LONDON — US manufacturing company Boom says that they plan to make supersonic travel available for all.
Boom has unveiled its vision for the future for 2,000 supersonic jets that will connect hundreds of cities around the world.
By increasing supersonic travel’s availability to everyone, Boom believes that the project’s viability will grow through time.
According to the manufacturer, the lack of availability to the masses was one of the reasons why Concorde was so hard to maintain, with prohibitive ticket prices and only a few airlines operating the type.
Dropping Transatlantic Travel Time
“This is not a private jet for the ultra-wealthy,” stresses Boom.
But the manufacturer’s plan might contradict this statement.
Current flight times for New York to London is at around seven hours on conventional commercial airplanes with an average cost of up to $1,000 in Economy Class.
The new Boom supersonic jets are expected to cut that flight time down to just three hours with tickets costing passengers around $6,000 for a round-trip flight.
Blake Scholl, the CEO of Boom, admitted to the BBC that his planes will still be “expensive relative to the economy – but if you can afford to fly premium, you can afford to get there in half the time.”
Despite this current price margin in 2016, Scholl did say supersonic air travel would no longer be a “bucket-list purchase” and that “step-by-step it will become available for everyone.”
The developed prototypes for this new aircraft can currently seat 55 passengers and have a cruising speed of 1,451mph—which is 100mph faster than Concorde.
Boom claims that the increased speed is possible through advances in technology.
Scholl said that “supersonic jets don’t need to be louder than other jets; Concorde was 1960s technology.”
“Concorde was a gas guzzler. Since then there has been huge progress in engine design and materials,” he explained.
Boom Growing Big
Back in 2016, Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson admitted that he was excited about the ability to back the Boom project. “I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights,” he said.
But in the competition to bring back to life commercial supersonic travel, Boom is not alone.
Boeing unveiled the rendering of a hypersonic jet that will drop traveling times from New York to London to under just one hour of flight. Even though this new idea is just a concept, Boeing showed what it would look like at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Atlanta.
The world’s biggest planemaker released a statement unveiling some of the project’s specifics:
Boeing made public its interest in a concept—propelling aircraft at speeds exceeding Mach 5, or 3,334 knots, cutting flight times between North America and Europe to about an hour—that has proved to be a bigger challenge in many respects than breaking the sound barrier when Chuck Yeager flew the Bell X-1 past the speed of sound in 1947.
However, unlike Boom, Boeing’s hypersonic jet might be decades away from becoming a reality.
There will be some challenges ahead for both Boom and Boeing before they can continue moving forward with these supersonic plans. Not only must they find a way for the plane to be cost effective to run, but it must be able to carry enough passengers for airlines to not have to charge the high Concorde prices we all remember.