US Startup to Build Supersonic Passenger Jet

US Startup to Build Supersonic Passenger Jet

US Startup to Build Supersonic Passenger Jet

A strategic investment in USA -based Boom Supersonic sets the airline up for an opportunity to collaboratively design - and possibly purchase - Mach 2.2 aircraft.

The sum is going to Boom Supersonic, Japan Airlines said Tuesday, in hopes that the Denver-based upstart will successfully develop a plane that could cut flight times in half with cruising speeds of Mach 2.2 - more than 1,450 miles an hour.

Shaving off considerable travel time won't come cheap though.

A flight from San Francisco to Tokyo takes 11 hours - a Boom aircraft flying at Mach 2.2 could make the journey in half the time.

If successful, the aircraft could take passengers from London to NY in just over three hours and from Sydney to Los Angeles in under seven hours.

The US firm says seats from London to NY will cost $5,000 return.

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Entry into service for the aircraft, which could seat up to 55 passengers in a business class configuration, was forecast for the mid-2020s. For obvious reasons, many of its worldwide flights are long - Boom's jets could dramatically reduce that travel time for passengers willing to pay a premium. The move made by JAL shows that Japan Airlines is serious about pushing the limits of their carriers while also keeping up with their competition.

Virgin entered into a $2 billion partnership with Boom previous year, and at least five airlines have signed on to purchase a total of 76 supersonic jets.

JAL joins the Virgin Group as a confirmed partner of Boom. "JAL's passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations". "We're thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers", he added. Having airline stakeholders closely involved in the development of its aircraft and service plans will work in practice is a huge boon for Boom, which is a very small company with very ambitious goals.

Boom would be the first passenger jet since the retirement of the Concord in October 2003.

As part of the arrangement, JAL also now has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom Supersonic aircraft once they become commercially available.

A file image of Her Majesty The Queen arriving in Kuwait by Concorde in 1979.

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