Boom Supersonic Believes Flights Should Take Half the Time!
In an earlier article, I described a vehicle that envisions traveling at a hypersonic (Mach 9) speed called the Stargazer. We are nowhere close to meeting this mark as great as this is. Perhaps we should set our sights on a more attainable goal, and that is where the “Overture” by Boom Supersonic comes in. The Overture is a supersonic (Mach 1.7) aircraft meant to deliver passengers in half the time.
Boom Supersonic knows that our time is valuable and if they can get you from point a to point b in half the time, aren’t you going to jump at that? That made the failed Concorde flights so appealing—getting to your location in record time. What was not appealing was the inflated price tag for these fast flights. While on the subject of the Concorde, the main reason for its failure was the cost of flights. With the Overture, they estimate a savings of 75% of what the Concorde flights entailed.
So who is Boom Supersonic? In their own words:
“We believe in a world where more people can go to more places more often. Sustainable supersonic travel unlocks new possibilities for business relationships, prospects for vacation, and opportunities for human connection.”
Blake Scholl (Founder & CEO)
So, where will these aircraft be manufactured? How about Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina? They chose the area for several reasons, not the least: the pipeline of top aerospace talent, proximity to tier-one aerospace suppliers, and the Atlantic Ocean. Given the Atlantic is so close, they will be able to perform above-water supersonic test flights.
There has been a lot of progress, as they have already completed much of the land grading. The plan is to begin construction this year on the Overture Superfactory, which will be approximately 400,000 square feet and constructed on a 65-acre campus. Boom’s goal is to start production on the Overture as early as 2024, have the first aircraft roll off the line in 2025, fly in 2026, and start talking about passenger flight after that (possibly fly 2029?). With the Overture Superfactory comes the promise of over 1700 jobs to the Greensboro area.
The Overture has some pretty lofty goals, which include:
A range of 4888 miles
65 to 80 passengers
An innovative and automated Noise Reduction System, coupled with four engines supersonic engines to ensure a much quieter ride
The elimination of “Jet Lag” (potentially get to your location and back without experiencing a change in the time zone)
2x faster than standard aircraft over water (Mach 1.7) and 20% faster than standard aircraft over land (Slightly Less than Mach 1)
A pampered experience starting with pre-board and continuing with actual flight.
Also of importance is Boom Supersonic’s plans to use 100% (SAF) Fuel to achieve net zero emissions. What is (SAF) Fuel? The British Petroleum website defines this as:
SAF stands for sustainable aviation fuel. It’s produced from sustainable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel. Using SAF results in a reduction in carbon emissions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces over the lifecycle of the fuel.
Since the days of the Concorde, there have been many innovations in body construction (carbon composites), contoured fuselage, and wing design. Ultimately, Boom Supersonic has reduced the drag, minimized the weight, and increased the strength and aerodynamics, allowing the aircraft to improve its overall efficiency. Boom’s latest design went through 51 variations until they settled upon the newest iteration. They have done their homework!
With all of the efforts put forth by Boom Supersonic, it is no surprise that specific industries have taken notice. While Boom’s primary focus is commercial air travel, they already have contracts with commercial airlines like United and Japan; it was recently announced they would be partnering up with Northrop Grumman for government sales. We can all expect to see variations of this aircraft in the years to come for both military and emergency response.
There is a lot to digest with this reinvigorated form of air travel. When the Concorde flights folded, innovation seemed to be put on hold. Boom Supersonic is a welcome change to the stagnant aviation industry. They still have several hurdles to overcome to meet their speed, safety, and stability goals, but they are well on their way!