Japan Airlines pumps millions into supersonic passenger jet

Japan Airlines pumps millions into supersonic passenger jet

Japan Airlines pumps millions into supersonic passenger jet

JAL also has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement.

Boom Supersonic said it received a $10 million investment from Japan Airlines Tuesday as it looks to build a jet that could take travelers from NY to London in just over three hours, potentially zipping by commercial planes from giants Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EADSY). Its initial funding is a drop in the bucket compared with the billions of dollars Boom will need to develop, build, test, certify and mass produce a full-scale airliner. By relying on non-afterburning engines, composite structures and existing technology, the Boom airliner will be created to operate at a quarter of the costs of Concorde.

The aim is to produce a "reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers", said Blake Scholl, the founder and chief executive of Boom Supersonic. The Concorde, flown by British Airways and Air France at twice the speed of sound, retired in 2003 after nearly three decades in service as customers abandoned the jets amid declining economies and maintenance costs to keep them flying soared.

By then, however, there could be room in the aviation market for even faster commercial jets. Boom has previously disclosed that at least one of the unidentified customers is based in Europe. The plane used to fly with the pace of twice the speed of sound. The Asian carrier is the second company to publicly announce an intention to purchase Boom's supersonic jet, after billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic. The full-scale airliner will require three much larger engines.

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Japan Airlines (JAL) has signalled its interest in supersonic flight through a partnership with Boom Supersonic. That reduces the risk of noise pollution caused by a sonic boom.

The reason that Boom Supersonic is making headlines is due to their decision to try and completely change the commercial flight market.

Thanks to the terms of their strategic partnership, JAL will have a say as well as being "directly involved" in how several important parts of the program end up shaping up. A flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong could be cut from roughly five hours to around two hours, offering airlines a supersonic shuttle between two of the world's biggest financial centers.

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