Boom, a startup aimed at building a supersonic plane is working on its first prototype claim the aircraft can fly at a speed of Mach 2.2, which is over twice the speed of sound. The regular commercial airplanes, fly at speeds of about 0.7 Mach.The team at Boom, who have a wealth of experience in the field of aeronautical engineering plan to roll out the first prototype by early next year.
Founded by Blake Scholl, Boom wants to bring back the supersonic for commercial air travel at an affordable price. After more than a decade of dormancy, commercial supersonic flight may soon return to the skies.
The Soviet Tupolev supersonic aircraft flew just a few dozen flights back in 1977. The Concorde, flown by British Airways and Air France, retired in 2003 after a fatal accident three years earlier that intensified economic problems. The Concorde, which held the record for the fastest commercial airplane cruised at speeds of 2.04 Mach.
A key feature of these designs is the ability to maintain supersonic cruise for long periods. Low drag is essential to limit fuel consumption to a practical and economic level. As a consequence, these airframes are highly streamlined and the wings have a very short span. The requirement for low speeds when taking off and landing is met by using vortex lift. As the aircraft slows, lift must be restored by raising the nose to increase the angle of attack of the wing. The sharply swept leading edge causes the air to twist as it flows over the wing, speeding up the airflow locally and maintaining lift.
This isn’t science fiction—it’s possible now with today’s aerodynamics, carbon fiber composites, and the latest engine technology.