U.S. company Boom is developing a supersonic airliner that will fly 2.6 times faster than any other aircraft on the market today. Matthew Stock reports.
Dreams of supersonic passenger flights diminished after Concorde's demise in 2003. But 50 years after her maiden flight, a viable successor to Concorde could become a reality. This is the vision of Boom Supersonic - a passenger jet that can accelerate up to 1,451 miles per hour. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLAKE SCHOLL, FOUNDER AND CEO OF BOOM SUPERSONIC, SAYING: "What we're doing at Boom is building a new generation of supersonic airplane; think Concorde but dramatically more affordable and actually a little bit faster too, like New York to London in three-hours fifteen minutes." Speaking at the Paris Air Show, the U.S. start up raised more than 40 million dollars to finance a prototype, the XB-1 - nicknamed Baby Boom. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLAKE SCHOLL, FOUNDER AND CEO OF BOOM SUPERSONIC, SAYING: "That's our one-third scale prototype for the production passenger airliner. It's going to fly Mach 2.2, so that's ten percent faster than Concorde or 1,451 miles per hour. We're starting assembly of that airplane later this year and it's going to take flight towards the end of next year." It features advanced aerodynamics, light-weight materials that can withstand supersonic flight, and an ultra-efficient propulsion system. Boom has just 35 staff members at present, but says companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX proves new companies can compete with the likes of Boeing and Airbus. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLAKE SCHOLL, FOUNDER AND CEO OF BOOM SUPERSONIC, SAYING: "There's been a lot of inspiration from what come in rockets where you had an upstart in Space-X that did some things that the big players couldn't do for costs less then what they could do for regular rockets. And I think it's time for a new player like that in the airplane space, something that will produce a better aircraft, more efficiently than big players can make it." Boom concedes that building the full sized passenger jet needs massive investment. The XB-1 is scheduled to make its maiden flight in late 2018. If all goes according to plan, they hope investors will rush to get on board.