Boom gets $10m boost from Japan to get superjet off the ground

A JAL 777 featuring the older livery design

JAL also has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement.

Boom Technology has formalised an until-now secret partnership with JAL, with the carrier putting US$10 million ($14.5m) into the company and ordering 20 of the faster-than-the-speed-of-sound aircraft.

"This is about signaling to the broader ecosystem that this is something that there's real airline customer interest in", Blake Scholl, Boom's founder and CEO, said in an interview with CNNMoney.

This most recent investment could prove to be a huge victory for Boom, as, along with the expertise of Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, Japan Airlines will be able to provide further valuable knowledge when it comes to aircraft design, passenger comfort, and information on other details necessary for a first-time aircraft manufacturer will need to get right if it hopes for success. Boom had already raised about $41m in funding up to March 2017 from a bevvy of VCs and claimed in June to have a total order bill for 76 aircraft. For obvious reasons, many of its global flights are long - Boom's jets could dramatically reduce that travel time for passengers willing to pay a premium. The jet - nicknamed "Baby Boom" - will fly at Mach 1.9 at 40,000ft, the equivalent of 1,300mph - more than twice the speed of a jumbo jet. However, it's understandable why JAL would be willing to take a chance on Boom so soon. That aircraft, dubbed the XB-1, is expected to fly by the end of next year.

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"We are very proud to be working with Boom on the possible advancement in the commercial aviation industry".

The company has said previously it expected fares to be similar to what is offered for business class travel now.

He added: "Their decades of experience as a world-class operator, expertise in everything from passenger experience, to safety, to technical operations will help us build an airliner not just with marquee speed, but also with the practicality required to truly change the way millions travel".

United Kingdom airline Virgin Atlantic already has options for 10 of the aircraft, and an unnamed European carrier has options on 15 more, Boom has said. And the final product is something that Scholl hopes will be part of any global airline's fleet.

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