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2017.5.9

Tokyo to San Francisco in 5 hours?

Read the article to find out when this new, faster airplane will be ready for commercial travel.
高速飛行が可能な新しい飛行機はいつ旅客機として使用されるようになるのか、記事を読んでみましょう。

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Flying across the world can still take a long time, but one company is working to change that. It is working on a new commercial jet airplane that will be able to travel faster than the speed of sound. These planes will be able to travel across the world faster than any other passenger plane in history.

Startup company Boom Supersonic announced that it has raised over $40 million (about ¥4.5 billion) in funding to begin work on a prototype airplane. When completed, the plane will fly at more than twice the speed of sound. Sound travels at 1,235 km per hour, or 343 m per second. A plane that fast would be able to go from Tokyo to San Francisco in just over five hours. Right now, a flight from Tokyo to San Francisco can take over nine hours. The plane could also travel from New York to London in only three and a half hours. That flight usually takes over seven hours. The ability to cut these flight times in half could change how people do business or even how they take vacations.

Boom will finish building the prototype plane this year. Their prototype will be a miniature version of their planned full-sized plane and will only hold two people. If the prototype proves to be successful, then Boom will begin work on a full-sized version that will hold 45 people. Boom plans to have the full-sized test plane ready by 2020. Right now, the startup company wants to be ready to sell the planes to airlines by 2023. Virgin Atlantic has already agreed to buy the first jets that will be for sale to airlines.

The only other passenger plane that could travel faster than the speed of sound was the Concorde. Concorde planes flew from 1976 until 2003. Because of their high cost, they were never very successful. Between their high maintenance costs and limited ticket sales, airlines stopped using Concorde planes in 2003.

Boom was founded by Blake Scholl, a computer programmer and amateur pilot who previously worked for Amazon. He says that his planes will succeed where Concorde’s failed.

“Concorde’s designers didn’t have the technology for affordable supersonic travel, but now we do,” he said.

Tickets for the plane will cost around $5,000 (about ¥560,000). That’s about the same as a business class ticket on a regular plane. If the plane is a success, Boom says it will sell more affordable tickets in the future.

Flying across the world can still take a long time, but one company wants to change that. Startup company Boom Supersonic is building a new passenger airplane. It will fly faster than the speed of sound. This plane will be able to fly faster than any other passenger plane before.

Boom Supersonic said it has raised over $40 million (about ¥4.5 billion) in funding. The money will be used to start work on a prototype airplane. When the plane is finished, it will be able to fly at more than twice the speed of sound. Sound travels at 1,235 km per hour, or 343 m per second.

A plane that fast would be able to fly from Tokyo to San Francisco in about five hours. Right now, a flight from Tokyo to San Francisco can take over nine hours. The plane could also fly from New York to London in only three and a half hours. That flight usually takes over seven hours. The much shorter flights could change how people do business. It could also make going on vacation a lot easier.

Boom will finish building the prototype plane this year. Their prototype will be smaller than a full-sized plane. The prototype plane will only hold two people. If the prototype is a success, then Boom will begin work on a full-sized plane. The full-sized plane will be able to hold 45 passengers.

Boom plans to have the full-sized test plane finished by 2020. The company wants to sell the planes to airlines by 2023. Virgin Atlantic has agreed to buy the first planes Boom Supersonic sells.

Only one other passenger plane could travel faster than the speed of sound. It was the Concorde. Concorde planes flew from 1976 until 2003. They weren’t very successful. Taking care of the planes was expensive. Also, tickets were very expensive. Airlines stopped using Concorde planes in 2003, because they didn’t make money.

Blake Scholl, a computer programmer and amateur pilot, founded Boom. He used to work for Amazon. He says that his planes will make money, even though the Concorde planes did not make that much money.

Tickets for the plane will cost around $5,000 (about ¥560,000). That’s about the same price as a business class ticket on a regular plane. Boom says if flights on the plane are popular, then it will sell less expensive tickets in the future.

キーフレーズ

can ~  ~がありうる、~すること(傾向)がある
“can” は、「~してよい」などの許可 や、「~できる」などの能力を表すほかに、物事の可能性や推量、または傾向を表すことができます。

例:It can be very rainy in June.
(6月は雨がとても多くなることがある)
※可能性・傾向

例:Can I go to the movie tonight?
(今夜あの映画を見に行ってもいい?)
※許可

例:I can speak three languages.
(私は3 か国語を話すことができる)
※能力

▼こちらもCheck!
- 「~できる」の “can” と “be able to”、どう違う?
- “Can I~?” と “May I~?” の違い【許可を求めるフレーズ】

work on ~ ~に取り組む

あることの実現や開発、修理などに取り組むことを意味します。

例:I have to work on this slideshow for my presentation.
(プレゼンのために、このスライドショーに取り組まなくてはならない。)

across the world 世界中に(を)
in history 歴史上
startup company 新興企業
funding 財源
prototype プロトタイプ、試作品
cut ~ in half ~を半分に削減する

あるものを半分に切る、50%削減(短縮)する、という意味です。

例:Doing our printing in-house has cut our costs in half.
(印刷を自社で行うことでコストが半分に減った。)

prove ~ ~であると判明する
amateur アマチュアの、素人の
affordable supersonic travel 良心的な価格の超音速の旅行

こちらのコーナーでは、Gabaマンツーマン英会話の受講者様向け学習コンテンツ、「myRead」で取り上げた記事についてご紹介しています。日本語訳については、本記事における意味になりますのでご了承ください。
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