We Might Get Another Chance To Travel Supersonic

Concorde, the icon of aero transport and one of the best-known passenger plane models in history could possibly get a successor. A new startup is trying to construct a passenger plane capable of achieving supersonic speeds. To be more accurate, their plans are to make a plane capable of achieving speed around 2.2x faster than the speed of sound (Concorde achieved max speed of 2.04x the speed of sound). Transferring   that info in a real-life example, you’ll travel from London to New York in around 3.5 hours. It seems that the wait is finally over and that the sky will again be home for high-speed birds that can travel over Atlantic in under 4 hours.

The people behind this vision are part of a new startup called Boom. Yeah, their name clearly hints at what they might be doing. In addition to constructing the fastest passenger aircraft of the 21st century, they also promise that safety levels will be much, much higher that what the case was with Concorde, the main reason for its retirement (that and the fact that most planes were pretty old, Concorde had its first test flight in 1969, and was introduced commercially in 1976).


Of course, being a relatively new startup means that they are still in very early phase of development. The first prototype is in the works, and test flights should start at the end of the next year. It all seems vague and not very convincing at the first sight. Concorde program was one of the most expensive ventures in the history of commercial aviation with cost being around £1.3 billion pounds. Price per unit wasn’t much different; the price for one plane was whooping £23 million (that’s around $46 million), and that was back in 1977. Today, the price would probably be double or even triple the amount from 1977. So, how Boom plans to actually build a working, safe, supersonic passenger aircraft?

Well, Boom is founded by 11 people, all of them experts in what they do. Some of the projects they have worked on include constructing the engines of fighter planes, working on Virgin’s Spaceship Two; some of them worked for NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. So, the experience and knowledge are there, now they just need enough funds to make their dream reality. After being funded by many angels, some among being Y Combinator, Seraph Group, and a couple of others, Boom now got a huge financial injection from Virgin in the form of a deal that will bring the company more than $2 billion, with Virgin getting 10 planes, if and when all R&D finished and company reaches the serial production level. On top of that, The Spaceship Company owned by Virgin will provide assistance with designing, engineering and manufacturing the planes and will also provide assistance when first test flights occur.

Boom is one crazy start-up. They actually want to build a fully functional, high-safety supersonic passenger aircraft, and if they succeed that would be a great accomplishment and could ultimately lead for more crazy-at-first-look start-ups that could bring some other crazy but genius ideas to life. We hope that they’ll ultimately succeed at what they’re doing, giving the world another supersonic passenger aircraft, the first one after more than forty years.

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