American Airlines has ordered 20 Boom Overture supersonic aircraft, with an option for 40 more. At a top speed of Mach 1.7, Overture is expected to carry up to 80 passengers in an all-business class cabin. The company, which already has a prototype, recently redesigned the jet to improve efficiency and reduce noise.
Boom Supersonic, based in Colorado, is leading the development of supersonic aircraft to usher in a new era of commercial air travel. It partnered with United Airlines in June 2021, ordering 15 of Boom’s $200 million Overture aircraft with an option for 35 more. The transaction is worth $3 billion.
The planes will not begin carrying passengers until at least the end of the decade, with the goal of filling the void left by the Concorde’s retirement in 2003. American’s deal adds to United Airlines Holdings Inc.’s and Japan Airlines Co.’s previous commitments, bringing the supersonic startup’s total to 35 orders and 130 pre-orders and options. According to previous reports, the planes sell for $200 million each.
“What we’re really seeing is that supersonic’s back, and it’s back in a mainstream way.”Blake Scholl, founder and chief executive officer of Boom Technology Inc.
Boom Overture supersonic aircraft specifications
Boom Overture supersonic aircraft is being designed by Boom to carry 65 to 80 passengers at Mach 1.7 over water, which is twice the speed of conventional jetliners and has a range of 4,250 nautical miles (7,871 km). Travelers could fly from Los Angeles to Honolulu in three hours or from Miami to London in just under five. Scholl intends to target a broader customer base than the Concorde, which catered to celebrities and the ultra-rich with tickets costing up to four times the price of a typical first-class fare at the time. Only 14 of the world’s first supersonic jets were ever built. Boom’s sales have already more than doubled that figure, and Scholl believes a new partnership for a militarized version with Northrop Grumman Corp. could yield hundreds of orders.
The Denver-based manufacturer intends to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel in its aircraft, which will appeal to passengers concerned about climate change. However, little is known about who will manufacture the cleaner engines that will power its aircraft.
“We’re going to make a significant announcement in the next few months,” Scholl said. “And it’s not just about engine technology, it’s also about the engine business model. There’s a lot of opportunity for innovation there.”