Aerospace company Boom Supersonic, based in Denver, Colorado, USA, has announced a $60 million, three-year strategic partnership with the US Air Force. The Air Force awarded the contract to Boom through its innovation arm, AFWERX, and its AFVentures division, designed to accelerate commercial technologies. The Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) contract awarded to Boom is said to be one of the programme’s largest investments and represents a significant commitment to the future of supersonic aviation.
The STRATFI contract is intended to accelerate research and development on Overture, Boom’s commercial airliner. The related funding is expected to directly accelerate critical design and development initiatives on Overture, including wind tunnel testing and propulsion system definition.
Overture is intended to carry sixty-five to eighty-eight passengers at twice the speed of today’s airliners. Designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuels, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net zero carbon from day one. The supersonic airliner is set to enter manufacturing in 2023, roll out in 2025, and begin flying passengers by the end of the decade.
Boom Supersonic has been collaborating with Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA, in the production of some of the more complex and/or critical flight components utilising the Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Sapphire machine. Components created included manifolds for the variable bypass valve (VBV) system that routes air released by the engine compressor to the aircraft’s outer mould line (OML); exit louvres for the environmental control system (ECS) that cools the cockpit and systems bay; louvres that direct the centre inlet’s secondary bleed flow to the OML; and NACA ducts and two diverter flange parts.
“We are proud of the Air Force’s continued support and recognition of Boom’s leadership in supersonic flight – and we see our partnership as mutually beneficial,” stated Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom. “With STRATFI, we’re able to collaborate with the Air Force on the unique requirements and needs for global military missions, ultimately allowing Boom to better satisfy the needs of the Air Force where it uses commercially-derived aircraft. As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally.”