Recently I ventured to the Dubai Future Foundation premises to meet with Blake Scholl, Boom Technology Founder and CEO. The company is creating supersonic passenger aircraft affordable for routine travel and ideal for long distance travel. Being a Fijian, getting home often becomes a journey over two days so new innovations that make air travel faster and smoother is always welcome.
Blake mentions to us that Boom is backed by technology investors including 8VC, Caffeinated Capital, Lightbank, RRE and Y Combinator. Plus of course angels like Sam Altman and Paul Graham. He introduced Boom’s supersonic passenger airliner as well as the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator.
The commercial aircraft will connect the GCC to the rest of the world with flights up to 2.6X faster than conventional airliners. For example, a flight from Dubai to Sydney which takes 14:51 today, will take just 8:17 flying supersonic. In the same fashion, Dubai to New York will be 7 hours and 35 minutes versus 14 hours today.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Boom Supersonic is using state-of-the-art aerospace technologies to deliver a revolutionary speedup in travel. Compared to Concorde, designed in the 1960s, Boom will be 80% less expensive to operate, leading to affordable tickets for passengers and profit opportunities for airlines.
Key technologies for supersonic include carbon fiber composites, advanced aerodynamics, and modern turbofan jet engines. These technologies combine to enable an airplane faster than Concorde, yet quiet, efficient, and comfortable for passengers.
Blake is excited to bring Boom to the UAE as he feels that the local airlines already lead the world in travel experience, and the country is embracing other innovative transportation technologies, such as Hyperloop and drone taxis.
During the interaction, Blake reiterates that supersonic flights will enhance UAE’s status as the world’s preeminent aviation hub, giving travellers more of the luxury they value most: time. The Boom airliner seats up to 55 passengers in comfort and privacy. Cruising at 60,000’, passengers experience less turbulence. Looking through the largest windows in commercial aviation, the sky is a deeper blue and one can see Earth’s curvature.
The Boom’s XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, a ⅓ scale prototype aircraft, is under construction now and will fly in 2018. Passenger flights will begin in the early 2020s. The XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator will fly with hardware from General Electric (engines), Honeywell (avionics), Tencate (carbon fiber), with composite structures fabricated by Blue Force. Final assembly and vehicle integration are taking place in Boom’s facility at Centennial Airport near Denver, Colorado.