The United States Air Force has signed an agreement with Exosonic, a low-boom supersonic aircraft manufacturer, to develop a new level of presidential travel.
Exosonic is a new company developing an aircraft that is said to be able to fly at Mach 1.8, which is around 2222km/h. The 70 passenger supersonic airliner would fly with a "muted boom", however it's not clear how this would be achieved.
The design concept would provide top US leaders and diplomats a rapid transportation option to travel around the world for important or urgent meetings with world leaders, or as a security option should it be needed due to events on the ground.
Although the design is yet to be approved, it would reduce flight cruise times by around 50 percent compared to the aircraft currently used as Air Force One.
Part of the contract includes Exosonic modifying the company's commercial supersonic airliner to serve as an executive transport vehicle. These modifications will include reconfiguring the aircraft cabin to include the required accommodation space, secure communications equipment, and highly protected security measures that allow US leaders and their guests to work and rest onboard the aircraft.
The aircraft currently used as Air Force One presidential travel is an early model Boeing 747 and has been in use since 1990. The US government recently entered an agreement with Boeing to replace the aircraft with a newer Boeing 747-8.