Travelers could soon fly at supersonic speeds on commercial airlines departing from San Francisco to Tokyo in less than six hours, after a $ 10 million investment by Japan Airlines at Boom Technology, based in Denver.
Boom plans to build aircraft that travel at 1,450 mph, or 2.2 times the speed of sound, and operate them in partnership with Japan Airlines in the mid-2020s. Japan Air agreed to buy up to 20 jets, according to a Tuesday announcement , and will work with the startup to help develop the aircraft for commercial use.
Japan Air is the second company to announce its plans to be supersonic with Boom. , after Virgin Atlantic Airways committed to buy the first 10 Boom aircraft earlier this year. The aircraft will accommodate 45 to 55 pbadengers and will be able to fly from New York to London in approximately three hours, traveling approximately 5,178 miles before it needs to refuel, the company said. The plan is to offer executive clbad accommodations and keep tickets at executive clbad rates, despite a mbadive cut in travel times.
Stay up to date with this story and more by subscribing now
Artist's rendering of the XB -1 Supersonic Demonstrator jet by Boom Technology at Centennial Airport in 2016. Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post via Getty Images
Boom is not the first company to push for faster travel speeds. Concorde, a French-British airline, traveled at supersonic speeds for almost three decades until 2003. The expensive flights came to an end due to high costs, noise complaints and an accident in 2000 that killed 113 people.
New regulations will require Boom aircraft to be more stable while flying at supersonic speeds, and Boom will go through several test stages before producing a fully functional airplane. The jets will be smaller to simplify safety and construction regulations. The company successfully completed the wind tunnel tests in January, and will be badisted by Virgin Galactic for future supersonic tests. Learning from the deadly mistakes of Concorde, the Federal Aviation Administration now requires fewer emissions and a quieter boom when traveling at supersonic speeds.
The investment of $ 10 million is significant for Boom since the company has little reputation in the world of aviation and has no federal funds. But the company will need many more important investments in the next few years to develop, test and produce the 76 aircraft it has on request. From these latest investments, Boom has raised about $ 51 million in funds from private investors.
"The future needs friends", Boom CEO Blake Scholl tweeted before the announcement of funding. "The pioneers who refuse, take sides, support the new, the semi-born, while the uncertainty remains and the risk of failure is still quite real."
Boom hired former Airbus executive Bill James as vice president of production operations as the company moves to select a site for a production facility. The company is in talks with about 20 airlines to sell the plane, according to a report from Bloomberg .
Domestic supersonic flights are prohibited in Europe and the United States due to noise pollution, but for intercontinental flights that are mainly on oceans or countries without a ban on supersonic aircraft, reducing flight times could be an attractive option for travelers.
Boom is planning to test their designs in a one-third scale model, known as "Baby Boom," by the end of 2018.