Tech tycoon Richard Branson consistently impresses the world with his latest ideas.
The Virgin Group founder backed the Boom aerospace company to develop affordable supersonic travel.
Boom maintains the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator is the “fastest civil aircraft ever made.”
[Image Courtesy of Boom Technology]
The first test flights will begin near Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California. The Demonstrator’s first flight has been scheduled for late 2017, according to the Boom website.
Boom unveiled its prototype on schedule at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado.
“I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights,” said Branson.
Virgin Galactic partnered with Boom Technology, and Branson confirmed that Virgin could buy 10 recently unveiled supersonic jets. These jets boast speeds of nearly 1,500 mph.
Engineers with experience from SpaceX, Boeing and NASA contributed to the new Boom ‘baby’ jet. The prototype already underwent over 1,000 simulated tunnel tests.
The Boom design lacks an afterburner. Engineers hope this could significantly improve fuel efficiency while improving travel times.
Boom passenger jet specs include 45 seats. Tickets cost roughly $5,000, a pretty penny to pay for the fastest flights on the market. Seats are standard first-class variety to reduce weight. (But it’s still first-class, so who’s complaining?) The aisles are two single-seat rows. Everyone gets a window seat and an aisle.
Boom Commercial Liner [Image Courtesy of Boom Technology]
The planes will have a cruising altitude at 60,000 ft in attempts to cut flight time. Boom hopes the London to New York flight would be its most popular route, shaving off nearly 4 hours of flight time.
Boom took a lot of notes from the ‘original’ commercial supersonic plane – the Concorde. Learning from the Concorde’s mistakes, the Boom plane combines new composite materials to produce a “safe and affordable” aircraft 2.6 times faster than jetliners.