Boom Supersonic planes to launch test flight this year

Boom Supersonic planes to launch test flight this year, with a plane that'll fly at 2,716km/h.
Photo credit: boomsupersonic.com

A new, Richard Branson-backed supersonic passenger plane is set to make its first test flight this year.

Boom Supersonic's jets promise a speed of 2716km/h - more than 500km/h faster than the retired Concorde.

At that speed - not including take-off and landing times - flights out of Auckland would reach Wellington in 14 minutes, Sydney in 48 minutes, Los Angeles in just under four hours and London, non-stop, in six hours and 45 minutes.

Boom CEO Blake Scholl this week announced a "milestone" engine delivery for its two-seater XB-1 model.

If Boom's full-size, 55-seat plane is approved, the first passengers could be travelling at supersonic speeds around the world by 2023.

They would be the first commercial travellers to use supersonic air transport since the Concorde ceased operating in 2003.

Boom's aircraft will not only fly faster than Concorde, but tickets are expected to cost 75 percent cheaper, thanks to better fuel efficiency. But it'll still cost more than flying economy.

"Our 55-seat airliner cruises at Mach 2.2 - you'll arrive in half the time for about the same fare as today's business class," says the company's website.

Boom has confirmed that Virgin Galactic and Japan Airlines will operate the aircraft, with Japan Airlines investing US$10 million in December 2017.

Five airlines are said to be interested in purchasing 76 of Boom's 55-seater models, but they have not been named.

Newshub.