Japan Airlines and Boom announce partnership for supersonic air travel

BOOM    
   HEADING FOR THE SKIES A prototype of the Boom jet will fly next year

"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", said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines. 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. By relying on non-afterburning engines, composite structures and existing technology, the Boom airliner will be created to operate at a quarter of the costs of Concorde.

Boom reportedly has 76 preorders, not including the option of 20 aircraft from Japan Airlines, for its plane that would travel at Mach 2.2, over two times the speed of sound and faster than the Concorde, which maxed out at around Mach 2.

No commercial supersonic transport has been in use since both Air France and British Airways retired the Concorde in 2003.

Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl said his company has been "working with Japan Airlines behind the scenes" for more than a year. Airlines who get in line early for all-new jets can benefit from intimate involvement in the design process, giving their wish list for features they think will please passengers, pilots, flight attendants and maintenance crews.

D This is the new Boom Supersonic jet'in production
D This is the new Boom Supersonic jet'in production

One US startup named Boom Technology is been trying to build a supersonic passenger jet. Next year the company plans to fly "the first independently developed supersonic jet", the XB-1 - powered by three General Electric J85-21 turbojet engines. Virgin has an option on Boom's first 10 airframes and agreed in 2016 to provide engineering and manufacturing services, along with flight-test support and operation, for the venture.

Plane makers covet the backing of large and established airlines.

The Japanese archipelago is among the most attractive areas for supersonic flying because planes don't have to travel over very much land to reach big cities.

The exemption would be an interim measure, Scholl says, as Boom continues to work with the ICAO on a harmonised global standard for regulating community noise created by supersonic aircraft. A 1973 USA law banned overland commercial supersonic flight. Today, a conventional subsonic aircraft does the journey in just over 11 hours. Orders were spread across five airlines.

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