Jet startup Boom believes the future is supersonic, and it’s now got enough money to prove it.
The company announced on Thursday that it raised $33 million for its first major round of funding, enough for the company to build a demonstrator of its XB-1 supersonic aircraft.
Boom first emerged in 2016 with grand plans to create supersonic passenger jets that could reach 1,450 miles per hour. The company hopes to test its XB-1 demonstrator in 2017, with commercial flights still a few years away.
That aircraft will be one-third the size of the passenger aircraft that Boom hopes to eventually build. The XB-1 “will demonstrate in flight the key technologies for practical supersonic travel” — essentially proving that the company’s technology and design can make supersonic flights safe and efficient.
If successful, Boom would mark the first reintroduction of supersonic travel since the Concorde program was canceled following safety and cost concerns.
Boom believes that its supersonic passenger jets will cut travel times for long flights. In one video, the company claimed its jets will fly New York to London in three hours as opposed to seven.
The company already has a partnership with Virgin Group, including its manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company.
Boom’s funders include 8VC, Caffeinated Capital, Palm Drive Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Y Combinator, which will also add its president, Sam Altman, to Boom’s board of directors.
Boom projects that tickets for its aircraft will cost roughly the same as a current ticket in business class, though it hopes that by reducing costs it can bring the price down.