Boom Supersonic, Denver, Colorado, USA, has announced an agreement with United Airlines to purchase fifteen of its Overture aircraft, adding the supersonic jet to its global fleet. The deal also includes an option to purchase a further thirty-five aircraft, as well as a cooperative sustainability initiative – a move that is said to facilitate a step forward in returning supersonic speeds to aviation.
Boom Supersonic’s XB-1 demonstrator jet, which the company unveiled in October 2020, features twenty-one additively manufactured parts, produced by Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA. The aerospace company has used the XB-1 to demonstrate critical technologies for Overture, Boom’s future commercial airliner.
Under the terms of the agreement, United will purchase the fifteen Overture airliners once the aircraft meets United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements. It was stated that the companies will work together on meeting those requirements before delivery.
Once operational, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimised 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. United and Boom will also work together to accelerate the production of greater supplies of SAF.
“United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes. Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation, combined with the industry’s most robust route network in the world, will give business and leisure travellers access to a stellar flight experience,” stated Scott Kirby, United CEO. “Our mission has always been about connecting people and now working with Boom, we’ll be able to do that on an even greater scale.”
Capable of flying at speeds of Mach 1.7 – reportedly twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners – Overture can connect more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time explains Boom. Among the 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. Working with Boom is another component of United’s strategy to invest in innovative technologies that will build a more sustainable future of air travel.
Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic founder and CEO, commented, “The world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world. United and Boom share a common purpose – to unite the world safely and sustainably. At speeds twice as fast, United passengers will experience all the advantages of life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer, more relaxing vacations to far-off destinations.”