'New Concorde' startup gets $14 million backing from Japan Airlines

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JAL has made a strategic investment of Dollars 10 million in Boom. Japan Airlines will also lend its knowledge and experience to help Boom develop its supersonic passenger aircraft, which could fly at a speed of Mach 2.2 (1,451 mph) and cut global travel times in half as soon as 2023.

The announcement also came with the announcement JAL now has 20 options for the company's first aircraft type, should they choose to execute.

D This is the new Boom Supersonic jet'in production
D This is the new Boom Supersonic jet'in production

The aim is to produce a "reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers", said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic.

Branson has the rights to the first 10 Boom aircraft produced.

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Boom, whose suppliers include General Electric Co, Honeywell International Inc and Netherlands-based TenCate Advanced Composites, has reportedly received 76 pre-orders from airlines, excluding the option of up to 20 aircraft from Japan Airlines.

He added: "Their decades of experience as a world-class operator, expertise in everything from passenger experience, to safety, to technical operations will help us build an airliner not just with marquee speed, but also with the practicality required to truly change the way millions travel". "Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any worldwide airline's fleet".

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Industry figures are still debating whether regular supersonic flights, banned over the United States in 1973 by the Federal Aviation Administration, are feasible around modern cities due to the shock waves from the sonic booms the planes create.

Yoshiharu Ueki, JAL president, said: "Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more time to our valued passengers".

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The Spaceship Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of Branson's Virgin Galactic, is already working with Boom on the development of the supersonic jets, which are expected to have 45 to 55 business-class seats. The jet - nicknamed "Baby Boom" - will fly at Mach 1.9 at 40,000ft, the equivalent of 1,300mph - more than twice the speed of a jumbo jet.

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