Boom Supersonic's Overture design
After a year on the ground and in the house, we’re all excited about getting back to the skies, but what if the plane trips of your future were sleeker, greener and so much faster than anything you’ve yet experienced?
Boom Supersonic is an aviation startup breathing new life into the supersonic jet dream. Founder and CEO Blake Scholl recently spoke to CNN Travel about Boom’s lofty goals of flying customers anywhere in the world in four hours or less at a price point of $100 per ticket.
“We see ourselves as picking up where Concorde left off, and fixing the most important things which are economic and environmental sustainability,” Scholl is quoted, referring to the defunct airline which flew customers across oceans in half the time of regular jets at a very exclusive cost.
There are a few companies charging into the supersonic space, but Boom is the first to unveil a demonstrator aircraft. The XB-1 is a stunning slice of futurism, and if things work according to plan, it’ll be flying by the end of this year.
Boom Supersonic XB-1
Still, the XB-1 is simply a jet pilot plane meant to test the durability, safety and efficiency of technologies and materials to fly you from New York to London in three hours and 15 minutes. For a commercial airliner, Boom turns to its next project.
The Overture is a Mach 2.2 aircraft Scholl wants to have in production by 2023 and in the air by 2026. It could fly customers at two-times the speed of today’s commercial airliners, crunching the 15-hour flight from L.A. to Sydney by nearly half.
Boom’s commitment to carbon-neutral technology is as impressive as its flight time goals. Scholl praises innovations that have made jet engines quieter and more fuel efficient, which also makes their construction more cost effective and more adaptable to alternative fuel sources.
"What you're basically doing is sucking carbon out of the atmosphere, liquefying it into the jet fuel, then you put that in the airplane," Scholl is quoted. "So when it goes out the back of the airplane. You're just moving carbon around in a circle."
Such great speeds require sleek design, and that means seating for about 65 to 88 people. We can all celebrate the loss of middle seats, and the design images promise a high-end interior to match the jet’s sci-fi look.
Is a supersonic future truly possible so soon, or is Boom Supersonic’s head in the clouds?
Professor Sean O’Keefe and former chairman of the Airbus and secretary of the U.S. Navy tells CNN that it’s “an audacious goal.”
"It's going to require two or three generations of technology, development and breakthrough,” O’Keefe is quoted, “which equates to about 20 years."
Still, Boom Supersonic received a big injection of cash from American Express Ventures, and Scholl claims to have received $6 billion in Overture pre-orders. He also recently spoke to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Aviation. Dare to dream?
Read more about Boom Supersonic’s game-changing work in the aviation industry via CNN Travel.