MIAMI – Japan Airlines (JAL) has just invested $10 million in the supersonic jet company, Boom Supersonic.
The Denver-based manufacturer has raised $41 million in funding to build a supersonic aircraft that will supposedly be faster, quieter, and more affordable than Concorde. JAL has an option to purchase up to 20 airliners.
Since the retirement of Concorde in 2003, supersonic air travel has been but a dream. But things are about to change. The ambitious new company is shaking up the paradigm. Its initial Baby Boom XB-1 design, announced in 2016, began as a 45-seat aircraft and has since been stretched to 55 seats.
As part of the investment, Japan Airlines will provide “its knowledge and experience” for the airplane’s design and the passenger experience for supersonic travel.
The developing jet is expected to enter service by mid-2020s, achieving transatlantic routes in half of the time currently operated by a conventional aircraft, flying at speeds of Mach 2.2, about 10% faster than Concorde.
READ MORE: Boom Supersonics’ Emerging
According to Boom, the flight time from New York to London will be three hours and fifteen minutes with estimated fares 75% lower than Concorde’s.
The aircraft will have better fuel efficiency and will produce a sonic boom that would be at least 30 times quieter than Concorde’s.
The founder of Boom Supersonic, Blake Scholl, sat down with Airways to give an update on his supersonic dream. You may find the complete interview in the November 2017 issue below:
During the interview, Scholl said that his vision about transportation “it’s not about the airplane,” remarking that “50 years after Concorde, we need to be faster, not slower.”
“History shows that, when flights get faster, people travel more often,” he added.
Boom Supersonic suppliers are General Electric Co, Honeywell International Inc and Netherlands-based TenCate Advanced Composites. They’ve reportedly received 76 pre-orders from airlines, excluding the option of up to 20 aircraft from Japan Airlines.
The company is backed by venture capital firms such as 8VC, RRE, Lightbank, Y Combinator, and Caffeinated Capital, as well as angel investors including Sam Altman, Paul Graham, and Greg McAdoo.
However, the new aircraft program has yet to announce what kind of engine will power the supersonic airliner. Therefore, the timeline on this project may be nothing but a mere projection waiting for concrete decisions to take lead.