Nearly 20 years ago, the world saw the retirement of the first supersonic passenger aircraft. The Concorde featured many flaws such as an ear bursting din, inefficient engines and over priced tickets, simply the Concorde was an economical and environmental disaster.
But now, two decades later, numerous startups are forming up to build a new supersonic passenger aircraft and Boom seems to be the most promising one so far. Boom is the first manufacturer to actually provide a 1:3 scale prototype, named the XB1. The prototype is meant to exhibit the shape, features and quirks of the new subsonic jet.
Faster than the Fastest, Better than the Best
Air travel has stayed consistent for the past 50 years, regarding the speed of aircraft flown. Most “Modern Day” passenger planes fly at a speed of Mach 0.75, around 450 knots. Making the London (LHR) to Newark (EWR) flight last around 8 hours and 10 minutes.
The Overture can easily break this time into less than half, by making the flight in 3 hours and 15 minutes, with the mean cruising speed of Mach 1.7, at an astonishing altitude of 60,000 feet, making it even faster than its predecessors. It is planned to operate on 200 transoceanic routes and designed to seat 88 passengers.
The startup also bests the competition in various other ways. Firstly, the overture will be carbon neutral, the first of its kind in the commercial air travel industry. It will achieve this by using an ecological fuel which is undisclosed and 3 Rolls Royce GE 185-15 engines.
Secondarily it will be cheaper, a seat on the aircraft supposedly will be priced as low as $100, which is less than 1% of the price of a ticket for a Concorde, for which a seat would cost $12,500 and adjusted to inflation, about $20,000. It means the tickets for the subsonic flight might also be cheaper than normal tickets on a normal jet, especially for a flight like London to New York, for which the tickets often go up to $300. This is not to mention the fact that all seats on the Overture are Business Class, providing a higher quality of travel.
Future for the project
To some the future of the startup is very unclear, however it is most certain that it is currently heading the right way. In the near future we will see the completion of the Mega factory, located in Piedmont Triad International Airport, Greensbro, North Carolina. The mega factory is planned to be 65 acres and is currently in its early stage of construction.
The first aircraft are expected to roll out in 2025 and test flights are planned for early 2026. Finally, passenger flights are expected for 2029, less than 30 years after the retirement of the Concorde.
Boom has also received numerous endorsements from airlines such as United and Japan, and government organizations such as the US Air force, who also expressed interest in purchasing the aircraft for surveillance and reconnaissance.
So far only one airline has signed a purchase deal and that is United Airlines, which signed a deal for 15 aircraft and 35 more optional. Although, with time airlines will start paying more attention as more efficiency is always better.
In the future the company also hopes to employ a multitude of people, currently speaking, 150 workers are employed at boom. Most of which are former engineers of world renown aircraft manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX and others. The company hopes to employ 4,500 people before 2029 and will commence hiring in 2023.