New York to Delhi in just 7 hours could be a reality by 2029! It sounds like an impossibility that the 16-hour flight time from New York to Delhi could be slashed by more than half, but Boom Supersonic, a US aerospace company, is poised to transform commercial aviation with the return of supersonic air travel.
Boom Supersonic is currently advancing the development of the Overture, an airliner capable of completing the 11,760-kilometer (7307 miles) journey between New York (NYC) and New Delhi (DEL). This aircraft will travel at speeds of up to 1.7 times the speed of sound using the world’s fastest and most sustainable aviation technology.
Faster Than the Speed of Sound, Two Decades in the Making
The concept of supersonic air travel has languished since the retirement of Concorde back in 2003. This was precipitated in part by the Air France crash that killed everyone on board in 2000. Commercial supersonic aircraft were not developed in subsequent years because of the noise, terrestrial shaking, and prohibitively high operating costs that limited the destinations that could be profitably served.
However, it seems like things are about to change, as Boom Supersonic appears confident that their supersonic airliner will be able to take to the skies as early as 2029. The aviation industry is taking the Overture extremely seriously too, with orders for this new plane placed by Virgin, Japan Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines.
About Boom Supersonic
The company leading the supersonic air travel revolution is Boom Technology Inc, which uses the trading name Boom Supersonic. It was founded in 2014 to bring a novel Mach 1.7 supersonic airliner to market.
So far, Boom Technology has secured the following funding for its venture:
- March 2017: $33 million was raised from venture funds including Caffeinated Capital, RRE Ventures, and Palm Drive Ventures.
- December 2017: $10 million was invested by Japan Airlines.
- January 2019: $100 million was raised in a Series B investment round.
This aviation startup currently has a working demonstrator aircraft in hand and has commenced design on its supersonic airliner. The company broke ground on the construction of a 400,000 square feet custom-built manufacturing facility in North Carolina in Q1 2023.
Boom Supersonic Company Profile
|Headquarters Location||Denver, Colorado, USA|
|Founding/Founders||2014 by Blake Scholl, Joe Wilding, and Josh Krall|
|Current CEO||Blake Scholl|
|Number of Employees||150|
Who is Blake Scholl, CEO of Boom Supersonic?
The visionary behind Boom Supersonic is Ohio-born CEO, Blake Scholl. Despite being a software developer by trade, Scholl has always had a passion for aviation. He set up Boom Supersonic in 2014 to develop a “son of Concorde” that could provide supersonic air travel to a generation who missed out on the opportunity to fly on the Concorde. Many of his investors have backed him because they want to bring the Concorde back.
What is the Boom Overture?
The Boom Overture is the world’s first commercial airliner capable of supersonic air travel since the Concorde. Aerospace company, Boom Supersonic, is developing the Overture. This proposed passenger supersonic airliner would be the first of its kind, capable of cruising speeds that are up to 1.7 times the speed of sound.
A Long Time Coming
The Boom Overture has been in development since 2014. Boom Supersonic initially raised investment funds for the development of the XB-1. This ⅓-sized demonstrator aircraft became the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet, with Boom CEO reporting test flights currently scheduled for mid-2023.
Realizing Supersonic Commercial Flight
Like the XB-1, the Boom Overture has a delta and gull-wing configuration and is being developed with composite material construction with four non-afterburning turbofan jet engines. Powered by supersonic flight, the Overture can deliver speeds that are double the speed of a conventional commercial airliner over water and 20% faster on land.
This groundbreaking airliner has been developed to provide business-class air travel for up to 88 passengers, with flight in the subsonic, transonic, and supersonic ranges. Boom Supersonic suggests that the airliner could service up to 500 routes within its suggested maximum range of 4,250 nmi (7,870 km).
Headline Specifications of the Boom Overture
Here is the proposed specification of the Boom Overture supersonic airliner:
|Length (nose to tail)||201 ft (61 m)|
|Wingspan||60 ft (18 m)|
|Weight||Up to 170,000 lbs (77,111 kg)|
|Cruise Speed (Max. speed)||MACH 1.7 / 2,083 km/h|
|Cruise Altitude||60,000 ft|
|Range||Up to 4,250 nautical miles (7,870 km)|
|Balanced Field Length||Up to 10,000 ft (3,048 m)|
|Fuel||100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)|
|Passenger Capacity||Up to 88 passengers|
The Symphony Engine: The Power Behind Supersonic Commercial Flight
The flight times proposed for the Overture can only be achieved with an advanced turbofan engine that can deliver the jet thrust and fuel efficiency necessary to sustain supersonic speeds. Boom Supersonic, therefore, has the sobering challenge of developing a novel medium-bypass turbofan engine that can:
- Generate at least 35,000 pounds (160 kN) of thrust required for takeoff
- Maintain MACH 1.7 cruising speeds
- Use noise mitigation technology to comply with relevant noise and emission standards
- Run on sustainable 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
The Symphony Engine was announced by Boom Supersonic in 2022, with conceptual render images of the novel jet propulsion system it intends to develop for the Overture airliner. Boom Supersonic intends to leverage proven aerospace technologies and materials to custom-build its medium-bypass turbofan engine so that it can be capable of sustained supersonic flight.
Engineered for Sustainability
Supersonic air travel is known for its high fuel consumption which can be as much as three times the consumption of a commercial subsonic engine.
Boom Supersonic intends that its Symphony engine will improve on the fuel efficiency of a conventional engine using adaptations that include a passive cooling high-pressure turbine, axisymmetric supersonic intake, and a variable-geometry low-noise exhaust nozzle.
This engine is also specifically designed for 100% sustainable aviation fuel, derived from sustainable feedstocks. Though its molecular profile is similar to conventional jet fuel, it has lower carbon emissions over its lifecycle.
Industry Collaboration is Key to Delivering the Symphony Engine
To achieve its aims for the Symphony engine, Boom Supersonic has acquired credible industry partners for this project, including GE Additive, Florida Turbine Technologies (Kratos), and StandardAero.
The Countdown to the Return of Supersonic Air Travel
Let’s take a closer look at the Overture’s journey to its first flight:
- 2022: Announcement of the Overture’s superfactory which is to be built in North Carolina at the Piedmont Triad International Airport.
- 2022: Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) is announced as the tooling and automation provider for the Overture assembly line.
- 2022: Release of the Overture design and specifications
- 2023: Ground was broken on the Overture superfactory
- 2023: XB-1 test flights commence
- 2024: Slated production launch
- 2025: Boom Supersonic becomes carbon neutral
- 2026: Current planned rollout of the Overture airliner
- 2027: Maiden flight
- 2029: Receipt of type certification for the Overture
It seems like an impossibility, but Boom Supersonic has shown that the world can begin to dream of supersonic air travel once again. The world’s newest and most advanced supersonic jet, the XB-1, is due to begin test flights this year. With ground broken on the Overture factory in Greensboro, NC, that 2029 launch is within sight.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Boom Supersonic 2022.