Currently, there are more than 3 million people flying commercially every day. However, if Sir Richard Branson gets his way, that number may increase.
Branson recently announced that he’s backing the American aviation startup Boom Technology. He hopes to pioneer the first supersonic jet available for public use since the Concorde, which was retired by British Airways back in 2003. Ever since, Branson has been trying to develop a way to get passengers to fly at supersonic speeds.
Boom Technology’s supersonic jet, XB-1 demonstrator, looks similar to a typical two-seater passenger jet. But, it promises three and a half hour flights between London and New York City, a trip that would typically take around six to seven hours.
How much would it cost? According to Branson, an affordable $5,000 for a round trip ticket.
Branson believes new developments in technology and cheaper material costs will be beneficial and credits Concorde’s failure to high fabrication costs.
The model, dubbed the Baby Boom, is described on Boom Technology’s website as “the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet and the fastest civil aircraft ever made
.” It is expected to make its first passenger flight around this time next year.
Boom Technology also released more exciting details about the development of their full-size passenger plane. It will be ready by 2020 and will be able to seat up to 55 passengers. Each seat will be equipped with its own personal window, overhead baggage storage, and aisle access.
The plane will be manufactured in part by Virgin Galactic, leading avionics maker Honeywell, and engine manufacturer General Electric.
The plane’s creators hope that they will be able to entice passengers to choose their fleet simply for the convenience and that they’ll be willing to pay a premium price for a faster speed. They predict their planes will be able to travel 2.6 times faster than traditional commercial airplanes.