The supersonic jet is the first one for Virgin Galactic. The model could improve the flight experience. If reports are confirmed, in just three hours and 15 minutes the passenger jet could get from London to New York. The jet is called XB-1 or “Baby Boom”. According to the company, it is the fastest civil aircraft ever invented.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin are also developing supersonic passenger jets, but Sir Richard is hoping to beat the competition. The billionaire Virgin Group founder said his Spaceship company would help Denver-based startup Boom build a new generation of supersonic jets and reintroduce transatlantic flight times unseen since Concorde was scrapped 13 years ago.
A number of factors went into Concorde going out of business, including the plane’s only crash in 2000 and Airbus, the successor to Aérospatiale, ultimately deciding to stop maintenance on the aircraft.
Baby Boom is 10% faster than Concorde, with Mach 2.2 speed. The jet is set to carry about 40 passengers at once. Although the first tests will be run later this year, only in 2023 the jet could hit the market.
While the first commercial flight is not expected until 2023, the price of a flight between London and New York is currently set at £2,500 each way.
“I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights,” Sir Richard said. “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,” he added.
The company will provide engineering and manufacturing services to Boom, in addition to test flight support and operations, and Sir Richard has signed an option to buy the first 10 airframes.
If everything goes well at the test, in just a few years, flights will become much efficiently.