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Boom XB-1 Baby Boom (wikipedia.org)
20 points by curtis on June 7, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

What is Boom's economic argument for supersonic passenger flight? Fuel is already #1 cost of airlines and pricing is very competitive, to the point that some airlines would rather cut service than raise prices. It sounds like the conditions that led to the demise of the Concorde have only exacerbated.

Having the plane in the air for less time can lead to lesser costs also: you don’t need to pay your pilots or flight attendants for as many hours, and can fit more flights in using the same plane per week. If the fuel cost and maintenance costs aren’t too much higher, it could be a big win beyond just getting passengers to where they are going faster (like track and carriage utilization for HSR).

I'm pretty sure flight time is not the dominant labor cost. It's docking and going in and out of the airport and pre/post-flight prep.

Flight crew is paid for time in the air (well, while the door is closed).

But even then for a long haul, that stuff isn’t as significant. Conversely, for a puddle jumper with quick turn around, not as much either.

Pilots are generally only paid for actual flight time. At scheduled airlines, dispatchers do most of the pre-flight prep.

They predict that there is demand for the service at a price that would make operation profitable.

This reads like an advertisement. Why has it not been flagged by Wikipedia? What is notable at all about a single prototype test aircraft from a unknown start up?

On first look, it appears that it's only been edited by aircraft enthusiast Wikipedians with diverse edit histories.

Aircraft enthusiasts known as Boom employees? lol

I made no claim of foul play. It's just a poorly written article about something that is not notable.

Boom is one of the early hardware startups in the world of software startups, so it's quite notable actually. The only problem it has it that it's doing something hard.

Are supersonic aircraft for rich people compatible with a world battling radical climate change?

Supersonic passenger jets are likely to burn three to four times as much fuel per business-class passenger as standard passenger jets.

Self-flagellation by restricting technological capability is not the solution to climate change. It's not expected that flights on this aircraft will address the mass market. With regards to climate change this will be a drop in the bucket.

Solving global climate change requires rethinking energy generation, ground and sea shipping, transportation, heating, and addressing deforestation. It will not be solved by banning plastic straws, sorting your garbage, or even driving an electric car (though switching to electric cars is a very good step towards electric trucks, and will have a noticeable impact, unlike this niche airliner).

Don't ban niche things just because they contain something that is immoral at scale. EVERYTHING is immoral at scale, including eating food or breathing. We need to address and manage our problems to allow humanity to live, not die by a thousand self-hating cuts. Optimization is always addressed by looking at the 80%, not the 20%.

Maybe once this jet is in the air, if fuel expenditure is at all a concern, we can figure out how to address the efficiency concerns once we have the rest of the problems of aerodynamics and the infrastructure to manufacture this sorted out.

Putting a price on carbon is by no means self flagellation and may well ruin the economics of the venture.

Looks like a 2 person tester for super sonic flight, not a private jet for 2 people. The difference is they could produce a commercial level super sonic jet someday and that is cool.

Yes, I'm well aware that it's a demonstrator for an eventual all-business-class supersonic passenger jet, which will pollute carbon into the atmosphere like there's no tomorrow. I don't think that's particularly cool.

Do you have some quantitative numbers or some particular expertise in this, or is this just armchair outrage?

You just have to understand how drag scales with speed to know that it’s going to be less fuel efficient per mile, and how capacity typically suffers with high speed designs to know that per passenger will be particularly bad. But if the alternative would’ve been a private jet, I suppose it’s a win.

And if we can get cost competitive carbon neutral fuel creation going (a la Prometheus fuels), I’m generally for this.

Burning the fuel is only a minor part of the climate pollution by air planes.

Oh really? What is the major part?

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