The latest issue of The Jaguar magazine introduces our new ‘cub’, the E-PACE compact practical sports car, which is already turning heads on the street. As we commit to electrifying every new Jaguar by 2020, we explore how pushing boundaries on the track helps develop our sports cars, from writing motorsport history at Le Mans, to taking on the Nürburgring with the extreme XE SV Project 8 and being at the very cutting edge with the FIA Formula E Championship.
MACH 2 A Concorde
MACH 2 A Concorde take-off was a fanfare for the senses . Exuding the performance of a military jet and the grace of a swan, every flight was an occasion to be savored. Below: Modern flight decks may have long since entered the digital age, but there is no denying the power of a dial reading Mach 2 +. flight. While comfort levels in business class and upwards have certainly improved, flight times haven’t. New York to London today takes about 7.5 hours. The Concorde regularly averaged 3.5 hours. Denver-based start-up Boom Technology wants to pick up where Concorde left off, announcing funding to the tune of million with the first test flight of its rather crypticallynamed XB-1 demonstrator planned before the end of 2017. Boom plans to build a supersonic passenger aircraft with seating for 40+ that’s capable of flying at 1,450mph. This will drop the journey time from New York to London down to a Concorde-like 3.5 hours. While tickets on the Anglo- French icon cost anything up to ,000, Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl says round-trip tickets on his modern day supersonic transport will cost a mere ,000. Scholl isn’t an obvious aerospace pioneer, coming from a background at Amazon.com where his coding abilities made him a wealthy man. Throw in a private pilot’s licence, a startup’s desire to disrupt for the better and Scholl soon came to the conclusion that affordable supersonic transport was technically feasible and commercially viable. “I started this because I was sad I never got to fly on the Concorde,” he said. “I waited, but no-one was doing it, so I decided to.” Big gun support was not long in coming, particularly from Silicon Valley, but one backer from further afield stood out though. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, who has also founded his own spaceship company Virgin Galactic, was so taken by the idea that he took out options to buy 10 of the supersonic jets saying, “I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of highspeed commercial flights. As an innovator in space, Virgin Galactic’s decision to work with Boom was an easy one.” CEO Scholl had the vision and secured the funding, but building the XB-1 demonstrator has been the work of a team of 11 guys with a more recognizable aerospace track record coming from NASA, Pratt and Whitney, General Electric, Lockheed Martin and SpaceX. Six of the team also hold piloting licences, and a number of them have been directly involved in designing and building high performance aircraft and jet engines. One of the reasons why the time is right for supersonic travel is that much of the technology required to address the shortcomings, which took the Concorde out of service, has only become available in the last 10 years. This includes carbon fiber composites for the outer skin, which are lighter than the aluminum used on the Concorde. Unlike the Concorde, modern computer simulation has also dramatically reduced the time needed to finalize the design, saving on expensive wind tunnel testing. Significantly, the aircraft will be quieter thanks to a more efficient airframe and engines that won’t need afterburners to go supersonic. According to Scholl and his team, there are already off-the-shelf high-performance turbofan engines available on the market, which can be converted for the task. The timetable for a first commercial flight is an ambitious one. Twenty years after the last commercial Concorde flight, Scholl hopes to inaugurate his own supersonic passenger aircraft. And then it should be possible to fly from Los Angeles to Sydney in in a third of today’s flight time of 15 hours. For the visionary Scholl, even that amazing target is not enough. His target revolves around one simple idea. “I want to live in a world where you can get anywhere in five hours for 0. That will take decades, but I think we will get there.” Now that would be supersonic. PHOTOGRAPHY: PETER MARLOW / MAGNUM PHOTOS / AGENTUR FOCUS, DDP IMAGES, PR (2) 68 THEJAGUAR
“I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE YOU CAN GET ANYWHERE IN FIVE HOURS FOR 0. ” Above: The XB-1 demonstrator is designed to replicate and test much of the final aircraft. Left: The use of carbon composites for the outer skin not only saves weight, it reduces noise levels considerably and allows the integration of larger sized windows. THEJAGUAR 69
JAGUAR MAGAZINE celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from seductive design to cutting-edge technology.
The latest issue features a range of inspiring people: from Luke Jennings, creator of Villanelle, one of the most interesting television characters in recent times, to Marcus Du Sautoy, who ponders whether artificial intelligence is on the brink of becoming creative. Out on the road, we visit the US to explore the foodie heaven of Portland in a Jaguar I-PACE, take a Jaguar XE to the south of France to get a photographer’s viewpoint of the charming town of Arles, and much more.