Supersonic Boom: New Passenger Plane to Fly Faster Than Concorde
Many businesspeople and aviation enthusiasts lamented the day that the Concorde was decommissioned, ending the dream of commercial supersonic flight. The Boom Supersonic Passenger Airplane is trying to rekindle that dream. Behind the plane is a talented team with experience at Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and NASA, and they're already hard at work in their Denver headquarters building the first prototype. Its first flight is scheduled for late next year, and with any luck we'll all have the ability to cruise at Mach 2.2 — that's 1,451 mph, fast enough to travel from New York to London in just 3.4 hours.
A new generation of supersonic jet is promising Concorde-style travel that "anyone can afford to fly".
Anyone who can afford $2,500 for a transatlantic flight, that is.
That's the estimated fare for a three-hour flight from London to New York on a Sir Richard Branson-backed prototype due to take off next year.
Traditional wisdom says supersonic flight is impractical because customers will not pay more for speed.The breakthrough Boom jet allows you to offer 2.6x quicker flights profitably at the same fares as business class.Or charge even a modest premium for supersonic and earn higher margins. Just as travelers value nonstop over connecting flights, many will gladly pay a premium to save time.
So how does Boom plan to do it?
And how will it avoid the pitfalls encountered by its glamorous, doomed predecessor Concorde?
Modern aerodynamics, carbon fiber composites, the latest engine technology and a smarter business strategy, it says.
To reduce weight, the plane will be made of a carbon-fiber composite instead of aluminum.Seats will be similar to standard domestic first-class -- so no fancy laydown beds or hefty fripperies.
There'll be just 45 of those seats too, making it a lot easier to fill than the 100-seater Concorde - a strategy, says Boom, that cost Concorde dear.
They'll be split into two single-seat rows, so everyone has an aisle seat AND a window seat - and no turf wars over armrest space.
Then there's the view from the windows: Boom plans to cut flight-time by flying at 60,000 feet, meaning passengers will be able to see the curvature of the Earth.