United Airlines has announced the purchase of 15 Overture jets from Boom Supersonic.
The airline is to purchase the aircraft once they meet United’s safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft. The deal will present the first opportunity for supersonic passenger travel since the retirement of Concorde, operated by Air France and British Airways in 2003.
Overture will cut transatlantic flight times to 3.5 hours
Overture will fly with between 65 to 88 seats, initially priced at business class fares and will cut transatlantic flying time by 50 per cent to about three-and-half hours for New York to London or Madrid to Boston.
The jet has a range of around about 4,250 nautical miles (equivalent to 4,888 miles or 7,866 km) with a cruising altitude of around 60,000 feet (18.29 km). United has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 100 per cent by 2050 and will use 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Overture’s entry to service, projected to be in 2029. Overture must first gain approval from regulators including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly at supersonic speeds.
United has not disclosed financial details but has confirmed that a deposit has been made for the aircraft. The carrier’s head of corporate development, Mike Leskinen told The Air Current that the transaction did not represent a firm order but involved United taking the lead on “a real aircraft” project. Boom confirmed the order meets the terms of a commercial agreement.
The deal announcement came less than two weeks after supersonic developer Aerion halted production due to a lack of funding.
- * FINN caught up with Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl at the unveiling of supersonic demonstrator XB-1, in the autumn of last year. Scholl said the roll out event marked the handover from creating the aircraft to the testing phase. “We’ve got 36 ground tests ahead of us,” he said, “Then next year, we’ll be in the air and setting speed records by the end of the year. It’s a really exciting moment for us.”