Lonely Planet Writer

Prices and test flights announced for next-generation supersonic flights

Supersonic transatlantic flights are back on the agenda and a recent announcement has indicated they’re one step closer to reality; construction is now underway and test flights due to start next year.

The new renderings of the supersonic plan as shown at the Paris Air Show. Image by Boom
The new renderings of the supersonic plane as shown at the Paris Air Show. Image by Boom

One company behind the revival of super-fast air travel is Denver-based Boom, which promises to cut the time of air travel in half. The company unveiled a new design yesterday at the Paris Air Show with improvements to safety, stability and performance which it says will allow the craft to fly at over twice the speed of sound.

“We now have everything required to build history’s first independently developed supersonic aircraft – the funding, technical design, and manufacturing partners,” Blake Scholl, the founder and CEO of the company, said in a statement.

Test flights are due to take place in 2018 from Denver’s Centennial Airport and five major airlines have expressed an interest in the planes, including Virgin Galactic who have already reserved the first ten planes.

On Brooklyn Bridge at night with car traffic, NY.
With supersonic flights, you could do a day trip from New York. Image by frederic prochasson/500px

The planes will hold 55 people which Boom says is one of the keys to success. “A major problem with Concorde is that it had more seats than could be filled at the required prices,” they said. This coupled with technological improvements should mean a sustainable economic model.

Boom promises “supersonic speed with mainstream fares” and they recently announced that the tickets would be on par with business class tickets, i.e. £2000/$2500 each way. While that will largely be out of the reach of the average passenger, it does offer intriguing possibilities for business travel, with the company promising that you could leave New York in the morning, attend meetings in London and get back to the Big Apple for bed.

The company is hoping for regularly scheduled flights from 2023 and, with companies like NASA also developing its own technology, no doubt many regular transatlantic travellers will be watching developments with keen interest.