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World's fastest jet? First test plane coming soon

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 28/03/2017

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An aerospace company that counts Richard Branson as a backer has promised the return of supersonic passenger flights by the end of next decade. 

Boom Technology still faces a long list of hurdles before making that reality, but the company revealed it’s inching closer on the financing front.

Boom said this week that it’s raised $33 million in funding that will allow it complete the XB-1, a small demonstration model that could pave the way for return of supersonic passenger service. 

“This brings our total funding to $41M — enough capital for us to finish building the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, execute our flight test program, and set a new speed record for civil aircraft,” Boom CEO and founder Blake Scholl said in a statement.

“This is a key step on our mission to make Earth’s places and people more accessible.”

Next up: Testing of the small prototype, which holds two pilots.

If all goes according to plan, a bigger 45-seat version would be next on the drawing board.

The company has previously said it aims to produce such a plane sometime in the next decade. 

© Provided by USA Today The company believes new technology and improved operating economics will allow its planned aircraft to succeed where the Concorde failed.

The Concorde, of course, has been the only previous attempt at supersonic passenger flying.

Expensive to operate, it flew its last passenger flight in 2003 as it ultimately proved unprofitable for the two airlines who flew it: Air France and British Airways. 

If Boom is successful, its new-age aircraft would trim flying time on a route like New York-London to about three hours – roughly half of the current flight time.

The price?

Boom officials project prices of about $6,600, according to The Daily Mail of London.

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