Boom Supersonic’s conceptual airliner Overture
(Boom Supersonic’s conceptual airliner Overture)

Supersonic flights to return to the skies


Chicago-based United Airlines has agreed to purchase 15 of Boom Supersonic in-development faster-than-sound airliner Overture which can hit speeds of 1,300mph and slash the time it takes to fly from New York to London to 3.5 hours.

“We’re the first U.S. airline to sign an agreement for @boomaero’s ‘Overture’ airliners which are expected to be net-zero carbon and connect 500+ cities in nearly half the time. Taking off in 2029” United Airlines tweeted.

Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic wrote: “We see ourselves as picking up where Concorde left off and fixing the most important things which are economic and environmental sustainability.”

The Concorde, both loved and envied by aviation enthusiasts worldwide, made its first test flight in 1969 and was operational till 2003. Up until today, the supersonic aircraft holds the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing in 1996 when it completed the New York to London flight in 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds.

The Concorde was not a great commercial success and after a high-profile crash in 2000 (when all 109 people aboard and four on the ground were killed), combined with excessive ticket prices, noise pollution, high fuel consumption, and increasingly high maintenance costs, it was decommissioned in 2003.

The Overture will be 75% cheaper to operate, Blake Scholl the Founder/CEO at Boom Supersonic told Bloomberg.

Once operational, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and expected to carry passengers by 2029, according to the company.

Boom advertises Overture as carrying 65-88 passengers, having 4,250nm (7,871km)-range and being capable of flying at March 1.7, twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners. The jet can connect more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time.

Among the many future potential routes for United are Newark to London in just three and a half hours, Newark to Frankfurt in four hours and San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours. Overture will also be designed with features such as in-seat entertainment screens, ample personal space, and contactless technology.

The Overture looks aimed at the luxury market as Boom anticipates a £3,500 price tag per seat.

Overture’s order book, including purchases and options, stands at 70 aircraft, and Boom is working with the United States Air Force for government applications of Overture. XB-1, a demonstrator aircraft, rolled out in 2020, and its net-zero carbon flight test program is underway. The company is backed by world-class investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Prime Movers Lab, Emerson Collective and American Express Ventures.