Virgin Galactic Joins Contenders for Supersonic Passenger Jets

Virgin Galactic has released first-stage designs of mach 3 passenger jet that would hold 19 passengers and fly at an altitude above 60,000 feet. British engine maker Rolls-Royce has signed on as a partner. Rolls-Royce made the engine for the supersonic concorde.

There are other companies working on supersonic business jets and passenger jets.

Nextbigfuture believes that SpaceX will leapfrog supersonic passenger jets with hypersonic reusable passenger rockets. The SpaceX Starship would be able to fly single stage up to a range of 6000-8000 miles at about mach 20.

The Boom XB-1 Baby Boom one-third-scale demonstrator is expected to begin flight testing in 2021. This was originally scheduled for 2019. The actual passenger-carrying Overture will be delayed from 2023 to the mid-2020s. It will have a first flight and a two-year test series with six aircraft. It will be able to fly from San Francisco-Tokyo in 5h 30m and Tokyo-Hong Kong in 2h.

The Overture will have 55-75 business-class seats, with a crew of six, including two pilots.

Aerion is planning to build supersonic passenger jets at a factory near Cape Canaveral, Fla., with the first planes built in 2023 and testing to begin in 2024. The 8–12 passenger AS2 supersonic business jet is now expected in 2024 and entry into service in 2026.

Spike Aerospace is also a supersonic passenger jet contender.