Boom Supersonic
Boom Supersonic Jet Cropped Overture 60b8f6fb0d6e5

United Airlines Inks Deal for 15 New Supersonic Jets

June 3, 2021
The planes will be the first supersonic commercial aircraft since the Concorde was retired in 2003.

United Airlines may be making a play to revive faster-than-sound air travel. The airline announced June 3 it had reached a deal with Denver, Colorado-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic Inc. to acquire 15 of its Overture aircraft once United’s safety and sustainability standards are met.

A joint statement from the companies indicated United plans to have the planes carrying passengers by 2029.

The Overture jet, according to Boom Supersonic, is capable of reaching Mach 1.7, twice the speed of most aircraft on the market, and almost two times the speed of sound. The company says that means the plane could get from San Francisco to Tokyo in six hours or Newark to London in three and a half.

Boom also says the Overture runs on renewable fuels and will be “the first commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one.” The joint statement said United and Boom would “work together to accelerate production” of sustainable aircraft fuel.

Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, said “Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation” allied with United’s route network will advance his company’s mission, which, he said, “has always been about connecting people.”

“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 Boom CEO Blake Scholl.

Boom Supersonic, which Scholl founded in 2014, has so far marked 70 orders, and the company is working with the United States Air Force on a military model of the Overture.

Commercial supersonic flight boomed in the 70s with the introduction of the Concorde, but the last such jet was retired in 2003: Ridership fell after an Air France Concorde crashed in 2000, killing 113 including 109 passengers.

Another hurdle for the Concorde was regulations surrounding sonic booms, thunderclap-like sounds generated when an aircraft travels through the air faster than the speed of sound. On its website, Boom Supersonic says flights for its Overture plane will focus on long-distance transoceanic routes, where the planes won’t generate sonic booms over land, and that the noise will be “inaudible” to passengers.

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