Return to Supersonic Era: Boom Aerospace Promises Test Flights Next Year

Nearly two decades after the Concorde supersonic passenger aircraft stopped flying across the Atlantic, a start-up aerospace company is looking to revive the niche segment.

Boom Supersonic, which is making the Overture supersonic jet, has said it will give a new lease of life to the faster-than-the-speed-of-sound commercial air travel. The company said its flagship, Boom Overture, will fly 65 passengers from New York to London in just about three-and-a-half hours.

New Supersonic Aircraft, Overture
New Supersonic Aircraft, Overture Boom Supersonic

Fastest, Affordable

Similarly, flights between Newark and Frankfurt will take only four hours, while a San Francisco-Tokyo flight will be completed in about six hours. "You know our ultimate goal is high speed flight for everybody ... To make the fastest flight also the most affordable ... that is what we are going to see happen here. Supersonic flight is going to displace subsonic flight as the best way for everyone to travel over long distances," Boom's CEO and founder Blake Scholl told Reuters.

Boom's promise will be welcomed by people who are still sore over the stoppage of SST Concorde's trans-Atlantic flights operated by British Airways and Air France in the 1970s.

Overture to Open New Era

According to Boom, the test flights will start as early as next year. It says that Overture will open a new era of enduring supersonic flight. "We're building on Concorde's legacy through faster, more efficient, and sustainable technology," the company says in its website.

Colorado-based Boom says Overture aircraft will fly off the assembly line in 2025, and the first passenger flights will be operated in 2029.

Supersonic flight
Supersonic flight - Representational Wikimedia Commons

According to the founder, the new generation supersonic plane will use 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel. Supersonic jets fly at altitudes of 60,000 to 70,000 feet.

Meanwhile, United Airlines has entered into an agreement with Boom Supersonic to buy as many as 15 of the new age supersonic aircraft.

Boom is looking to take flyers back to the era when Concorde dominated the commercial supersonic travel, offering luxury and speed for the trans-Atlantic passengers.

Earlier reports had said that Boom's futuristic aircraft is worth $200 million, and will run on alternative fuels.

Alternative Fuels

The overture uses a combination of computer simulations and wind-tunnel testing that will balance low-speed stability with high-speed efficiency. Further, the prototype will feature advanced thermally stable carbon-composite airframes. Both XB-1 and Overture are easier to fabricate with materials lighter than aluminum to maximize fuel efficiency.

"Overture will offer an unparalleled combination of tranquility, comfort, and productivity from takeoff to landing," the company says.

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