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Virgin's new supersonic passenger jet will have its first test flight in 2017

The Independent logo The Independent 10-01-2017 Zlata Rodionova

© image/jpeg Sir Richard Branson’s new supersonic jet aircraft that promises to halve air travel times will see its first test flight take place later this year.

The XB-1, nicknamed “Baby Boom”, claimed to be the world’s fastest civil aircraft ever made and promises to send passengers between London and New York in three hours and 15 minutes.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin are also developing supersonic passenger jets, but Sir Richard is hoping to beat the competition.

Sir Richard has invested in startup Boom to make trans-Atlantic supersonic commercial flights possible for the first time since Concorde fell out of service 13 years ago.

The new aircraft has a cruising speed of Mach 2.2 or 1,451mph, which is 10 per cent faster than Concorde’s speed of Mach 2 and 2.6 times faster than other airliners. This is 10 per cent faster than Concorde, which flew at speeds of up to 1,350mph.

<p>The planned interior of a Boom supersonic plane (Boom)</p> © Provided by Independent Print Limited

The planned interior of a Boom supersonic plane (Boom)

While jet will see its first test flight this year, its first commercial flight is not expected until 2023.

Passengers might pay a hefty price tag for their journey as the price of a flight between London and New York is currently set at £2,500 each way. The new planes are set to carry 40 passengers at a time.

“I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights,” Sir Richard said.

“As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic’s decision to work with Boom was an easy one. We’re excited to have an option on Boom’s first 10 airframes,” he added.

Boom’s development of the new aircraft has been done in partnership with Sir Richard’s Spaceship Company, which is attached to Virgin Galactic.

The company will provide engineering and manufacturing services to Boom, in addition to test flight support and operations, and Sir Richard has signed an option to buy the first 10 airframes.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

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