Four-part series on businesses that have boomed despite tough economic times.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Business Boomers - Boom Technology - Netflix
Boom Technology is an American startup company designing a Mach 2.2 (1,300 kn; 2,300 km/h) 55-passenger supersonic transport with 4,500 nmi (8,300 km) of range, to be introduced in 2023. After being incubated by Y Combinator in 2016, it raised $51 million of venture capital in 2017. With 500 viable routes, there could be a market for 1,000 supersonic airliners with business class fares. It had gathered 76 commitments by December 2017. It would keep the Concorde delta wing configuration but would be built with composite materials for lower cost of operation. It would be powered by three dry 15,000–20,000 lbf (67–89 kN) turbofans; a derivative or a clean-sheet design will be selected in 2018. Regulations for takeoff noise or overland boom can be met or changed. The XB-1 Baby Boom one-third-scale demonstrator should make its first flight in late 2018 before being tested at supersonic speeds in 2019. Powered by three 3,500 lbf (16 kN) dry General Electric CJ610s, it should maintain Mach 2.2, with over 1,000 nmi (1,900 km) of range.
Business Boomers - Design - Netflix
Its wing configuration is a conventional compound delta for low supersonic drag, it is designed to be like a 75% scale model of Concorde: no low sonic boom unlike the SAI Quiet Supersonic Transport (QSST), or laminar supersonic flow technology from the Aerion AS2. Due to the low 1.5 wing aspect ratio, low speed drag is high and the aircraft requires high thrust at take-off. Boom also needs to address the nose up attitude on landing. Airframe maintenance costs should be similar to other carbon fiber airliners. It should operate at a quarter of the costs of Concorde by relying on dry engines, composite structures and existing technology. The 55-seat airliner would weigh 77,100 kg (170,000 lb). It should be 170 ft (52 m) long by 60 ft (18 m) wide and could accommodate 45 passengers including 10 in first class or 55 with a 75 in (190 cm) seat pitch. Boom wants to use moderate bypass turbofans without afterburners, unlike Concorde's Rolls-Royce Olympus. The only available are jet fighter engines, which have neither the fuel economy nor the reliability required for commercial aviation. As of November 2016, no engine manufacturer can develop such an engine based on sales of only 10 options. Boom needs to address the noise of the high jet speed engine and the tripled fuel consumption per unit distance and per seat of a modern wide-body aircraft. Engines won't be an exotic new design but a modified version of current turbofans, although they will have higher maintenance costs. They should be selected in 2018: a derivative of a commercial engine or a clean-sheet design, unlikely a military engine due to export controls. The 55-seat airliner will be powered by three 15,000–20,000 lbf (67–89 kN) engines without afterburners, with shorter maintenance intervals than subsonic jets. A development of an existing commercial engine core with a new low-pressure spool is preferred over a clean-sheet design. Larger-diameter fans have higher cruise thrust requirements for a higher fuel-burn and lower range but are preferred for higher bypass and lower takeoff noise. The FAA and the ICAO are working on a sonic boom standard to allow supersonic flights overland. The NASA plans to fly a low-boom demonstrator in 2021 to assess public acceptability of a 75 PNLdB boom, lower than Concorde’s 105 PNLdB. It should not be louder at takeoff than current airliners like the Boeing 777-300ER. Supersonic jets could be exempted from the FAA takeoff noise regulations, reducing their fuel consumption by 20-30% using narrower engines optimised for acceleration over limiting noise. In 2017, Honeywell and NASA tested predictive software and cockpit displays showing the sonic booms en route, to minimize its disruption overland.
Business Boomers - References - Netflix