A new “affordable” supersonic plane is set to take off later this year after securing a millions of pounds in funding.
The commercial airliner, dubbed Overture, will eventually transport tens of millions of people around the globe at Mach 2.2, which is the equivalent of 1,688mph, its developers Boom Supersonic said.
A scaled prototype of the plane is hoped to launch later this year after the company announced it has secured an extra $100 million (£78.3m) in funding, with passenger flights hoped to begin in the mid-2020s.
Future customers already include Virgin Group and Japan Airlines, which have pre-ordered 30 Overture airliners between them already, Boom Supersonic said.
Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, said: “At Boom, our vision is to remove the barriers to experiencing the planet.
“Today, the time and cost of long-distance travel prevent us from connecting with far-off people and places.
“Overture fares will be similar to today’s business class— widening horizons for tens of millions of travelers. Ultimately, our goal is to make high-speed flight affordable to all.
“This new funding allows us to advance work on Overture, the world’s first economically viable supersonic airliner.
As well as being affordable, the company said Overture will also be the most environmentally-friendly supersonic jet ever made, with a carbon footprint will be similar to flying international business class today.
Andy Karsner, Managing Partner at Emerson Collective and leader of Elemental, the company’s energy and environmental affiliate, said: “Our interest in Boom is driven by its vision to enable greater human connection and more empathetic natural and cultural experience through ecologically conscientious design.
“Boom has the leadership, values, and potential to accelerate many advances—lightweight carbon composites and greener fuels— that will reduce the climate impacts of aviation.
“We’re thrilled to partner with a company that’s committed to revolutionizing travel responsibly.”
Boom is currently building XB-1, a ⅓-scale manned prototype of the Mach-2.2 airliner, which is set to fly later this year.
To accommodate the assembly of XB-1 and development of Overture, Boom recently relocated to a state-of-the-art facility in Colorado.