Imagine flying from LA to Paris in just under 6 hours! Taking a flight from the West Coast of the United States to the cobbled streets of Paris in less than 6 hours sounds impossible. However, if Boom Supersonic is to be believed, the 9,085 km (5,645 mi) flight distance between the City of Angels and the City of Light could be completed in the same time it takes to travel on a regular commercial flight between New York and San Francisco.
Supersonic Travel Between LA and Paris Could be Routine by 2029
The 10-hour flight between these two world cities could be a thing of the past as early as 2029. That is when the American aerospace startup Boom Supersonic and its numerous investors expect to have a Mach 1.7 supersonic commercial airliner completing this, and up to 500 other routes, on behalf of some of the world’s biggest airlines.
With novel sustainable supersonic engines, the Overture will cross continents at up to 1.7 times the speed of sound. The development of the Overture is accelerating rapidly as industry heavyweights contribute their expertise to realize the biggest advancement in aviation in the past 20 years.
The “Son of Concorde”
The return of supersonic air travel to Charles de Gaulle airport will be a bittersweet moment for the French, whose beloved Concorde was retired in 2003 following the tragic Air France crash in 2000. Supersonic air travel has not been revived since Concorde, in part due to the eye-watering operating costs and limited range of destinations that could be affordably served.
Boom Supersonic intends to change this and seeks to deliver the Concorde experience to a new generation of travelers. Many of the company’s investors are also inspired by the return of supersonic airliners while leading airlines that include Japan Airlines, American Airlines, Virgin, and United Airlines have already put in orders for their own supersonic planes.
What You Need to Know About Boom Supersonic
Boom Supersonic Company Profile
|Headquarters address||6803 S Tucson Way, Centennial, CO 80112, United States|
|Founders||Blake Scholl, Joe Wilding, and Josh Krall|
|Current CEO||Blake Scholl|
|Number of employees||150|
Boom Supersonic is the trading name of Boom Technologies, the $150 million startup behind the development of the Overture supersonic airliner. It was started in 2014, by the current CEO Blake Scholl along with aviation experts Joe Wilding, and Josh Krall. The company’s sole objective is to bring a completely novel supersonic airliner to market and so far has completed the R&D for this build by leveraging existing technologies and raising private investment.
To achieve their goal Boom Technology has built an industry-leading team of 150 full-time staff with advanced aerospace expertise. Between them, they have experience in more than 200 aviation and spacecraft development programs.
Blake Scholl is the Founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic
Ohio native Blake Scholl is the founder and CEO that is realizing the vision of commercial supersonic aviation with Boom Supersonic. He set up the company with his own money in 2014 after selling his mobile app tech firm Kima Labs. This software developer and keen pilot decided his next goal would be to develop a supersonic plane to have the “Concorde” experience his generation missed out on.
$150 Million Raised to Build the Overture, a Supersonic Airliner
Understandably this startup needs massive amounts of cash to get their idea off the ground, but they have made the idea so appealing and feasible that investors are lining up to throw serious money behind the building of this supersonic airliner.
Boom Supersonic Series A funding round in 2017 raised over $33 million. Silicon Valley Investors like the Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund flocked to be part of the dream. Japan Airlines also weighed in, partnering with Boom Supersonic via a $10 million investment. The funding round was necessary to raise the money necessary for developing and building the demonstration model aircraft the XB-1. Once built, the XB-1 became the world’s fastest civil aircraft, and a leap forward to developing the Overture.
In 2019, Series B funding raised a further $100 million, bringing the total capital investment so far to $141 million. With a demonstrator aircraft in hand, Boom Supersonic has clearly strengthened its business case for building an aircraft that can sustain supersonic flight to a wide range of global destinations.
Everything You Need to Know About the Boom Overture
The efforts of Boom Supersonic are focused on delivering the Overture. This supersonic commercial airliner, capable of Mach 1.7 speeds will be a world first and has been in development since 2014. The plane has the potential to transform air travel bringing disparate destinations like LA and Paris and their people closer together. This revolutionary aircraft is certainly capable of ushering in a new era of air travel with the world’s most advanced safety and sustainability standards at its heart.
