An executive at a company developing the next generation of SST airliners says more orders are coming in, and sees 500 global routes where the service could work.
Colorado-based Boom, which is developing a 45-seat supersonic passenger plane, already has a commitment from Virgin Group chief Sir Richard Branson for 10 aircraft, and last fall Virgin agreed to work with the manufacturer on technical aspects and flight testing of the plane.
And now an “unnamed European carrier” has optioned 15 aircraft from the manufacturer, Boom CEO Blake Scholl said in an interview with Routesonline.com.
Scholl said the initial interest in the new aircraft is likely to keep building among international carriers. He cited a recent independent analysis by The Boyd Group that projects a global demand for more than 1,300 passenger SSTs from 2023 to 2032.
He also said that more than 500 routes worldwide have the traffic potential to support faster-than-sound air travel and the time savings it brings.
The prototype of Boom’s XB-1, a smaller aircraft designed to test the company’s technology, is expected to make its first flight later this year.
The difference between Boom and the discontinued Concorde technology, he said, is that the new plane’s fuel economy is substantially better – allowing it to operate profitably at much lower fares. Boom is projecting a business class type of experience, both in the cabin and the fares that will be possible.
As for the time savings, he noted that Boom’s projected airspeed is 10 percent faster than Concorde’s Mach 2.0, making it possible to fly from San Francisco to Tokyo in 5.5 hours instead of 11, or from Los Angeles to Sydney in 6 hours and 45 minutes instead of 15 hours.
Readers: How much of a premium over business class fares would you be willing to pay for a supersonic flight that cuts your travel time in half or better?