Virgin, Boom Partner To Build Supersonic Airliner
A supersonic passenger jet inspired by the Concorde is under development in Colorado as a partnership between startup firm Boom and Virgin Galactic's manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company. Boom, founded by former Amazon executive and pilot Blake Scholl, wants to build a jet that can make a 3.4-hour round-trip flight from New York to London for $5,000 per passenger. The company's website promotes "supersonic speed -- business class price" and flights at Mach 2.2, faster than the Concorde and 2.6 times the speed of airliners.
Bloomberg's article this week on the project notes that the new jet would improve on ticket prices and other problems that saddled the Concorde program, which was retired in 2003. Boom's composite-built aircraft would be quieter and more efficient, and carry up to 40 passengers who would all enjoy window seats right next to the aisle – unlike the Concorde, which paired cabin seats along its single aisle and could carry around 100 passengers. However, the startup – backed by venture capital – has raised just over $2 million and would need many times that to certify its design, according to Bloomberg, which quoted an industry consultant who called the concept "intriguing" but questioned the viability of Scholl's plans. Under Boom's manufacturing deal, Virgin has the option for the first 10 jets, and an unnamed European airline intends to buy up to 15 of them, according to a Fortune report. Boom estimates it can get a one-third scale test aircraft in the air in 2017, Fortune reported.