Exclusive look inside the US supersonic presidential jet
Exosonic received an order from the President and Executive Directorate of Airlift (PE) after impressing the military with its concept for a low-boom, supersonic Mach 1.8 twin jet.
Now CNN Travel has thrown an exclusive look inside the cabin of the executive transport plane, which is supposed to carry the distinguished visitors (DVs) of the US executive branch.
A 31-passenger derivative of Exosonic’s 70-passenger airliner concept, it is the ultimate business jet model – luxury furnishings made of leather, oak and quartz, private suites for work and relaxation – all during cruise times that are twice as high as in existing aircraft.
The functions of the presidential vehicle vary as needed, but this aircraft can mainly be used as Luftwaffe Zwei. This is the callsign for jets carrying the US Vice President.
“With this concept, we plan to implement new technology that is not available today or that you are not (yet) seeing in commercial or corporate aircraft,” says Stephanie Chahan, chief aircraft interior designer at Exosonic, while directing CNN on a virtual plane through passage .
The first of two private suites is the three-passenger meeting room with secure video conferencing so distinguished visitors can work, go online, or contact the press.
The swivel seats are made of leather with wooden shells and the video monitor can be stored in a rolled position so that there is space for food platters or presentation equipment on the sideboard.
“Regardless of whether you are flying the Vice President, the First Lady or the First Gentleman, we would have a lot of flexibility here,” says Chahan.
The 3D rendering that CNN saw on a virtual tour was completed by Calfornia-based Prime Studios.
Low-booom supersonic flight
The second eight-passenger suite has flat seats and adjustable table heights. This is where executives can work together and rest.
Then there is the main cabin with 20 business class seats as well as two kitchens, two toilets and plenty of storage space.
Following the trend of modern aircraft design, the backrests provide space for personal electronic devices instead of traditional backrest monitors.
“The cabin design was inspired by the US executive and its mission and values, as well as the peregrine falcon, which is known for its speed – both for its movement and its beautiful looks,” says Chahan.
Exosonic’s aircraft has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and, thanks to boom-softening techniques, should be able to fly over land at almost twice the speed of sound without annoying residents below.
“The future of global high-speed passenger traffic is low-boom supersonic flight,” said Norris Tie, CEO of Exosonic. “With the low boom, travelers can fly at supersonic speeds without creating annoying booms for those on the ground.”
Mach 1.8 is 2,222 kilometers (1,381 miles per hour), which is more than twice the typical cruising speed of a long-haul commercial vehicle.
Tie tells CNN that the company expects its supersonic aircraft to fly in the mid-2030s.
Exosonic’s Executive Transport Jet was scheduled to take to the skies in the mid-2030s.
Exosonic isn’t the only aviation pioneer receiving investment from the US Air Force.
Atlanta-based Hermeus Corporation is working on a hypersonic 20-seater that promises to get 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 aircraft to support the presidential and executive fleets, and in March of this year, Hermeus announced that it was also teaming up with NASA.
Hypersonic motion is generally viewed as reaching a speed of Mach 5 or higher, or five times the speed of sound. Hermeus successfully tested a Mach 5 engine prototype in February last year.