Japan Airlines Invests $10M in US Company Building Supersonic Airliner

Japan Airlines Invests $10M in US Company Building Supersonic Airliner

Virgin entered into a $2 billion partnership with Boom a year ago, and at least five airlines have signed on to purchase a total of 76 supersonic jets.

"We are very proud to be working with Boom on the possible advancement in the commercial aviation industry".

An artist's impression of the Boom Supersonic aircraft.

Boom's aircraft design is meant to be able to achieve speeds of Mach 2.2 during regular cruising flight, and can traverse up to 8,334 km on a single tank with seating for up to 55 customers with Business Class-type comfort and accommodations - as well as airfares in line with current Business Class pricing, despite cutting travel times drastically. The move made by JAL shows that Japan Airlines is serious about pushing the limits of their carriers while also keeping up with their competition. After costs and noise complaints killed off that supersonic jet, NASA, Lockheed Martin Corp., General Electric Co. and a number of startups including Boom saw new designs and technology that could make supersonic flight a commercial reality.

A file image of Her Majesty The Queen arriving in Kuwait by Concorde in 1979
A file image of Her Majesty The Queen arriving in Kuwait by Concorde in 1979

The agreement has JAL collaborating with Boom Supersonic to refine the aircraft design and help define the passenger experience for supersonic travel, the airline said. "Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more time to our valued passengers while emphasizing flight safety".

On the Concorde, deep-pocketed passengers could fly the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound from 1976 to 2003. The company says operating cost per seat-mile will be comparable to subsonic business class.

The payoff for the investment is likely years away when Boom doesn't expect the first aircraft to enter service until 2023. "JAL's passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations".

"As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic's decision to work with Boom was an easy one". We're thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers. JAL also has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement. We're excited to have an option on Boom's first 10 airframes.

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