Over the last century, there have been massive advancements in the way that people travel. Science and technology have allowed people to travel further faster, allowing people to access almost any location around the world. Improving transportation is an area that continues to interest scientists and engineers, and much of the focus is on speed. One company that is particularly interested in this field is Boom Supersonic, and this startup has received a huge investment to pursue their aim to completely transform the way people travel.
Boom Supersonic is a Colorado-based company that has been developing a commercial airliner since 2014. It will carry 45 passengers at Mach 2.2. To achieve this, the company has been seeking investment and the $56 million they have landed during a $100 million investment round now brings the total investment to date to $140 million.
Emerson Collective is the company responsible for the biggest investment of $56 million. This is a company that was founded in 2004 by Lauren Powell Jobs. Initially, the company focused on education, immigration reform, and social justice. However, they have now expanded their interests to other fields.
Representing Emmerson Collective, managing partner Andy Karsner spoke about the investment in Boom Supersonic. He said that the aviation company has the potential to accelerate many advances. These could include using greener fuels and lightweight carbon composites. This would reduce the impact of aviation on the climate.
Boom Supersonic are calling their new aircraft Overture. They are designing it as the next-generation in using sustainable fuel alternatives. According to representatives of Boom, even if they do use traditional fuels in their aircraft, it will have a lesser carbon footprint that subsonic aircraft when covering the same distance.
The fuel efficiency of the aircraft is a key element in Boom Supersonic’s plans for success. The ticket prices for the aircraft will be similar to those for an airliner seat in business class because their aircraft is fuel efficient. This is how the company believe that they can succeed where Concorde failed.
The supersonic airliner Concorde was forced to charge extortionately high ticket prices as a result of the huge fuel consumption for each flight. For a round trip from New York to London, passengers could expect to pay around $20,000. The prices were so high that passengers couldn’t afford to buy a ticker. Ultimately, this meant that Concorde was not a viable business because the high prices led to not enough passengers using the supersonic airliner. Concorde flew for the last time in 2003.
Boon Supersonic differs from Concorde because the ticket prices are so much less. Furthermore, their aircraft is significantly faster than Concorde. In fact, the aircraft can reach speeds of up to 1,451 miles per hour, which is approximately 2.6 times faster than any other airliner today. This means that Overture could fly from London to New York in around 3.5 hours and between Sydney and Los Angeles in under seven hours. Another advantage of the aircraft is that it is as quiet as a subsonic airliner during takeoffs and landings, say the engineers.
While some companies are worried about whether their product will sell when it is released, this is not a concern for Boom Supersonic as they have already received pre-orders of Overture worth millions. The aircraft is worth approximately $200 million and the combined pre-orders total 30 from Japan Airline and Virgin Group.
However, manufacturing this aircraft has not been without problems and there has been a delay in the launch. Initially, Boom Supersonic had expected their aircraft to make its first flight in 2020. They then extended their production timetable and completion of the project is later than expected. Now, they say it is likely to be in the mid-2020s before the aircraft is in passenger service.
The funding they have received recently is being used to complete building the XB-1. This is a manned prototype that is a one-third-scale of the aircraft. The company has nicknamed this prototype ‘Baby Boom’. Once this stage of development is complete, they are one step closer to launching their aircraft. According to the company, Overture is expected to make initial flights for testing later in 2019 with several more years of development before its passenger service launch.