Airlines plan ultralight supersonic aircraft
After the demise of the Concorde, supersonic aircraft for travelers could soon become reality again: Japan Airlines is investing in the startup Boom, which plans to build aircraft that apparently impress with lightweight construction, energy efficiency and affordable tickets.11 Jan 2018 Michael Triadan
The two companies have concluded a partnership: Japan Airlines is investing $10 million in the startup Boom and will enjoy a purchase option on 20 of the planes. They will transport 45 to 55 passengers each from the mid-2020s onwards, at speeds of up to Mach 2.2. This is equivalent to about 2,420 km/h and would take travelers from New York to London in just over three hours, for example.
Other airlines such as Virgin have already concluded cooperative partnerships with Boom. A ticket for a Boom flight should cost only about as much as a current business class ticket. “This is to be achieved by the lightweight structure of the superfast machine, whose essential parts are to be manufactured from novel composites developed by the Dutch producer Ten Cate ,” reports the specialist portal ingenieur.de . The engines are also expected to require much less fuel than the “notoriously thirsty Concorde”.
Other lightweight manufacturers have also set themselves the goal of optimizing aircraft. For example, the French aviation supplier Sogeclair has found a way to cut the weight of aircraft doors by 30%. 3D-printed PMMA models by the company voxeljet are used in the process.
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