Denver News Y Combinator

Boom, YC W16, to bring back supersonic passenger flight

Y Combinator has a long history of backing ambitious startups, but the accelerator may have just backed its most ambitious yet. Boom, a company in the Winter 2016 YC batch, is designing the fastest passenger airline ever. The aerospace startup – led by an impressive team of engineers, designers, and pilots who have contributed to the design of more than 30 new aircraft – just unveiled the designs for a 40-seat aircraft that can travel at speeds in excess  of 1,450 mph, or 2.2x the speed of sound. At that speed, a flight from New York to London will take just under three and a half hours.

Boom-Jet Boom, YC W16, to bring back supersonic passenger flight

While, naturally, this announcement brings up memories of the Concorde Jet, but Boom is playing a whole different game. The Concorde was wildly inefficient and loud, with round-trip tickets from New York to London costing as much as $20,000. Boom’s jet, on the other hand, will be much quieter, and the same ticket will cost as little as $5,000.

Today, international travel means jet-lag and days of lost productivity and family time. But imagine leaving New York in the morning, making afternoon meetings in London, and being home to tuck your kids into bed.

Unlike Concorde, flying Boom is affordable—the same price as business class.

This isn’t science fiction—it’s possible now with today’s aerodynamics, carbon fiber composites, and the latest engine technology.1

The Denver, CO based company has already gathered an impressive list of mentors, advisers, and partners. The advisory board is a who’s who of aviation:

  • Frank Cappuccio – former VP and General Manager of Lockheed Martin
  • Tom Hartmann – Former Director of Quiet Supersonic Transport for Lockheed Martin
  • Scott Bledsoe – Former Lead Engineer of the Supersonic Program for Gulfstream
  • Bob Dana – CFO of Virgin America
  • Captain Mark Kelly – NASA Astronaut and Test Pilot2

What’s more, Boom announced on Wednesday that Virgin has taken an option on 10 of the new aircraft, which could be worth as much as $2 billion.3

  2. Mark is the twin brother of Scott Kelly, the NASA Astronaut who just completed a year in space aboard the International Space Station  
  3. Mark Harden, Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Can a Y Combinator startup bring back supersonic air travel?,” 23 March 2016