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Air Force “Mach” One

Air Force “Mach” One 7 September, 2020

The US Air Force awarded a contract to develop a supersonic passenger plane for US President’s use.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre announced on August 31st from official social media account that the service's Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate has awarded a contract to California-based start-up Exosonic to develop a "low-boom supersonic executive transport aircraft." The platform will be used by "key decision-makers and teams."

According to Military.com, the $1 million small business innovation research (SBIR) phase II contract requires Exosonic to detail the specifications of a future supersonic aircraft, including "power, weight, dimensions, communication systems and cabin layout."

Exosonic is currently working on developing a conventional passenger aircraft that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 1.8 "supersonically overland and overwater with a muted sonic boom," with plans to unveil a prototype by 2025, according to the company.

The contract "will support Exosonic's efforts to develop and modify the company's commercial supersonic airliner to serve as an executive transport vehicle," the company said.

The Air Force is currently in the process of replacing the current Boeing VC-25A aircraft that serve as Air Force One with the defence contractor's 747-8 to the tune of $5 billion, with plans for the new aircraft to enter service by 2024.

"Low-boom" means that aircraft will fly at supersonic speeds without generating disruptive booms for those on the ground.

Subsonic and supersonic speed is described as Mach due to physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach who worked on the sound barrier.

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