Boom claims its aircraft can travel at a speed of Mach 2.2 (1,451 mph), or 10 percent faster than the Concorde and over twice as fast as the average airliner. What is it like to fly at that speed. Read The Verge's Thomas Ricker's recollection of his trip on the Concorde here, in which he describes it as the moment when he "almost touched the face of God."
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The startup's ace-up-the-sleeve is support from the Virgin Group and its CEO, Richard Branson. Virgin will initially help Boom with research and development, while Branson's spacecraft manufacturing company, The Spaceship Company, will provide a host of other operational services to Boom. In exchange, Virgin will have the option to purchase Boom's first 10 jets.
"I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights," Branson said in a statement. "As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic's decision to work with Boom was an easy one."
Next year, Boom says it will start conducting two types of tests with the XB-1 Demonstrator. Subsonic tests, or tests below the speed of sound, will take place at Centennial Airport, while supersonic tests will be conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Boom isn't the only group trying to bring back supersonic travel. A group called Concorde Club says it has enough money to restore a Concorde jet for use in air shows and for private charters, with plans to resume flights sometime in 2019. Airbus has filed a patent for its own supersonic jet that can supposedly go four times the speed of sound. And a Boston-based company Spike Aersospace is looking to build an $80 million supersonic jet that will be filled with embedded video displays rather than airplane windows.