Boom and Branson Unveil Prototype for New Supersonic Passenger Aircraft

By Jesse Sokolow on 15 November 2016
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Boom Technology, a startup company with the goal of designing supersonic passenger aircraft, unveiled its XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator on Tuesday in partnership with Sir Richard Branson.

The move could herald a new era of supersonic flight, with the promise of 3.5-hour flights from New York to London. Virgin Galactic, Branson’s company, will be the launch customer with options on the first ten airplanes.

The aircraft is a subscale prototype of the Boom supersonic passenger airliner and the world’s fastest civil aircraft ever built, able to reach cruising speeds of 1,451 mph (2,335 km/h), 10% faster than Concorde, and 2.6 times faster than other commercial aircraft.

“Sixty years after the dawn of the jet age, we’re still flying at 1960s speeds,” said Blake Scholl, founder of Boom.

Virgin Galactic’s the Spaceship Company is working with Boom to conduct test flights and the company will provide Boom with engineering and manufacturing support.

The first flight of the Boom XB-1 is planned for late 2017, with subsonic tests conducted near Denver, and supersonic test flights set to take place in Southern California.

Seats are in a 1-1 layout, each offering its own window, personal overhead bin, and direct aisle access. The plane can seat up to 45 passengers, or 55 in high-density configurations. It provides two lavatories.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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