Fly supersonic at 5 times the speed of sound, pay business class
You will soon be able to fly from New York to London in just three hours, instead of eight, give or take.
This is what Co-Founder of Boom Supersonic, Blake Scholl, promises.
“The next generation of supersonic commercial aircraft could take to the skies in a little over five years,” he said at the Dubai Air Show.
The US-headquartered company is seeking to develop a replacement for Concorde and hopes to begin aircraft testing in 2018, with a view to accepting passengers onboard in its 55-passenger supersonic jet in 2023.
Virgin Group owner Richard Branson, will also partner with Boom to make this project come to life.
Cost with Concorde was part of why that airline folded, so will this new venture make it affordable for passengers?
The supersonic market
Scholl explained, in a recent interview, that there were approximately 500 routes on the planet that have enough traffic today to support regular supersonic services.
He said that Concorde, for instance, had 100 seats and expensive ticket prices and worked on one route.
“But if you get the operating costs down by 75 percent on a per seat basis, then even more on a per trip basis, because the vehicle is smaller, it can work on a whole bunch of routes,” he said.
“It’s not just New York to London. It’s Seattle to Shanghai, and L.A. to Sydney. Tokyo to Perth,” he added.
Branson said this was going to be the first supersonic jet and people could afford its flight.
“This isn’t science fiction […]. You will be able to fly New York to London in three-and-a-half hours for $5,000 return, [which is roughly] the same as [the cost] of business class,” he told The Guardian.
The Guardian also quoted Scholl as saying that “Concorde was just too expensive to fly, and to fill 100 seats at $20,000 each.”
“You have to bring the ticket price down, and make the airplane in the right size so you can fill the seats,” he added.
Sonic boom size
Boom’s plane will have 40 seats in two rows either side of the aisle, so every passenger will get a direct view of the curvature of the Earth as the plane cruises at 60,000ft.
“We are offering a service that’s way faster, but for the cost of business,” Scholl said.
“There is a huge market out there, more than 20 million a year fly business class internationally. We can take them to Mach 2.2 (1,451mph, and faster than Concorde which flew at a top speed of Mach 2.04) and save them half their journey time,” said Scholl.
According to a statement released by the Dubai Air Show, Boom announced that it was looking for a manufacturing site, after raising the $33 million needed to build a small-scale test plane.
It has 76 jets on pre-order with five airlines and has had talks with 20 airlines over future purchase deals.
Since there’s a good market for supersonic jets, why did Concorde fail?
Here’s why Concorde failed
The Sun, a British newspaper, reveals that Air France and British Airways retired their fleets of Concorde aircraft on April 10 2003, due low passenger numbers and rising maintenance.
Air France made its final flight on June 27, 2003. British Airways retired its fleet on October 24, 2003, after a farewell tour.
It said that passenger numbers hit rock bottom, after a Concorde aircraft crashed minutes after taking off from a Paris airport in July 2000.
All 109 people on board and four on the ground were killed after the plane ran over a piece of titanium during takeoff.
According to Interesting Engineering, a platform dedicated to the latest technology trends, Concorde could barely fly from the UK to US East Coast and lacked the range to make it to the US West Coast. The aircraft had a total passenger capacity of 100, but consumed the same amount of fuel as a Boeing 747. Concorde was also incredibly noisy.