Boom Supersonic Airliner
Boom Supersonic is redefining commercial air travel by bringing sustainable, supersonic flight to the skies. Boom's historic commercial airliner, Overture, is designed and committed to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability. Overture will be the first commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, capable of flying on 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) at twice the speed of today's fastest passenger jets. Overture's order book, including purchases and options, stands at 70 aircraft, and Boom is working with the United States Air Force for government applications of Overture. XB-1, a demonstrator aircraft, rolled out in 2020, and its net-zero carbon flight test program is underway. The company is backed by world-class investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Prime Movers Lab, Emerson Collective and American Express Ventures.
The company is designing the first supersonic airliner in decades, called Overture, which will roll out in 2025, and will fly more than 500 transoceanic routes in half the time. For example, Overture will take passengers from Tokyo to Seattle in four and a half hours. In addition to developing its state-of-the art aircraft design, which promises to be the next major innovation in high speed air travel since jet airplanes were introduced more than 60 years ago, Boom also plans for Overture to be the most passenger-centric airliner in the world by offering passengers superior comfort, tranquility, and productivity. To support this development, Boom is exploring how AWS IoT and machine learning solutions can be used inside the Overture cabin to reimagine the on-board experience for both passengers and crew, looking at ways to customize passenger messaging, deliver intelligent in-flight entertainment, create wearables for crew members, and improve on-time departure performance using live occupancy and equipment data.
Traditional wisdom says supersonic flight is impractical because customers will not pay more for speed. The breakthrough Boom jet allows you to offer 2.6x quicker flights profitably at the same fares as business class. Or charge even a modest premium for supersonic and earn higher margins. Just as travelers value nonstop over connecting flights, many will gladly pay a premium to save time. Medium-bypass turbofan engines, based on a proven commercial engine core, deliver quiet takeoff and efficient supersonic cruise. Advanced aerodynamics, featuring a slender fuselage and a refined delta wing. Optimized through 1,000+ simulated wind tunnel tests. State-of-the-art carbon fiber reinforced plastic withstands the intense heat of supersonic flight with a lightweight and strong structure.
The Boom jet can also be configured as an ultra VIP personal or business aircraft. Each passenger has a large personal window, direct aisle access, and a dedicated overhead bin. Seat dimensions will be similar to short-haul first class, with many subtle and not-so-subtle design improvements. On flights over 6 hours (i.e., those over 15 hours today), airlines may offer a first-class lay-flat suite experience.
Supersonic flight is banned over the United States. This ban could be reversed and replaced with a "commonsense" noise standard, set to promote efficient, affordable supersonic flight while disallowing nuisance. In the meantime, the Boom jet will fly routes that are primarily overwater—such as New York to London or San Francisco to Tokyo, flying subsonically when over land. Over 500 routes benefit immediately and significantly from supersonic.
With 45 seats, the Boom aircraft can achieve load factors similar to or better than premium cabins in subsonic widebodies. The design of the aircraft is intended that airlines can operate profitably while charging the same fares as today's business class. The ultimate vision is to reduce operating costs to make supersonic flight even more affordable.
Every passenger wants faster flights; every airline would like to offer a faster and more differentiated service to their passengers. The question is costs and fares. Concorde was troubled by (1) high operating costs, driven by fuel consumption, and (2) low utilization and load factors, due to the necessarily high fares.
|Specifications - 2017|
|Long-Range Cruise, Supersonic||Mach 2.2 (1,451mph, 2,335km/h)|
|Long-Range Cruise, Subsonic||Mach 0.95|
|Maximum Route||9,000nmi (17,668km)|
Routes over 4,500nmi include a
brief tech stop [aka refueling],
included in listed flight times.
Passengers need not deplane or exit seats.
|Balanced Field Length||8,500ft (2,590m)|
|Community Noise||Better than Stage IV|
Designed for up to 50 passengers, Mach 2.2 cruise and 4,000 nm range, the original twinjet design was changed to trijet for ETOPS routes. Two engine cores, one military, one commercial, were under evaluation in 2016 for propulsion. “Moving from a twinjet to a trijet is a better answer,” says Boom Technology CEO Blake Scholl. “A twinjet is more challenging to certify for early ETOPS [extended twin operations], while a trijet will enable unrestricted travel on routes with up to 180 min. diversion time with an engine out.” The aircraft length has also been extended to “around” 155 ft. to accommodate 10 extra seats.
By 2021 the Overture was designed to be 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 future 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 also be designed with features such as in-seat entertainment screens, ample personal space, and contactless technology. Working with Boom is another component of United's strategy to invest in innovative technologies that will build a more sustainable future of air travel.
United Airlines announced 03 June 2021 a commercial agreement with Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic to add aircraft to its global fleet as well as a cooperative sustainability initiative – a move that facilitates returning supersonic speeds to aviation. Under the terms of the agreement, United will purchase 15 of Boom's 'Overture' airliners, once Overture meets United's demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft. The companies 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% 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 production of greater supplies of SAF.
"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," United CEO Scott Kirby said. "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."
"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," said Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic founder and CEO. "United and Boom share a common purpose—to unite the world safely and sustainably. At speeds twice as fast, United passengers will experience all the advantages of life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer, more relaxing vacations to far-off destinations."
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