The Boom Suepersonic XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator is their first step toward routine supersonic flight. “Baby Boom,” as we like to call her, is the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet and the fastest civil aircraft ever made. XB-1 will flight prove the key technologies for practical supersonic flight.
They will unveil the XB-1 design on November 15. First flight is planned for late 2017.
The company participated in a Y Combinator startup incubation program in early 2016, and has been funded by Y Combinator, Sam Altman, Seraph Group, Eight Partners, and others. Richard Branson confirmed options for 10 aircraft for Virgin Atlantic; in addition, Virgin Galactic’s subsidiary, The Spaceship Company, will play a role in manufacturing and testing. Boom also says they have options for an additional 15 aircraft to a European carrier that it declined to name, bringing the total value of options to $5 billion
The XB-1 will be a one third scale demonstrator.
The breakthrough Boom jet allows airlines to offer 2.6x quicker flights profitably at the same fares as business class.
Or charge even a modest premium for supersonic and earn higher margins. Just as travelers value nonstop over connecting flights, many will gladly pay a premium to save time.
The Boom jet can also be configured as an ultra VIP personal or business aircraft.
Boo will pursue rigorous safety-testing and FAA certification of their passenger airliner. They will pursue it as quickly as possible, while not skipping any steps. They look forward to the first record-setting passenger flights in the early 2020s.
The viability of supersonic flight depends entirely on the ability to reduce operating costs sufficiently to allow a viable business model. I.e., it must be possible to achieve good load factors and strong margins, at fares passengers will pay.
Surprisingly, this requires just a 30% efficiency improvement over Concorde’s 50 year-old airframe and engines. The fundamental technologies required for this exist today and have recently been accepted by regulators (such as composite structure).
With 45 seats, the Boom aircraft can achieve load factors similar to or better than premium cabins in subsonic widebodies.
Boom’s total operating cost per-seat mile will be comparable to subsonic business class.
A major problem with Concorde is that it had more seats than could be filled at the required prices. The Boom aircraft has 45 seats, similar to the premium cabin in a typical widebody aircraft. If you can fly a widebody aircraft with good load factor, you can also fly a Boom aircraft with the same schedule with good load factors.
The actual sales price of the aircraft is $200M, plus options and interior, in 2016 dollars. On an available premium-seat-mile basis, the Boom jet is meaningfully less expensive than subsonic wide body aircraft.
SOURCES- Boom Supersonic