Boom Supersonic secures 20 aircraft orders from American Airlines

The 'Son of Concorde' will bring back supersonic travel to the U.S..
Ameya Paleja
Boom Supersonic Overture
Boom Supersonic Overture

American Airlines 

American Airlines, the world's largest airline, has committed to buying 20 supersonic aircraft from a Colorado-based aircraft manufacturer, whose design is still under testing, a press release from the airline said.

Traveling at speeds faster than that of the sound was a regular event before the turn of the millennium. However, when the aircraft manufacturer Concorde went under, airlines had no option but to stick with subsonic aircraft. This is the reason why flights across the world are long when with supersonic travel, they could take only a few hours.

Pushing supersonic travel into the real world is Colorado-based Boom Supersonic which could be flying passengers before the decade is over.

Boom Supersonic's Overture

Last month, the company unveiled its Overture aircraft, which looks much like the Concorde but is significantly smaller in size. Designed to carry not more than 80 passengers, the aircraft manufacturer has sacrificed the size of the aircraft to make it quieter and more efficient.

This feature will allow the aircraft to be operated over populated areas even. We also reported that the sonic boom-when the aircraft crosses the speed of sound is expected to be quieter than the Concorde. However, that is unlikely to get permission to fly over land above Mach 1.

The new design also means the aircraft will be equipped with four smaller engines than originally planned. Helping reduce the noise will be an automated noise reduction system and the lack of afterburners, meaning the aircraft should be no louder than a conventional aircraft.

America betting on supersonic travel

According to the press release, American Airlines has paid a non-refundable deposit for 20 of Boom's supersonic aircraft with an option to add 40 more. Since the aircraft is still in development, it needs to demonstrate standard operating performance and safety requirements that the airline industry follows, as well as conditions that American Airlines sets before the delivery.

With a range of 4,250 nautical miles, Overture is designed to fly more than 600 routes around the world. At twice the speed of conventional aircraft, travel time from Miami to London could be reduced to as little as five hours.

"We believe Overture can help America deepen its competitive advantage on network, loyalty, and overall airline preference through the paradigm-changing benefits of cutting travel times in half,” said Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom, in the press release.

Apart from American Airlines, United Airlines has also placed an order for 15 supersonic jets with Boom, with an option to add another 35, The Verge reported.

Boom has also said that its supersonic aircraft is designed to be "net-zero carbon" and use 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). However, details of how the aircraft will achieve this are still under wraps.

The company's XB-1 demonstrator is expected to fly this year, after a delay of five years. However, the company is confident that it will be able to conduct flight tests by 2026 and deliver operational aircraft by 2029.

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