Supersonic Jet Faster than the Concorde Under Construction
In recent times, it seems to be the trend to design the fastest jet plane you can imagine without taking concern with physics or even practical engineering. However, a new supersonic jet has set its sights on an achievable goal, and the plan has even been backed by Virgin Galactic and other venture capital firms. Boom, the company behind the new jet has begun prototyping a jet that can achieve Mach 2.2, making the trip between NYC and London a short 3.4 hours. Now before you start saying this will never happen, keep reading because the company has some pretty big names behind it and even former astronaut Capt. Mark Kelley.
[Image Source: Boom]
The Colorado start-up is headed up by former Amazon executive Blake Scholl, and the new plane concept is currently in a prototype phase with estimated flight capacity being reached by 2017. Virgin Galactic has already optioned 10 planes, hoping to become one of the first carriers to offer such a unique experience. In this case, "optioned" means that assuming all tests are successful and Boom really does follow through, they will be purchasing the 10 planes. Boom also told reporters that they have optioned off 15 other planes to a European carrier they would not name, reported on by CNN. If both of these deals can be pulled off, Boom could stand to bring in upwards of US$7 billion.
While this is perhaps the most promising of supersonic jet ventures in recent years, the possibility of such a plane is still rather far off. The plane will be made from carbon fiber composite materials and the seats will be slightly smaller than traditional airline seating. While not having all that leg room may seem like a big downside, the tickets are estimated to cost 1/4 of what flying on the ridiculously expensive Concorde cost. The average ticket price for a seat on the 100 passengers Concorde plane was $12,000 before the plane was phased out.
If all of this wasn't enough to get you anticipating taking a trip on the Boom in the future, there is one more perk to booking yourself a ticket. Not only will every seat have a window and an aisle, but the plane will fly at 18,000 meters, meaning passengers will be able to see the curvature of the earth.
[Image Source: Boom]
There are currently quite a few experienced engineers and professionals working on the new plane design, with Virgin Galactic providing some of the manufacturing and engineering design needs. Whether it is the Boom or some other well-designed superjet, the age of supersonic commercial flights seems to be upon the world once again.
Professor Gretchen Benedix is an astrogeologist and cosmic mineralogist who studies meteorites and figures the forming stages of the solar system.