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BOOM; The American engineers seeking to transform the future of air travel

Imagine what you could realistically get done in the next three hours and fifteen minutes.

For those of you freaky kids who would want to spend it being cool, you could listen to Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds album twice, (which you absolutely should do). If you’re in the mood for a tasty lunch, you could follow this teriyaki chicken and rice slow cooker recipe.

If none of that grabs you then how about travelling between London and New York in three and half hours on a supersonic jet?!

Obviously that’s not possible just yet, but according to the air-travel mavericks at BOOM, we could be closer to that frankly ridiculous reality than you think. The company claims to have made a breakthrough that makes supersonic flight efficient enough for commercial use.

This means that their planes will be able to achieve Mach 2.2, or in layman’s terms 2.6 times faster than commercial airlines, or put even more simply 1,451mph. Really fast, is what we’re saying. A little number crunching tells us that the time between Sydney and London would be roughly seven and half hours.

That really puts Qantas’ new endeavour to connect London and Perth to shame. 17 hours? Pssh.

While it would take more time than we have to adequately explain the differences in aerodynamics and propulsion that have made this leap forward possible, feel free to feast your eyes here on the inner workings of the flagship, XB-1, we can take a brief look at supersonic flight in general. For that we’ll check in with boffin hq, NASA:

“Vehicles that fly at supersonic speeds are flying faster than the speed of sound. The speed of sound is about 768 miles per hour (1,236 kilometres per hour) at sea level. These speeds are referred to by Mach numbers. The Mach number is the ratio of the speed of the aircraft to the speed of sound. Flight that is faster than Mach 1 is supersonic. Supersonic includes speeds up to five times faster than the speed of sound, or Mach 5.”

The team received attention globally when, after an unveiling in Colorado, they attracted the backing and investment of Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, who has reportedly taken out an option to purchase the first ten jets made available, at roughly $AU350 million a piece.

Of course, it highly unlikely that these jets will be available to the average Joe, with the suggested price for a return ticket on a 3-hour transatlantic journey would be around $AU8,500.

Ah, well, it isn’t time to delete that 300-song travel playlist just yet then.

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