Sir Richard Branson unveiled the new supersonic jet faster than the Concorde.
English philanthropist Sir Richard Branson has unveiled a new supersonic jet that can fly from London to New York in three hours. The XB-1 prototype, nicknamed “Baby Boom”, is claimed to be the fastest civil aircraft in the world, and is expected to go commercial by 2023.
The new aircraft has a cruising speed of Mach 2.2 or around 2,335 kilometers per hour, which is ten per cent faster than the Concord that maxes at Mach 2. Able to carry up to 40 passengers per flight, the Baby Boom is 2.6 times faster than most current commercial airliners.
Virgin and Boom are working hard on beating competitors to the market, since Boeing and Lockheed Martin are both working on developing supersonic crafts. However, Virgin and Boom are working with existing technology that has been approved by regulators, cutting a lot of time needed for approvals.
The development of the new aircraft is being done in partnership between Boom and Branson’s Spaceship Company, which is attached to Virgin Galactic. They will be providing Boom with engineering and manufacturing services, as well as flight testing support.
The XB-1’s subsonic tests will be done in an airfield near Denver, Colorado, while the supersonic flights will take place near an Air Force base in Southern California.