Economy

Supersonic startup working with JAL

Supersonic startup working with JAL

Japan Airlines (JAL) said Tuesday it had invested US$10 million in the USA airline company Boom Supersonic to help revive supersonic flights that could cut journey times in half.

Boom reportedly has 76 preorders, not including the option of 20 aircraft from Japan Airlines, for its plane that would travel at Mach 2.2, over two times the speed of sound and faster than the Concorde, which maxed out at around Mach 2.

Yoshiharu Ueki, president of JAL, said: "Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more "time" to our valued passengers while emphasising flight safety". Boom has previously disclosed that at least one of the unidentified customers is based in Europe. For this it is said to be getting an investment of a $10 million from Japan Airlines Co.

Japan Airlines is the latest airline to invest in supersonic air travel.

Including JAL's investment, Boom has now raised a total of $51 million, according to Scholl, and he suggested more funds are in the pipeline. "We expect to do many deals with many airlines".

"We are very proud to be working with Boom on the possible advancement in the commercial aviation industry".

JAL's funding is a significant endorsement from a highly respected airline. That relationship could help Boom's credibility as it seeks to recruit key suppliers, especially for the 55-seat aircraft's propulsion system.

Three of the 1,687mph jets can be seen on the production line surrounded by equipment, including the seats it will be decked out in.

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Plane makers covet the backing of large and established airlines. Boom has not released a thrust specification, but Scholl confirms that 15,000-20,000lb thrust for each engine is in "the right ballpark".

The jet will fly at Mach 2.2, reaching speeds of 2335kmh. They aim for the AS2 supersonic business jet to take its first flight in 2023. Scholl goes on to say, "You really want to have a customer voice in the development program".

The company also is dealing with regulatory obstacles.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has agreed to collaborate with Boom Supersonic in developing the first supersonic commercial airliner since the Concorde.

Boom would be the first passenger jet since the retirement of the Concord in October 2003.

The legislation would exempt supersonic aircraft from the FAA's Stage 5 noise regulations, which take effect on 1 January.

Economics, however, might be Boom's biggest hurdle.

Boom is correcting some aspects that doomed the Concorde.


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