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The most celebrated aircraft to carry commuters at supersonic speeds was the Concorde. The fastest speed that the Concorde have traveled was over twice the speed of the sound. It can travel from London, England to New York in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. A regular aircraft will take twice the amount of time; however, the Concorde stopped operating in 2003. Could it be possible that a plane with speed like Concorde could fly again?
The founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson is collaborating with aerospace startup Boom in creating a new fleet of supersonic commercial airplanes that is capable of flying at a speed of over twice the speed of sound. The startup believed that their plane could fly from New York to London in under 3 hours and 30 minutes, with tickets pricing at an “affordable” $5,000 per seat – the price is the same with business class.
According to the spokes person of the Virgin Group, Virgin Group will at first aid Boom with research and development. The spokesperson said that The Spaceship Company, which is the spacecraft manufacturing company of Branson, will be providing the engineering, design, flight tests, operations and manufacturing services to Boom. If production goes smoothly, Virgin has the option to purchase the first tenaircraft. The spokesperson also added that Richard Bronson has long been interested in building a high-speed flight and creating high-speed flight R&D thru Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, which is their manufacturing organization.
Boom’s aircraft will have 40 seats, divided into two aisles with one seat per row. The aircraft can travel at Mach 2.2 or 1,451 mph, which is over twice as fast compared to modern commercial planes. The airplane will fly at altitudes of 60,000 feet which is 20,000 feet higher compared to the cruising altitude of average commercial planes. Boom is hoping to test its first aircraft by the end of next year.
If ever Boom can do it, its aircraft could be the first commercial jet to go into service after the closing of Concorde in 2003. The Concorde has 100 seats; however, a one-way ticket was priced at $10,000. Blake Scholl, the founder of Boom, said that his jetswould be a more realistic choice for commuters. He even proposed that customers can commute every day cross-country or thru the Atlantic.
According to The Guardian, as cutting-edge as this may sound, Boom still is far away. The company hasn’t got the prototype yet, and they need more funding to meet thetesting timeline. However, Scholl said that there are a number of investors lining up, and a big European airline company has presented a letter of intent to purchase 3 billion-worth of the final supersonic airplanes.
Boom isn’t the sole company that’s planning to bring back the supersonic jets to the commercial world. Another company called the Concorde Club says it has the money to reinstate a Concorde jet to be used in air shows and possibly for private chartered flights, with plans to continue flights by 2019. Airbus has already filed a patent for their own supersonic jet that according to them can travel four times the speed of sound. And Spike Aerospace, a Boston-based group is planning to create an $80-million supersonic jet full of video displays instead of airplane windows.