Omer Iftikhar

Omer Iftikhar

Muhammad Omar Iftikhar is a writer and columnist writing for Pakistan’s English-language print publications for over 12 years. A regular movie reviewer and critic at Express Tribune Blogs, he has published two books with Daastan Publishing.
Omer Iftikhar

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Humans have been craving for faster and safer modes of transportation for decades. Since the first flight by The Wright Brothers in 1903, man’s vision to soar the skies in safe and fuel-efficient aircraft has only strengthed. However, by using the depths of his intellectual wisdom and knowledge and with the support of miracles of modern science, humans are the verge of experiencing speeds never imagines before. Imagine a supersonic jet taking off from New York City and landing in London – covering a journey of 5,585 kilometers – in just three hours and 15 minutes. Imagine this supersonic jet flying and attaining speeds of Mach 2.2.

Where this idea could not see the light of the day before, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic initiative is trying its best to use all possible resources and workforce to turn this dream into a reality. Although this is still a dream, the idea and its execution is not possible since man has unearthed new ways of reducing friction and increasing speeds. Virgin Galactic has partnered with Boom Technology to add fuel to this dream of supersonic flight.

If this plan reaches its realistic manifestations, we could be flying at a speed faster than that achieved by the legendary Concord aircraft. Although the technology for airplanes to attain such high speeds was invented and used during the mid-20th century, companies, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders could not take it forward because of industry regulations, challenges, and limitations. However, it is interesting to note that Mach 2.2 is twice the speed of sound that measures at nearly 2,330 kilometers per hour. The Concorde jet had a top speed of 2,180 kilometers per hour.

According to a statement given by Boom Technology, the company estimates that traveling at a speed of Mach 2.2, the airplane would travel from San Fransisco to Tokyo – an 8,290-kilometer journey – in 5.5 hours and from Sydney to Los Angeles – a 7505-kilometer journey – in almost six hours and 45 minutes. According to www.telegraph.co.uk, Blake Scholl, CEO, and Founder, Boom Technology said, “Imagine traveling across the Atlantic, getting business done, and being home to tuck your children into bed. Or saving two whole days of a typical round-trip itinerary to Asia.” Moreover, he was of the opinion that “building a supersonic plane is not easy — but it is important.”

Boom recently raised $33 million in new funding to develop the startup’s first supersonic passenger jet. To understand the limitations and challenges, the company will build and test the Baby Boom, a prototype version of the original aircraft. This test flight is expected to commence in 2018. Furthermore, the full-size supersonic aircraft would carry 55 passengers and will be launched and sent into flight by 2023.

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