Imagine being able to travel from Los Angeles to New York in half the time. What would normally be a grueling six hour ordeal could be a mere three hour excursion. You’d only have to watch one movie and extra leg room wouldn’t even be necessary. This dream could soon be a reality thanks to one innovative startup.
Today, a new airliner and local Denver startup Boom Technology, will unveil their XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, the world’s first privately developed supersonic jet and fastest civil aircraft ever.
Their mission is to offer passengers who normally purchase front of the aircraft seats (business/first) an option to cut their flight time over long hauls almost in half while offering a premium in-flight service at or near the same price they are paying on commercial airlines.
“60 years after the dawn of the jet age, we’re still flying at 1960s speeds,” said Blake Scholl, chief executive officer and founder of Boom. “Concorde’s designers didn’t have the technology for affordable supersonic travel, but now we do. Today, we’re proud to unveil our first aircraft as we look forward to first flight late next year.”
Sir Richard Branson, an aerospace and high-speed travel innovator and founder of Virgin Galactic, has partnered with Boom to help support production among other services. The company is being backed by 8VC, RRE, Lightbank, and Y Combinator, as well as angels including Sam Altman, Paul Graham, and Kyle Vogt.
“As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic’s decision to work with Boom was an easy one. We’re excited to have an option on Boom’s first 10 airframes. Through Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, we will provide engineering and manufacturing services, along with flight test support and operations as part of our shared ambitions,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group.
The initial aircraft will have 45 business class seats with one spacious seat on each side of the aisle, each passenger has a large window, a personal overhead bin, and direct aisle access. The aircraft will cruise up to 60,000 feet where passengers will experience a smoother ride with less turbulence.
The engineering dream team consist of former NASA, SpaceX, and Boeing veterans who will combine their skills sets in designing and building the most advanced aerodynamic and efficient engine technology with new composite materials to power a safe and affordable supersonic aircraft. The potential speed of this supersonic jet is calculated at 2.2 Mach, faster than the Concord, and 2.6x faster than current jetliners.
In an independent analysis by the Boyd Group International, they reviewed the market potential for this new-generation of aircraft on a 10-year projection. The report indicated that Boom Technology’s sweet spot will be with trans-Atlantic, time-sensitive passengers with the highest demand coming from North American and Europe markets.
While the analysts weren’t able to predict how the air transportation industry will evolve over the next 10 years, they do anticipate concern among commercial airliners where their premium passengers might choose to bail on the commercial airliner, causing a revenue drop, and choose this sleeker brand that will shrink travel time while offering premium service for close to the same cost.
The airliner is expected to be market-ready in 2023. Until then, grab your peanuts and wait for the Boom.
Photos courtesy of Boom Technology