United Airlines goes supersonic with Boom

June 03, 2021
United Airlines

United Airlines, one of the world’s biggest airlines has announced a commercial agreement with Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic to order 15 and take 35 options on its Overture supersonic airliner.

The deal is contingent on Boom meeting United’s demanding safety, operating, and sustainability requirements.

Overture is a 55 passenger all business class aircraft with a speed of Mach 2.2 (2,300 km/h), with a range of 4,500 nm (8,300 km).

The companies said they 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, optimized to run on 100 percent 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.

In October last year Boom rolled out a scaled prototype the XB-1.

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United CEO Scott Kirby said: “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 travelers access to a stellar flight experience.

“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 – twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners – Overture can connect more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time.

Among the many 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 be designed with features such as in-seat entertainment screens, ample personal space, and contactless technology.

Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic founder, and CEO said; “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.”

Japan Air Lines is also a customer for the Overture with an order for 20.

Last month a competitor of Boom, Aerion Corp folded after failing to secure funding for its ambitious business aircraft.

The Nevada-based company, which had been backed by Boeing, said that it was abandoning plans to build a business jet that could fly faster than the speed of sound.

“In the current financial environment, it has proven hugely challenging to close on the scheduled and necessary large capital requirements,’’ the company said in a statement.

“Aerion Corporation is now taking the appropriate steps in consideration of this ongoing financial environment.”

Aerion said earlier this year that it expected its AS2 supersonic jet, which planned to use a patented “boomless technology” and fly at Mach 1.4, to fly by 2024.