A new supersonic passenger jet prototype will be test flown next year. The US company Boom Technology is developing a supersonic plane with capacity for 40 passengers to be able to cruise at almost 1700 mph (2700 kmh), which is ten percent faster than the Concorde that was decommissioned in 2003. In theory the flight across the Atlantic should take less than 4 hours.
The price of a return ticket across the pond will be a quarter of the price compared to the Concorde, writes Bloomberg. According to Boom Technology it is the technical progress in the last ten years that makes it possible to once again start designing and building commercial supersonic jets.
The progress in technological development includes areas such as aerodynamics, computers, composite materials and new engine technologies. In addition, wind tunnels and new software has developed in a way that makes it possible to develop a new plane much faster than compared to when the Concorde took shape during the 1960s.
Boom made public that, Virgin and Virgin Galactic signed a letter of intent to buy 10 jets —if they are developed. Also, “Virgin Galactic’s space division, The Spaceship Company, has committed to helping build and test the planes, including helping with the supersonic flight testing when the time comes.”
Boom Technology published the news just a few weeks after NASA announced its own early plans for a quieter and more economical supersonic commercial passenger jet. A Lockheed Martin-led consortium was awarded a $20 million contract for the preliminary design of a “’low boom’ flight prototype aircraft.”
The aim of Boom Technology is to have a prototype in scale 1: 3 ready for test flight by the end of 2017, writes Bloomberg.