The “next generation of travel” comes a step closer with new investment in the US company Boom Technology.
“Strategic investment” from China has given the US future-travel start-up Boom Technology a shot in the arm, fuelling the intention to take supersonic flights to China.
The funds from Chinese travel powerhouse Ctrip will further boost development of the Mach 2.2 (2,300 km/h) aircraft, and the deal will also bring knowledge of the Chinese travel market to Boom and aid partnership efforts with airlines in the region, Travel Daily Media reports.
Founded in Denver in 2014, Boom Technology has attracted venture capital to design and test a 55-passenger supersonic plane with a range of 8,300 kilometres, to be introduced in 2023.
The design would keep the Concorde delta-wing appearance but would be built in composite materials for lower costs. An XB-1 ‘Baby Boom’ one-third-scale demonstrator should make its first flight in late 2018, before being tested at supersonic speeds in 2019.
Corporate travel revolution
The company’s founder and chief executive, Blake Scholl, thinks this would revolutionise corporate travel. Travel times between San Francisco and Shanghai, for example, would be cut from 11 hours to six.
“What really matters are the new trips you choose to take – the ones you otherwise wouldn’t have considered because the journey was simply too long. When we fly twice as fast, the world becomes twice as small, turning far off lands into familiar neighbours,” he says.
About the new China connection, he elaborated: “Ctrip offers valuable expertise in the Chinese travel market, and we’re excited to work with their passionate, entrepreneurial team to bring supersonic travel to the region.”
Boom says it will also help Ctrip explore the potential to offer its customers ten to 15 seats on one of the first supersonic commercial flights.