In a move that facilitates a monumental leap forward in returning supersonic airlines to aviation, as well as a partnership on sustainability, United Airlines recently announced a commercial agreement with Denver-based carrier Boom Supersonic to add aircraft to its global fleet. The cost of each Overture flight is $ 200 million, which airlines will adjust based on their needs and preferences.
Under the agreement, United will purchase 15 of Boom’s ‘Overture’ passenger aircraft when Overture meets United’s demanding requirements for safety, operation and sustainability with the possibility of an additional 35 aircraft. The companies will work together to meet these requirements before delivery. When operational, the Overture is expected to be the first major commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is planned to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and is expected to transport passengers by 2029. United and Boom will also work together to accelerate the production of major supplies with SAF. The difference is in the source material or the raw material. While conventional aviation fuel is derived from crude oil, sustainable aviation biofuels can be derived from sources such as non-edible natural oils and agricultural waste.
“United continues to build a more innovative, sustainable airline, and today’s technological advances make it more viable to include supersonic aircraft. Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation combined with the industry’s most robust route network in the world will provide business – and holidaymakers access to a great flying experience, “said United CEO Scott Kirby.” Our mission has always been about connecting people, and now we’re working with Boom, we can do it on an even bigger scale. “
Able to fly at speeds of Mach 1.7 – twice as fast as today’s fastest passenger aircraft – Overture can connect more than 500 destinations in almost half the time. Among the many future potential routes for United are Newark to London in just three and a half hours, Newark to Frankfurt in four hours and San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours. Overture will also be designed with features such as on-site entertainment screens, plenty of personal space and contactless technology. Working with Boom is another component of United’s strategy to invest in innovative technologies that will create a more sustainable future for air travel.
“The world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks an important step towards our mission to create a more accessible world,” said Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic’s founder and CEO. “United and Boom share a common goal – to unite the world safely and sustainably. At speeds twice as fast, United passengers will experience all the benefits of life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer and more relaxing vacations to distant destinations.”
United have continually found ways to be a pioneer in the industry, and the idea that supersonic aircraft could be part of United’s future began almost five years ago, according to a United spokeswoman. “This announcement has renewed enthusiasm for the possibility of supersonic speeds returning to aviation,” she added. “The response from the industry has been positive and has been particularly exciting among our employees, who recognize that having supersonic aircraft in our fleet sets us apart from the competition.”
Boom Supersonic’s mission is to redefine commercial air travel by bringing sustainable, supersonic flight to the skies. Boom’s historic commercial passenger aircraft, the Overture, is designed and committed to industry-leading standards for speed, safety and sustainability. Overture will be the first commercial aircraft that is net carbon from day one capable of flying on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at twice the speed of today’s fastest passenger aircraft. Overture’s order book, including buy and options, amounts to 70 aircraft, and Boom is working with the U.S. Air Force on government applications of Overture. The XB-1, a demonstration aircraft, rolled out in 2020, and its test-zero-carbon flight program is underway. The company is backed by world-class investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Prime Movers Lab, Emerson Collective and American Express Ventures.
Boom was founded on the principles of speed, safety and sustainability from day 1 and leverages more than 50 years of advances in aerodynamics, materials and propulsion and uses its own innovations to build aircraft that are not only fast but also safe, sustainable and economically sound on a scale. Given the benefit of supersonic on transoceanic flights, long-haul flights across oceans are obviously very excited, according to a spokesman for Boom Supersonic. The company builds on and drives innovation in sustainable air travel and advances in alternative fuels to make the fastest flights also the most sustainable.