.”
An Exosonic spokesperson told Digital Trends that they expect the supersonic executive transport vehicle to fly in the mid-2030s.
Although the Federal Aviation Authority banned flights at speeds above Mach 1 decades ago, the organization is considering changing its rules to allow supersonic aircraft to fly if they stay below a certain noise threshold.
Other companies are hoping to take advantage of these possible restriction changes.
NASA is looking to bring supersonic flights back with the ultra-quiet X-59 aircraft. Contracted by Lockheed Martin, the project aims to reduce the loudness of a sonic boom to a gentle thump, which would then allow supersonic flights to take place over land.