At the June 2017 Paris Air Show, aircraft manufacturing firm Boom unveiled the new design of the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, a futuristic jet that will serve as proof for future orders. The company also had some very exciting news to share with those in attendance: five airlines have already placed 76 orders for supersonic passenger jets, which suggests that the esteemed era of supersonic flights aboard aircraft such as the Concorde.
It is interesting to note that Boom has not actually tested the XB-1 in flight; in fact, it has not even manufactured one. The orders being placed for future passenger jets indicate that there is a lot of enthusiasm for this startup, which recently raised $41 million to start development of the XB-1 as soon as possible.
The current plans and projections for Boom jets is that they will not only fly faster than the Concorde but will also be able to do so at an economically sustainable rate. Aside from commercial airliners, the company also intends to manufacture executive jets. As expected, the design shown at the Paris Air Show resemble the retired Concorde.
Booking a future Boom jet order requires a non-refundable down payment that may seem like a risky move; however, the firm has thus been able to make the right impressions in the aviation industry.
The Return of Supersonic Travel
In essence, a Boom jet would cut flight times by fifty percent. The Mach number, the speed of an object in relation to sound, of current airliners such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is less than 0.90. The Concorde flown by Air France and British Airways could reach Mach 2 speeds. A Boom jet is expected to travel at Mach 2.2.
Not only would Boom jets fly faster than the Concorde; they would also cost less in terms of fuel and maintenance, which means that a $2,500 ticket from New York to London would pay for a flight lasting only three hours and 15 minutes.
Naturally, airlines could quickly increase ticket prices if they notice very high demand. In fact, the pre-orders for Boom jets have expectations of very luxurious cabins similar to the Concorde days. Ostensibly, luxury details would allow airline operators to raise supersonic ticket prices considerably.
The Boom Team
The engineering team responsible for the XB-1 certainly has the experience and connections to make it a reality. Boom executives have worked on major projects such as the Falcon rocket program at SpaceX, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Boeing 787, and even the F-22 Raptor.
As a company, Boom is picking up where aviation development left off decades ago when Mach 2 was achieved in commercial passenger jets. The company believes that resuming supersonic flight should take place before space tourism becomes commonplace.
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