Today’s Solutions: September 25, 2022

In 1947, the first supersonic jet took to the skies, with American pilot Chuck Yeager becoming the first to break the sound barrier. To make the technology mainstream, the British and French governments joined forces to create the Concorde: the first commercial-sized supersonic jet capable of transporting 100 passengers or more.

The problem was although the Concorde managed to fly at supersonic speeds, it cost way too much to operate. But now, nearly a half-century later, a startup called Boom Supersonic is designing a new supersonic jet that might just become the commercial airliner of the future. If they manage to do it, it could bring affordable sustainable flight, faster than the speed of sound (768 miles per hour), to the masses.

Boom Supersonic’s new approach

What Boom has done to fix the inherent issues within the construction of the Concorde is to modernize the equipment with which their aircraft are constructed, as well as the technology used to test them. Not held down by heavy aluminum, Boom’s jet has a strong yet lightweight airframe built using carbon fiber composites. Additionally, the startup is using computer simulators, rather than wind tunnels, for aerodynamic development. This allows testing, which would have previously taken months, to now take hours if not minutes. The loud, inefficient, and afterburning turbojets have been replaced by quiet, environmentally-conscious turbofans.

If you’re thinking that the Boom’s supersonic jet sounds like a pipedream, think again: the startup already dispelled any public skepticism when they rolled out their XB-1 model on October 7, 2020. Plus, Boom Supersonic has already received preorders for their jets from airlines like Virgin Atlantic and Japan Airlines, who are enticed by the prospect of cutting flight times in half.

Want to take a deeper dive into the development of the new-age supersonic jet? Take a look at this story from FreeThink.

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