Boom! Goes a new SST

Pilot - - NOTES -

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.

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