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JAL invests 10 Million in supersonic startup to make 6 hour SF to Tokyo flights a reality

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XB-1
This XB-1 is a third sized scale model of what the full sized prototype will look like.

Boom Technologies in Colorado is $10 Million closer to realizing their goal of an XB-1 prototype which would lead to commercial sized models.

Japan Air Lines wants to half the time that it takes to get to Tokyo from San Francisco (or Los Angeles.) According to Boom Technologies, a supersonic startup in Denver, CO in their press release they dropped earlier today (Dec. 5, 2017) Japan Air Lines has invested $10 million in a vote of confidence that will eventually pay dividends down the road when a full-sized commercial supersonic plane becomes a reality. Check out what the money will be mostly going towards, a prototype X1B model, below!

Supersonic travel used to be the norm back in the early 90’s and into the new millennium. The British Concorde regularly flew passengers at speeds above sound at Mach 2.02. But high costs and a couple of fatalities put the service in a bad light and eventually was the tipping point to shutter operations. Now, thanks to startups like Boom Technologies, supersonic flight might once again become a reality.

According to Boom Technologies,

JAL has made a strategic investment of USD 10 million in Boom and is collaborating with the company to refine the aircraft design and help define the passenger experience for supersonic travel. JAL also has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement. The two companies will cooperate closely to realize faster and more convenient air travel.

As mentioned, the XB-1 is one-third scale of the actual supersonic plane that they hope to produce. According to Boom’s website, they’ll attempt to fly this prototype next year as a proof of concept.

Boom hopes that their full-sized jet will hit cruising speeds of 1,450 MPH or Mach 2.2 and will seat about 45-55 passengers, half of what the Concorde used to hold.

Although most people won’t enjoy the luxury of supersonic travel, a couple will. Imagine, having breakfast before your flight in San Francisco and after a short 6-hour flight, you’re just in time for lunch in Tokyo. It’s the stuff of dreams, but it was a dream that once played out a little over a decade ago.

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