Blake Scholl is the founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, a company working hard to revive the era of Concorde travel. His company wants to make supersonic air travel widely available and financially affordable. With a planned fleet of over 2,000 jets serving over a hundred destinations across the globe, traveling from one side of the world to the next could only take a matter of hours.
Whenever people hear about supersonic global travel, their mind automatically channel Concorde, which collapsed in 2003. However, technology has progressed a lot since then, making the concept of safe and affordable supersonic air travel a lot more realistic. Boom Supersonic is based out of Denver and hopes to start providing passenger flights by 2025. They have already created one prototype, a 55-seat jet capable of cruising speeds of close to 1,450 miles per hour, 100 miles per hour faster than the Concore.
At the moment, developers are working on improving the jet in ways that can keep costs down for passengers. Their goal is to ensure that “anybody who flies can fly fast,” according to Scholl. The goal is not to create something that can only be used by the ultra-rich, but has a wider, more practical reach.
2,000 Jets and 500 Destinations
The ultimate goal is to have a fleet of 2,000 supersonic jets stopping at over 500 destinations across the globe. While there are23,000 aircraft in service, only two models can be found with numbers higher than 2,000; the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. Each destination is to be carefully selected, making global travel quick and easy, with connections and layovers that make sense to buys travelers, instead of the seemingly random ones assigned by many of the major airlines today. Four carriers, including Virgin Atlantic and Japan Airlines, have already expressed interest in acquiring the first jets produced by Boom.
The Challenge is in Passing Regulations
At the moment, the biggest challenge facing Boom is having their jets pass environmental regulations relating to noise limits and fuel use. Whenever supersonic jets break the sound barrier, as these ones need to do to reach the high speeds required for supersonic travel, there is a loud “boom” sound. This sound is not only heard in the air by those in the jet itself but can shake buildings on the ground as well. Additionally, fuel use is also a concern, as these plans require a lot to maintain their rapid speeds. However, Boom is working on reducing the amount of fuel used to levels comparable with regular air travel.
The company expects to begin test flights by the end of 2019 in California. So far, the first prototype has already endured upwards of 1,000 wind tunnel tests, with the results being used to make various improvements.