Interested in supersonic passenger jet travel? If so, look no further than Boom Supersonic, an innovative startup dedicated to achieving just that. As Axios reports, the company has recently announced that, not only is its North Carolina factory up and running: the facility is ahead of schedule. The much anticipated first flight of the company’s prototype jet is slated for later this year.
How Fast Are Supersonic Jets?
Generally speaking, a supersonic passenger jet is an aircraft designed to travel extremely fast. How fast? Faster than the speed of sound technically, above Mach 1. Jets quickly possess sleek, streamlined bodies, “delta” (swept back) wings, and a narrow, pointy nose. Their engines are capable of incredibly high thrust and usually include afterburners for added power to achieve and maintain supersonic speeds.
How It Works
Supersonic passenger jets like Boom Superonic’s are also usually constructed from heat-resistent materials and lightweight composite metals. These are intended to handle the immense heat from air friction and to optimize performance overall.
The ultimate goal of the hyper-modern design is to minimize, as much as possible, sonic booms. As to be expected, and thankfully, safety precautions are paramount, and supersonic jets are designed according to rigorous safety standards and with structural integrity as a top priority. Newer designs additionally prioritize mitigating emissions to reduce the environmental impact.
Boosting North Carolina’s Economy
Spelling significant potential for the state’s economy, it’s still a big bet for North Carolina. The state has set aside over $120 million in juicy state and local incentives for Boom Supersonic. However, these perks are contingent on the company reaching specific benchmarks: hiring 1,750 workers by 2030 and investing nearly $500 million into Greensboros’s Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI). A not-insignificant heft of the state’s overall budget is earmarked for PTI.
Quick Advancement Means Supersonic Flights Are Around The Corner
The investment highlights North Carolina’s dedication to encouraging an environment that spurs tech development and aviation advancements. Given its big ambition and even higher cost, the fact that the factory’s construction is progressing ahead of schedule should come as welcome news. A spokesperson for Boom Supersonic confirmed that, by Q2 of next year, north Carolinans should expect the factory to be fully operational.
Additionally, the company reports progress with ground tests and securing critical clearances from the Federal Aviation Administration. Without these tests and green lights from the FAA, the company won’t be able to launch its first flight—its prototype jest is set to debut at the Mojave Air & Space Port later this year.
Funding The Project
These impressive but ambitious projects are partially inspired by another significant financial boost heading for the company. This would be an investment from Saudi Arab’s NEOM Investment Fund that is currently undisclosed. That lack of disclosure does not stop venture capital database Crunchbase from estimating Boom Supersonic’s total funding to be $700 million. Before the Saudi investment, Crunch base suspects, the company’s total funding amounted to $208 million.
If only because a supersonic passenger jet sounds like sci-fi, the world eagerly awaits the launch of Boom Supersonic’s prototype.