Supersonic aircraft can operate in 2029

UNITED STATES Airlines United Airlines hopes to be able to carry passengers by supersonic jet by the end of the decade.

The Overture supersonic plane could join United Airlines' fleet.  Photo: Boom Supersonic.

The Overture supersonic plane could join United Airlines' fleet. Photo: Boom Supersonic.

Parent company United Airlines Holdings Inc said on June 3 that it had ordered small passenger jets from Boom Technology Inc. developed to reduce flight times and attract more premium customers. United announced the company would purchase 15 Boom Overture planes if the model meets safety, operational and sustainability standards. Boom also revealed it plans to take off the small prototype in late 2021 or early 2022, and the large 88-seat version to carry passengers in 2029.

Boom is one of the few companies that has been working to develop supersonic commercial jets and small passenger jets over the past decade to fill the void from the Concorde plane that was retired in 2003 due to costs. high and concerned about noise.

However, companies are struggling due to market demand uncertainty and the challenge of licensing new engine technology and materials to build a quieter and more cost-effective aircraft than the Concorde. 100 seats. Aerion Corp, a company with capital from Boeing, said last month it could not raise enough money to build the supersonic jet as planned.

Boom declined to disclose its financial status but said the contract includes an advance payment from United, as well as the option for the US airline to purchase an additional 35 planes at a pre-agreed price. Denver, Colorado-based Boom Company launched in 2014 and attracted $270 million from investors.

Boom says the Overture jet can fly at nearly 2,100 km/h, 1.7 times faster than the speed of sound. That speed allowed the plane to reduce the flight time between London and Newark, New Jersey, United's headquarters, from more than six hours to 3.5 hours, and shorten the journey from San Francisco to Tokyo from more than 10 hours to 6. hours.

Some observers are skeptical of the hypersonic market. Richard Aboulafia, aeronautical consultant at the Teal Group, said that only a few routes have enough high-class passengers, so the development and production of supersonic jets is not satisfactory.

High costs and concerns about the noise Concorde planes make have prompted airlines to stop using the vehicle on luxury flights between Europe and the east coast of the United States. The fatal crash of 2000 and the loss of passengers following the 9/11 attacks resulted in the Concorde's complete shutdown.

Boom CEO Blake Scholl says the company has adopted many of the technological advancements since the Concorde era, such as building ultralight carbon fiber components as well as using quieter and more efficient engines. Last year, Boom announced a partnership with Rolls Royce Holdings PLC to develop propulsion engines. This engine allows the aircraft to fly faster and consume less fuel, while operating more quietly. The company claims that the new aircraft will be noisier than a conventional jet at an airport because the sonic boom is only heard over the sea.

According to Boom, the Overture plane uses only sustainable aviation fuel. However, the supply of fuel from plants or waste is limited, the vehicle still emits gas and currently costs five times more than a conventional aircraft.

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