Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has joined hands with an aircraft production setup, Boom to create the world’s first ever supersonic passenger airline prototype called the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator.
The demonstrator uses General Electric made engines, avionics technologies from Honeywell, carbon fiber supply from Tencate and all of its composite structures by Blue Force.
He has been trying to create an affordable supersonic flight solution since 2003 when his turbojet-powered Concorde had to be retired. Branson released a press statement,
“I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights. As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic’s decision to work with Boom was an easy one. We’re excited to have an option on Boom’s first 10 airframes. Through Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, we will provide engineering and manufacturing services, along with flight test support and operations as part of our shared ambitions.”
The partner companies claim that the aircraft can travel between New York and London in just 3.5 hours at a price of $5,000. This means that XB1 would be about 2.6 times faster than any other jetliners. And unlike the Concorde, it is highly fuel efficient since it requires no afterburners.
Mike Boyd, CEO of Boyd Group International, remarked about this innovation,
“Travellers are hungry for faster flights and airlines will be excited for a differentiated and profitable option for their premium travellers.”
The aircraft is designed to host around 45 to 55 passengers, and a broad aisle will be encompassed by the spacious seating entailing a personal window and overhead bin.
Branson nicknamed the XB 1 “Baby Boom,”, and Blake Scholl, chief executive officer and founder of Boom, said,
“60 years after the dawn of the jet age, we’re still flying at 1960s speeds. Concorde’s designers didn’t have the technology for affordable supersonic travel, but now we do. Today, we’re proud to unveil our first aircraft as we look forward to first flight late next year.”
The first XB-1 flight is planned to take off in 2017. Would you consider flying on the supersonic flight for your travels? Comment below!