Virgin Prepares Test For Jet that Flies New York to London in 3 Hours
Richard Branson, in conjunction with startup company Boom, plan on testing the XB-1 supersonic jet later this year, according to a report in the Independent.
The aircraft is said to be the fastest airliner ever made and is expected to fly from New York to London in three hours and fifteen minutes, a trip that takes about double that time on current aircraft in the market. The aircraft, whose nickname is “Baby Boom” is pretty neat and looks pretty impressive. So how fast is this aircraft? Well, it’s about 10% faster than the Concorde and will travel at Mach 2.2 or 1,451 miles per hour. Just to give a point of reference, a Boeing 777 usually flies Mach 0.8 to 0.9.
The company claims that the travel will be worth it because the cost is similar to a business class fare from New York to London on a standard commercial jet. Boom claims that cost will be $2,500 each way, for a total of $5,000, which they claim is a good deal since you can leave in the morning and be in London in time for dinner. The seats are also nicer than in a commercial aircraft. Although, the current design of the supersonic commercial aircraft only holds 45 passengers, compared to the 350 passengers that can fly on a Boeing 777.
I say all this with the bottom line that we’ll have to be patient before we may actually see this take to the air for its first commercial flight. Although the test flight is set for this year, Virgin does not expect that it will fly the aircraft commercially until 2023, exactly 20 years after the Concorde took flight.
Boom is also in a position where it is trying to compete with Boeing and Lockheed, who are also working on creating a commercial aircraft that can travel at supersonic speeds.
Will there be a resurgence of the supersonic commercial airline era? We shall see!