It’s been 13 years since Concorde shut its doors and supersonic air travel came to a screeching halt. Now, thanks to the founder of Virgin, Sir Richard Branson, and Denver technology startup, Boom, we may be seeing a return of the futuristic planes that cut flight times in half.
Branson, having partnered with Boom's Blake Scholl, unveiled the prototype for the new supersonic jet with promises of ridiculous flight times and affordable tickets. By affordable, we're talking around $5,000 USD, so while it might not be affordable next to JetBlue economy, it is compared to some first-class seats. Plus, when you're flying from New York to London in three-and-a-half hours, you probably won't sweat a little extra cash.
Scholl hopes to begin test flights in Southern California, and plans to launch commercial flights in 2023. While other, much bigger and more established aerospace companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin are also developing supersonic jets, Scholl plans to beat them to it because unlike him, they're using new technology that will need to undergo regulator approval. Plus, the materials that Scholl is using are lighter and more affordable.
Boom’s planes will have 45 to 50 seats, and flights will initially focus on routes between London and NYC, San Francisco and Tokyo, and Los Angeles and Sydney. Scholl’s long-term goal with this project is to get travelers anywhere in the world in no more than five hours, for no more than $100. Now if we could just speed things up to 2023...