Boom Supersonic is aiming to bring back passenger flight that is faster than the speed of sound. Since Concorde’s retirement in 2003, there has been no supersonic aircraft in airline service.
There is interest in the aircraft from the aviation industry. Japan Airlines invested $10 million in the company at the end of 2017 and has options to purchase up to 20 examples. There are over 70 on option, with Virgin Atlantic holding 10 of those.
Overture is the name of the aircraft being designed. It aims to fly at Mach 2.2 with a range of over 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) while carrying 55 passengers. The company expects fares to be similar to what is being charged for business class today.
With a narrow cabin, the seats will be arranged in a 1-1 configuration, meaning everyone has a window and an aisle. Windows are planned to be large and panoramic, in total contrast to Concorde’s windows which were just a little bigger than a standard Passport.
When Can I Fly Overture?
Commercial services are still some way off. A half size prototype called the XB-1 is due to fly for the first time later this year. Lessons learned from the testing here will be applied to the actual production aircraft.
Featuring three engines, Overture is planned to be as quiet as existing subsonic jets around the airport. It is also expected to be far more fuel efficient than Concorde, which is going to be necessary for it to work from an economic perspective.
Is there a business case for speed in aviation? Arguably we live in a time where an aircraft like the Boom Overture is very appropriate. Culture has moved to an instant gratification style of living, so getting to a place much faster would seem to fit in with this.
From my own personal perspective, I would fly on this aircraft in a heartbeat. Flying at over twice the speed of sound at 60,000 feet with those generous windows would be really something.
What do you think of the Boom project? Pie in the sky or will it happen? Would you fly on it? Perhaps you flew on Concorde? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
All images via Boom Supersonic.