Japan Airlines has invested 10 million USD in an American startup Boom Technologies, which is developing a supersonic passenger airliner. The Denver company expects to launch its first aircraft by the middle of the 2020s. And the Japanese airline intends to purchase up to 20 airliners of the American manufacturer.
“We are very proud to be working with Boom on the possible advancement in the commercial aviation industry”, said the President of Japan Airlines, Yoshiharu Ueki. “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 emphasising flight safety”, added he.
The airline is also providing some practical experience to help make Boom a reality. Under the agreement, it will help “refine” the aircraft’s design and help determine what it would be like for passengers on board an eventual supersonic jet.
Boom hopes that its aircraft will develop a speed of over 2300 km/h – 2.2 times faster than the speed of sound. Thus, from Tokyo to the western coast of the United States it will be possible to fly in just five hours. At the same time the salon of the new super-high-speed liner will accommodate from 45 to 55 business-class seats, which, incidentally, is almost half that of the previous supersonic Concorde, whose flights were stopped in 2003.
Last year, Boom Technologies received investments from the US billionaire Richard Branson, and his company Virgin Atlantic became the first customer of the start-up, ordering ten supersonic aircraft. In total, at the moment the American manufacturer has attracted 51 million USD of investments.