Richard Branson’s New Supersonic Jet Will Fly Twice the Speed of Sound

Virgin-backed Boom startup could cut London to New York flight to 3.5 hours.

May 14, 2017 5:00 am

A transportation startup funded by Richard Branson wants to bring supersonic jets back to the skies by 2020.

Boom, which just received $33 million in funding, wants to build an aircraft that could travel at Mach 2.2 (or 1,451 miles per hour)—about 2.6 times faster than any commercial aircraft. At that speed, traveling from London to New York would take about three-and-a-half hours.

Travel and Leisure reports the plane will have a 1:1 seating configuration, so passengers don’t have to choose between a window or aisle seat—they get both. Boom plans to avoid turbulence by flying at 60,000 feet, offering an “edge-of-space” horizon view. For flights longer than six hours, the planes will have lie-flat suites.

Of course, Boom is following in the footsteps of the Concorde. When that supersonic jet airline shuttered in 2003, Virgin founder Richard Branson made an offer for the entire fleet.

Nothing came of the Concorde offer, but Branson now has his chance to work with supersonic jets with Boom. The first 10 airframes of the company’s plane the XB-1 will be built by Virgin Galactic, according to a press release.


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