Supersonic Air Travel Is Coming Back

If you’ve always wanted to experience supersonic air travel (and you missed the opportunity to on Concorde), don’t worry – it’s coming back. A group of enthusiasts, engineers, and financiers have announced that they’ll be creating a new supersonic transport jet named “Boom” and travelers will be able to fly from New York to London in about three hours.

The jet is proposed to fly at Mach 2.2, about twice the speed of sound (or about 1,688 miles per hour) and hold 45-55 passengers. A half-scale test vehicle is in the making and will fly sometime next year while the production version will take flight a few years after that.

Routes

Developers are designing the production plane to be able to travel more than 5,000 miles on a single trip, which means travelers on the East Coast could access nearly all of Western Europe while travelers on the West Coast could fly to places like Tokyo or Seoul. The plane will also be able to slow down to just under Mach 1 speed when it’s flying over inhabited areas, but its primary routes will be mainly over water.

The Cost

So what will a futuristic trip on a supersonic plane cost you? While the project claims it will be “affordable,” it’s not likely an affordable that the average traveler can get behind. As of right now, a full-fare business-class non-stop round-trip from New York to London will run you more than $6,000. So unless you’re a celebrity or a business executive with money to spare, it may be tough to actually experience the thrill of flight at supersonic speeds.

*Photo courtesy of USA Today