Airline and Colorado's Boom Technology partner on supersonic passenger jet

07 December, 2017, 02:47 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • An artist's impression shows Boom's 55-seat supersonic aircraft and Boom's XB-1 supersonic demonstrator in this undated handout obtained by Reuters

Japan Airlines is investing $10 million into Boom Aircraft, the Denver-based startup promising to bring back supersonic air travel. It also gets the option to purchase up to 20 Boom Supersonic aircraft through a pre-order arrangement - joining Virgin Group as an option holder. The aim of Boom Technology is to build around 45 to 55 aircrafts which can fly with a speed of 1,451 miles per hour and be capable of carrying passengers from NY to London in around three hours.

This year The National reported how Dubai was among those showing interest in the faster than sound aircraft.

On the Concorde, deep-pocketed passengers could fly the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound from 1976 to 2003. The prototype "Baby Boom" is being built now to be ready for flight in 2018.

While several other companies, including Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp, are developing new supersonic jets, Scholl said his plan was likely to beat them to the market, as it does not require any new technology for regulator approval.

"Today's advancements in both research and development technology and aviation knowledge mean the economics are now more than viable". By relying on non-afterburning engines, composite structures and existing technology, the Boom airliner will be created to operate at a quarter of the costs of Concorde.

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The company has said previously it expected fares to be similar to what is offered for business class travel now. So far, Boom has received 76 options from carriers around the world and there are three unnamed companies picking up the remaining unlisted 46 options.

Virgin entered into a $2 billion partnership with Boom past year, and at least five airlines have signed on to purchase a total of 76 supersonic jets. The Concorde, flown by British Airways and Air France, retired in 2003 after nearly three decades in service as customers abandoned the jets amid hefty operating costs.

The aim is to produce a "reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers", said Blake Scholl, the founder and chief executive of Boom Supersonic.

The agreement has JAL collaborating with Boom Supersonic to refine the aircraft design and help define the passenger experience for supersonic travel, the airline said.

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