(CNN) — News broke in September that a California company was working with the US Air Force to develop a supersonic aircraft that could be used as Air Force One.
Exosonic received a contract from the Executive and Presidential Directorate of Air Transport (PE) after impressing the military with its concept for a Mach 1.8 supersonic twin-engine.
CNN Travel was able to take an exclusive look inside the cabin of the executive airliner designed to transport distinguished visitors from the US Executive Branch.
It’s a 31-passenger derivative of Exosonic’s 70-passenger airliner concept and is the latest in business jets: luxury leather, oak and quartz fittings, private suites for work and rest, and all at double cruising speeds. than existing aircraft.
The functions of the presidential ship vary according to the needs, but this aircraft could be used primarily as Air Force Two, which is the call sign for the planes that carry the vice president of the United States.
“With this concept, we plan to implement new technologies that are not currently available or (yet) not seen in commercial or business jets,” says Stephanie Chahan, Exosonic’s principal aircraft interior designer, while leading CNN in a virtual tour.
The first of the two private suites is the meeting room for three passengers, with secure video teleconferencing so distinguished visitors can work, go online or address the press.
The swivel seats are leather with wooden housings and the video monitor can be rolled up so there is room on the sideboard for dinner plates or presentation equipment.
“So whether they are flying to the vice president or the first lady, we would have a lot of flexibility here,” says Chahan.
Supersonic low-boom flight
The second eight-passenger suite has reclining seats and height-adjustable tables, and is where senior staff can work collaboratively and unwind.
Then there’s the main cabin with 20 business class seats, plus two kitchens, two bathrooms, and plenty of storage space.
Following the trend in modern aircraft design, the seat backs have spaces for storing personal electronic devices in place of the traditional back-up monitors.
“The design of the cabin was inspired by the US Executive Branch and its mission and values, as well as the Peregrine Falcon, famous for its speed, both for its movement and its beautiful appearance,” says Chahan.
The Exosonic aircraft has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and, thanks to noise reduction techniques, it should be able to fly at nearly twice the speed of sound without disturbing residents below.
“The future of fast global passenger travel is low-boom supersonic flight,” says Norris Tie, CEO of Exosonic. “The ‘low-boom’ allows travelers to fly at supersonic speeds without creating disruptive barriers for those on the ground.”
Mach 1.8 is around 2,222 kilometers per hour, which is more than twice the typical cruising speed of a long-haul commercial vessel.
Tie tells CNN that the company expects its supersonic jet to fly in the mid-2030s.
Exosonic design for supersonic aircraft for the US Executive Branch.
Exosonic is not the only aviation pioneer to receive investment from the US Air Force.
Atlanta-based Hermeus Corporation is working on a 20-seater hypersonic that promises to transport passengers from New York to London in 90 minutes.
Last year, it partnered with the US Air Force and PE to develop its Mach 5 spacecraft to support the presidential and executive fleet, and in March Hermeus announced that it will also partner with NASA.
Hypersonic travel is generally considered to reach speeds of Mach 5 or more, or five times the speed of sound. Hermeus successfully tested a Mach 5 engine prototype in February last year.