Boom Supersonic Unveils Updated Design—New York to London in 3.5 Hours
Some time ago, we wrote about a company bringing back supersonic commercial flights and now they, Colorado-based Boom Supersonic, has revealed the updated designed for their prototype, bringing it one step closer to reality.
At the recent Farnborough Air Show, a UK-based aviation trade event, renderings of the Overture airliner were revealed. The latest design is based on around 26 million hours of software simulation, five wind tunnel tests, and had undergone 51 rounds of fine-tuning.
Compared to the earlier prototype, the latest iteration has an extra engine, gull wings and a contoured fuselage. The extra engine (making it a total of four), along with the help of an automated noise reduction system, will mitigate the noise that supersonic jets are infamous for.
The Overture will fly at Mach 1.7 (supersonic speeds is anything Mach 1 and higher, if you didn’t know) over water so the sonic boom will occur away from land.
The fastest flight record between London and New York was set by the Concorde (of course) back in 1996, taking just a second under two hours and 53 minutes. The Overture supposedly can make the trip in 3 and a half hours, which is still impressive compared to current travel times of about 8 hours.
United Airlines has booked 15 of this jet and pledges to fly their supersonic fleet with only sustainable aviation fuel (which costs more than conventional fuel); add that to the aircraft’s small capacity of only 65 to 80 passengers, you can bet that ticket prices are going to steep.
Excessive tickets prices was one of the key reasons (besides high fuel usage, costly maintenance and eventually the crash) that the Concorde (which had a bigger capacity, by the way) failed. And it doesn’t seem like Boom has addressed any of these issues.
Nonetheless, this writer still roots for faster modes of transportation (since teleportation is not yet a reality) and hopes that Boom’s idea will take off.
Production of the Overture is expected to begin in 2024.