Boom Overture Specs
Here is the proposed specification of the Boom Overture supersonic airliner:
|Nose to tail length of the Overture||61 m (201 ft)|
|Overture wingspan||18 m (60 ft)|
|Maximum weight of the Overture||77,111 kg (170,000 lbs)|
|Engines||Four medium-bypass turbofans|
|Cruise speed of the Overture||2,083 km/h – MACH 1.7|
|Overture cruise altitude||60,000 ft|
|Maximum range of the Overture||Up to 7,870 km (4,250 nautical miles)|
|Balanced field length of the Overture||Up to 3,048 m (10,000 ft)|
|Fuel of the Overture||100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)|
|Passenger capacity of the Overture||65 to 88 passengers|
Boom Overture Features
The Overture’s proposed design is sleek and aerodynamic to maximize its speed and fuel efficiency. The contoured fuselage of the Overture guides the airflow around the aircraft to reduce drag, and its compound modified delta planform and Gull wing enhance the supersonic performance of this novel aircraft as the demands on engine thrust are reduced.
The Overture cruising speeds are twice the speed of a subsonic commercial airliner over water and at least 20 percent faster over land. The Overture would be faster but supersonic air travel over land is severely restricted because of the sonic boom. Boom Supersonic proposes that four specially designed turbofan jet engines will propel supersonic flight.
Once built and released the Overture can provide business-class seating for up to 88 passengers. According to Boom Supersonic, there are at least 500 commercial flight routes that can be reliably serviced within the airliner’s maximum range.
The XB-1 Demonstrator Aircraft: Prototype of the Overture
Boom Supersonic plans for supersonic flight have been greatly advanced by the development of a working demonstrator aircraft. The XB-1 is a trijet supersonic technology demonstrator that was built in 2020, to show that the Overture will be possible. It is approximately ⅓ of the size of the Overture.
Here are the specifications of the XB-1 aircraft:
|Nose to tail length of the XB-1||68 ft (21 m)|
|XB-1 wingspan||17 ft (5.2 m)|
|Maximum weight of the XB-1||13,500 lb (6,100 kg)|
|Engines||3x non-after-burning General Electric CJ610 turbojets|
|Cruise speed of the XB-1||2716.56 km/h – MACH 2.2|
|Maximum range of the XB-1||Up to 1,900 km (1000 nautical miles)|
|Fuel of the XB-1||100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)|
The XB1 is due to begin test flights in 2023 after its taxi tests in 2022. Boom Supersonic is working with The Spaceship Co., which manufactures Virgin Galactic’s vehicles.
Boom Supersonic Symphony Engine Will Power the Overture
To achieve sustained supersonic flight, the Boom Overture needs powerful jet engines. Boom Supersonic has decided to develop a medium-bypass turbofan engine using existing technologies as its basis. Current supersonic jet engines are used by the military, so this will be the first civilian supersonic engine in decades. The Symphony Engine, a Boom Supersonic proprietary engine design, is capable of producing the 35,000 pounds (160 kN) of thrust necessary for takeoff and Mach 1.7 cruising. In addition, it is being designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.
Aerospace and Aviation Industry Partners
The Symphony Engine is being developed by leading aerospace companies including Kratos, GE Additive, and StandardAero, with production slated to commence in 2024. The Symphony Engine is intended to be a twin-spool, moderate-bypass turbofan that is non-afterburning. The afterburning factor is important because it contributes to noise, potentially breaching prohibited noise levels that could ground the completed plane.
Supersonic Air Travel Has Environmental Issues
One of the major challenges for Boom Supersonic is the environmental sustainability of supercruise flight, which has fuel consumption that is worse than conventional commercial airliners. In fact, Boom Supersonic intends to remedy this issue by developing the engine to run exclusively on sustainable aviation fuel.
The Road Ahead for Boom Supersonic
For a novel startup in the competitive aviation sector, Boom Supersonic has made phenomenal progress in getting the Overture ready for a 2029 take-off. With the XB-1 aircraft ready for test flights and ground broken on the Overture’s super factory in North Carolina this year, more and more industry stakeholders want to get involved with projects. Many of the world’s leading airlines have placed orders with the company, including American Airlines, which has ordered a fleet of 20 with options of up to 40 of these game-changing planes.
Next steps for the Overture include a slated production launch in 2024, hitting carbon neutral targets in 2025, and completion of the first airliners in 2026. All being well, Boom Supersonic expects the maiden flight of the Overture to take place in 2027, with the first passenger flights in 2029.
Supersonic flight between LA and Paris is clearly well underway. Boom Supersonic is the world’s most serious contender for the crown of supersonic commercial air travel. The entire aviation industry awaits this year’s XB-1 test results to see if Boom Supersonic really has what it takes to deliver supersonic commercial flights.