It has been nearly 15 years since the Concorde Supersonic Jet flew its last transatlantic flight. While many people marked this last flight as an end of an era in air travel, even more were excited to think of what would come next. The anticipation is high for a new supersonic plane.
Now, after so many years, the wait may be over. Boom Supersonic, an aircraft production company, has announced that it will test its first supersonic jet by the end of 2018. If successful, the Boom XB-1 will be in full operation by 2025. Boom Supersonic has successfully designed a jet that not only travels at supersonic speeds, but is also very fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.
The Boom XB-1 already has airlines interested. At this time there are already 67 planes pre-ordered. Planes will go into production once safety tests have been passed. The manufacturer has not disclosed which airlines are interested in the new supersonic jet.
The new plane will exceed the speed of the Concorde by 100 miles per hour. Top speeds for this smaller and sleeker plane will top out at 1,687 miles per hour, over double that of the speed of sound. Boom Supersonic has even stated that the new design on the plane should eliminate the sonic boom associated with traveling this fast in a plane.
The new plane will hold 55 passengers and a crew. It will only be available to fly internationally because it is illegal to fly supersonic planes over the mainland of the United States. The plane could carry passengers from New York to London in less than 3 and one half hours.
Some industry experts believe that supersonic air travel would not be received well in the industry due to the cost. They believe that an average ticket would cost around $5,000 round trip. While this may seem expensive, a regular round trip in the Concorde in 1997 cost an average of $7,000 and there was never a shortage of passengers. Additionally, many people pay a much higher amount to fly First Class for international flights.
If the new Boom XB-1 passes all of its flight tests and makes it to the mainstream, international flights could change completely in the next decade. Flights both transatlantic and transpacific could be accomplished in record times and many people are sure to take advantage of these significantly reduced flight times.