Boom – The Supersonic Startup Gets Support From Virgin

When you think of startups, you often think of a small group of people working on a new gadget or maybe a new piece of software. Boom is a little different, the startup looks to create the world’s fastest passenger plane.

Boom looks to create a plane that will go supersonic at speeds of around 2.2 times the speed of sound. Compared to traditional airlines, which travel at Mach 0.85, Boom would outshine them at every turn and even the Concord traveled at only Mach 2.0. This would mean that Boom’s passenger jet would offer travel times of 3.5 hours from New York to London and only 4.5 hours for San Fransisco to Tokyo.

While the project is in its early stages the company looks strong with its 11 employees contributing on 787’s, fighter jets and spaceships. The project just gets bigger and bigger with Virgin Group optioning ten planes in a deal that comes in at around $2 billion. This isn’t their biggest contract, with another group (who choose to remain unnamed) optioning 15 at an amazing $5 billion.

This doesn’t mean they’ve been bought, but instead that once the plans and designs for the planes are in full swing, they will purchase them. It is a letter of intent meant to show their interest, something that relies heavily on the results of Boom successfully designing, creating and testing a successful supersonic jet.

The deal gets only sweeter with The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s space division, offering to help build and test the planes. With big names like that backing and supporting your group, our eyes are open to the possibility of quick flights around the world at supersonic speeds in the not too distant future.

New Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo set for February 2016 Reveal

Eager to take a trip to space within your lifetime? So long as you’ve got the money for it, the Virgin Galactic team are still working hard to bring commercial space flight to the (well-paying) masses and after the tragic accident in 2014 which killed one pilot and hospitalised another, the team appear to be making progress working on the latest version of SpaceShipTwo; their revolutionary new space plane.

“I think we are in a much better place than we might have expected in the period immediately after the accident, and that’s because our team came together, our customers stuck with us, and honestly we believe that the vehicle itself is sound.” Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said in an interview.

The new plane is set to be revealed in February 2016, with test flights set to begin shortly afterwards. This is interesting, given that Branson has been criticised in the past for being too aggressive with the planning of Virgin Galactic, perhaps even rushing things. However, with enough money and a big enough team, the gamble is starting to pay off and with people 700 already having tickets booked for many of the first flights, it’s going to be interesting to see just how long it is before the first paying customers take off.

There’s clearly still a lot of work to do, and prices are obviously going to be expensive for the flights, but would you take a trip with Virgin Galactic if you could? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Fly from New York to China in 2 Hours by 2020

Have you ever sat in your 19 floor beach-side mansion and thought to yourself: “If only I could fly to Bejing and back in one day, that would make it much easier to attend Francine’s ballet recital”? Well now for those with copious amounts of funding, it’s going to be made possible.

Set for release in 2020, Sub-orbital commuter flights will be jet setting the worlds top 0.01% across the globe at a blistering pace of 40,000 miles per hour. Compared to the current 500 mph of commercial airliners, the speed does however come at a great price – between $90,000 and $250,000 we’ve learned.

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson has indicated he’s looking into this business model to bring it to the public sector.

Aaron Pressman from Yahoo Finance commented on some issues with this technology development, showing it’s not quite ready for the general business man or woman:

“These [jets] can only take off and land in very special places like the spaceport that’s in New Mexico . That’s not going to help the 0.1% get from New York to London or Australia. So it’s going to take a while before these rockets become more like normal airplanes that can land at normal airports. [sic]” Yahoo

However, if this technology is worked on and improved, we could possibly see our grandchildren jet-setting across the globe in minimal time for current commercial airliner pricing.

Image courtesy of Neowin

Google Seek Investment in Virgin Galactic

It looks like Google are cracking out the their cheque book in style once again this week as they make a break for domination of outer space. Not only did they fork out a whopping $500 million a few days ago to acquire satellite maker Skybox, but now it has been reported that they’re also after a $30 million stake in Virgin Galactic, the Sir Richard Branson founded space flight company.

So why would Google want to invest in Sir Branson’s space company? Well they’ve just bought a satalite maker, now they’re going to need a way to launch them into space! The two companies could work together, feeding well off of each others innovations, on one hand Virgin Galactic gets a good line of extra funding and on the other, Google gets to launch its constellation of satellites using Virgins LauncherOne module.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Design Boom.