Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic have unveiled the prototype for a new supersonic aircraft that promises to halve air travel times. Branson is partnering with a Denver-based aerospace start-up Boom, whose CEO, Blake Scholl, is announcing “by 2023 we will have ushered in a brand-new, high-speed Jet Age in which supersonic planes will transport travelers from New York to London in three hours and 15 minutes flat.”
“People are going to start to commute across the Atlantic,” says Scholl. “The first flight of the day from New York lands in London in time for you to get an afternoon set of meetings done, go out to dinner and be home to tuck your kids into bed. It gives you a whole day off a typical itinerary. That’s one less night in a hotel.”
Boom has unveiled a design for a 40-seat jet that can fly at Mach 2.2, which means a London to New York flight would take 3 hours and 24 minutes at 60,000 ft. The Concorde-like aircraft would travel outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and enter orbit, using gravitational forces to travel at incredibly fast speeds. At that height, each of the 40 passengers, paying an “affordable” $5,000 ticket price, would be able to view the curvature of the earth from window seats split either side of the aisle.
Where would you fly first?