Can Boom deliver affordable supersonic travel?

Supersonic travel is nothing new. It’s just been grounded on the commercial level since 2003. Boom Technology hopes to bring commercial supersonic travel back with a 40-seater jet that flies at Mach 2.2 (1,675 mph/2,700 kmh). Helmed by Blake Scholl, the team of aerospace engineers plan to test a prototype by the end of next year. They hope commercial flights will start a few years after that. Aside from going crazy fast, Boom expects those hot seats to sell at pricing that’s comparable to business class. A return ticket from London, for instance, will run US $5,000.

can boom deliver affordable supersonic

Artist rendering of the high-performance flight with Boom. The Colorado-based company is partnering with Virgin Brands to offer more affordable transatlantic supersonic travel.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is jumping on board, too. The megabrand recently announced a partnership with the Colorado-based Boom to test and improve transatlantic supersonic flight. Virgin has inked an option to purchase 10 of these planes that can make their way from New York to London in 3.5 hours.

For 27 years, the Concorde helped jet setters avoid jet lag between NY and Paris, London, Washington D.C. and Barbados. At Mach 2.0, each seat was U.S. $20,000. Bottom line, most people couldn’t afford to fly the Concorde.

Artist concept of a Boom supersonic jet at London's Heathrow Airport.

Artist concept of a Boom supersonic jet at London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways and AirFrance retired the small fleets due to a trifecta of issues: there was an extreme downturn after one of the jets crashed in 2000, the terrorist attacks on the U.S. in 2001 compounded those issues and finally, Airbus ceased maintenance support.

At that point, aviation went backwards. Nasa, Lockheed Martin and even Airbus are developing new technologies for their supersonic projects, Boom aims to get to market first since their design is working with existing tech that doesn’t have to go through regulations. Now, its a race toward the future of high performance flight.