Virgin and Boom want to bring back supersonic flights for $5,000 round-trip

Boom jets would travel at Mach 2.2, about 1,450mph


News Desk March 28, 2016
PHOTO: BOOM

Boom has introduced an idea for a supersonic flight that will take passengers from New York to London in just three hours and 20 minutes.

The company hopes to fly its first prototype plane in 2017, saying commercial flights could begin within the next few years.

“This is supersonic passenger air travel, no bullshit, and it’s actually affordable," Boom CEO Blake Scholl told The Guardian.

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The Concorde flew for the last time on October 24, 2003 due to an unfortunate series of events. The first was a devastating crash in 2000 that killed all 109 people on board, plus four people on the ground. The crash had been caused by debris on the runway. After this incident, not many were willing to pay the price tag, and so, in 2003, with profits deflating, the Concorde made its last flight.

Scholl estimates that the round-trip cost will be $5,000. A round-trip flight from New York to London aboard the Concorde would cost roughly $15,000 today, adjusted for inflation. Nonstop, round-trip economy flights from New York to London can run from about $700 to $1,400 today, according to a recent Google Flights search.

“Ultimately I want people to be able to get anywhere in the world in five hours for $100," Scholl said, adding, "To get there you have to improve fuel efficiency, but step-by-step supersonic air travel will become available for everyone."

Scholl previously worked for Amazon and founded a company called Kima Labs that was acquired by Groupon. Two years ago, the 35-year-old entrepreneur moved from Silicon Valley to Denver and enlisted aerospace experts to work with him on his lifelong passion project of reinventing supersonic air travel.

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“I started this because I was sad that I never got to fly on Concorde. I waited but no one was doing it, so I decided to," he said.

Boom jets would travel at Mach 2.2, about 1,450mph. By comparison, the Concorde flew at Mach 2.0 and most of today's airliners fly at Mach 0.85.

The drawback associated with travelling at such high speed, breaking the speed of sound is the loud sound it produces, which has resulted in a ban of supersonic travel over land in the United States. For that reason, Boom is focusing on routes from London to New York, San Francisco to Tokyo and Los Angeles to Sydney.

The Boom plane will have 40 seats in two rows, making every seat both a window and an aisle seat.

The company just signed an agreement with Richard Branson's Virgin Group, making the prospect even more likely to happen quickly. Virgin has optioned Boom's first 10 planes and will help with the manufacturing.

Virgin's manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, "will provide engineering, design and manufacturing services, flight tests and operations," a Virgin spokesperson told The Guardian. "It is still early days and just the start of what you’ll hear about our shared ambitions and efforts.”

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Boom also optioned 15 planes to an unnamed European carrier, bringing the total value of optioned planes up to $5 billion.

But Boom isn't the only company looking at bringing back supersonic travel.

One group of enthusiasts is trying to get the Concorde back in the air by 2019. And in February, NASA announced that it is working on developing a quieter supersonic jet for commercial use.

 

This article originally appeared on Mashable.

COMMENTS (1)

Hameed | 5 years ago | Reply This looks very similar to Concorde. Not much has changed since that 1950s design.
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