Boom! Goes a new SST
Well, maybe... Denver, Colorado-based startup company Boom Aerospace is developing a new supersonic airliner that it claims will fly at speeds up to Mach 2.2 — faster than a Concorde. Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson has taken ten options on the aircraft, and his Spaceship Company will provide engineering, design and manufacturing services, flight tests and operations. “It is still early days and just the start of what you’ll hear about our shared ambitions and efforts,” said a Virgin spokesman.
The Boom team includes Amazon Founder and Chief Executive Officer Blake Scholl, and former Boeing employee Michael Reid. At present only a plywood mockup of the aircraft’s flight deck has been revealed, but a scale prototype is currently under construction and expected to fly next year, initially from Denver’s Centennial Airport, later moving to Edwards Air Force Base in California.
As projected, the Boom SST would carry forty passengers in single-row first-class seats with a central aisle. It would be quieter and thirty percent more fuel efficient than Concordes, cruise at 60,000ft, and be able to fly New York-london in 3.5 hours for a round-trip ticket price of $5,000, San Francisco-tokyo in five hours, and Los AngelesSydney in six. Scholl says he has identified some 500 routes worldwide that would fit the aircraft’s capability. On 1 April Tecnam rolled out the prototype P2012 Traveller from its experimental assembly line in Capua. The eleven-seat Traveller is a piston twin powered by Lycoming TEO-540C1A engines, and will be certified to US FAR Part 23 and EASA CS-23 standards.
Tecnam Managing Director Paolo Pascale commented: “Another milestone has been achieved. The P2012 Traveller [has been] designed by Professor Luigi Pascale with the aim of meeting growing demands of regional short-haul transportation operators in particular.”
Launch customer is US regional airline Cape Air, which flies nearly 700,000 passengers each year throughout New England, New York, the Midwest, Florida, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Micronesia with a current 92-strong fleet of Cessna 402s, ATR-42S, BN Islanders, and Cessna Caravan Amphibians.