ng-nz logo
Story image

Supersonic passenger jets may not be far away

28 Mar 2017

Jet startup Boom is trying to bring back supersonic aircraft. This is honestly one of the more exciting things in recent tech-world memory. If such a concept were to become normal for air travel, human relationships and lifestyles could be forever altered. As Boom CEO Blake Scholl puts it:

“When time is no longer a limit, where will you vacation? Where will you do business? Will you fall in love with someone from another continent? And how much more time will you have at home with the people who matter.”

The company recently raised $33 million in their first round of funding, with several large investors contributing heavily. With angel investors, the total funding reached $41 million.

With this capital, Boom is able to finish building their XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, carry out their flight testing, and set a new speed record for a commercial aircraft. And this is just the start of their mission to make the people and places of Earth more accessible.

“As we celebrate this milestone on our journey toward a supersonic renaissance, I’d like to share what motives us at Boom,” says Scholl.

“While we love the hard engineering and technical challenges, what really drives us is the enormous human benefit of faster travel.”

Scholl likens understanding supersonic jet travel to the last industry boom, the jet age of the 1950s and 1960s.

Jets cut the travel time to Hawaii by 10 hours, resulting in a massive tourism boom for the state. Visiting Hawaii was impractical before jet travel, and is now one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. Now imagine if you could travel to Hawaii in a couple of hours. From New Zealand.

“Imagine traveling across the Atlantic, getting business done, and being home to tuck your children into bed,” says Scholl.

“Or saving two whole days of a typical round-trip itinerary to Asia. What happens when Sydney and Auckland are as accessible as Honolulu?”

The company’s ambition and optimism is way out there, which is important for a startup. It probably helps that they’ve received over $40 million in funding so far. While their CEO speaks of supersonic jet travel in romantic ideals and what-ifs, it will be interesting to see if they can actually execute their mission. For those of us that missed out on Concorde, this would be a welcome innovation.

Story image
Apple previews iOS 14 at WWDC
Apple’s worldwide sneak preview of the new iOS 14 app may not have a fancy name like its macOS ‘Big Sur’ counterpart, but there is still plenty on offer.More
Story image
Game review: Borderlands Legendary Collection on Nintendo Switch
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened Borderlands (2009) and the highly stylised art direction and animation didn’t seem like it was from the same year that Barack Obama first took office.More
Story image
Hands-on review: 13-inch MacBook Pro - the butterfly keyboard is finally dead
With the typing experience improved and the insides bumped up and the Apple ecosystem now better than ever, the MacBook Pro is now an even more reliable tool.More
Story image
Almost 40% of the Earth's population will be gamers by 2023
There will be 3 billion gamers on the planet by the time 2023 comes along, and the gaming market will suprass US$200 billion worldwide during the same year, according to the latest data from Newzoo.More
Story image
Video games market booming following COVID-19 related lockdowns
As an industry custom-built for people to stay indoors, it is understandable that the global video games market has boomed in the last few months, bringing huge profits for the leading gaming companies and their shareholders.More
Story image
Microsoft to help NZ job seekers acquire new digital skills for the COVID-19 economy
"The digital transformation of the economy is driving demand for tech-enabled jobs across almost every industry and with it demand for people with digital skills."More