New supersonic jet faster than Concorde unveiled

Nicknamed ‘Baby Boom’, the new aircraft can fly between London and New York in just over three hours

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Wednesday 16 November 2016 11:13
Comments
New aircraft will go from London to New York in 3.5 hours

Sir Richard Branson has unveiled the prototype for a new supersonic aircraft that promises to halve air travel times and send passengers between London and New York in three hours and 15 minutes.

The XB-1 has been nicknamed “Baby Boom” and is claimed to be the world’s fastest civil aircraft ever made and promises to give passengers “affordable” supersonic travel. While the first commercial flight is not expected until 2023, the price of a flight between London and New York is currently set at £2,500 each way.

The new aircraft has a cruising speed of Mach 2.2 or 1,451mph, which is 10 per cent faster than Concorde’s speed of Mach 2 (the speed of sound is measured as Mach 1) and 2.6 times faster than other airliners. The new planes are set to carry 40 passengers at a time.

“I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights,” the Virgin founder said. “As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic’s decision to work with Boom was an easy one. We’re excited to have an option on Boom’s first 10 airframes.”

Despite other aerospace companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin developing their own supersonic spacecraft, Virgin and Boom are hoping to beat the competition to market as the aircraft uses existing technology that has already been approved by regulators.

The planned interior of a Boom supersonic plane

Boom’s development of the new aircraft has been done in partnership with Sir Richard’s Spaceship Company, which is attached to Virgin Galactic. The company will provide engineering and manufacturing services to Boom, in addition to test flight support and operations, and Sir Richard has signed an option to buy the first 10 airframes.

Ahead of the unveiling, Blake Scholl, CEO and founder of start-up Boom, said: "60 years after the dawn of the jet age, we're still flying at 1960s speeds.

"Concorde's designers didn't have the technology for affordable supersonic travel, but now we do,” he said, adding that the company is looking forward to the first Boom flight late next year.

The new first-class air travel for the super (super) rich - Windspeed Technologies

The subsonic test flight of the XB-1 will take place east of Denver, Colorado, while the supersonic test flights will take place near Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in