Since the collapse of Concorde—which was never a huge financial success until its operation ended in the early 2000s—the “grail” of the aerospace industry has been designing supersonic aircraft capable of being economically feasible and, at the same time, silent.
Since then, several companies, from small startups like Boom to big names like Lockheed Martin and Virgin Galactic, have tried to make this project possible.
Boom Supersonic was started in the United States in 2014. The Overture civil project is being worked on with the help of Collins, Eaton, Safran, Rolls-Royce, USAF, American Express, and AWS.
Boom’s main goal is to improve the Concorde idea so that supersonic planes can be affordable. So far, the startup has done a good job selling the idea and has gotten 130 orders, of which 35 are firm.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, Boom’s first plane will be ready in 2025, and its first flight will take place the year after. However, regular passenger service is not projected to begin until 2029.
When comparing the Overture project to Concorde, the similarities outweigh the differences. Neither is much more than 60 feet or 11 feet in height. The wingspan of the Overture is 32.3 meters, while that of the Concorde is only 25.3 meters.
Despite sharing nearly identical fuselage dimensions, the Overture will have a significantly lower carrying capacity than the Concorde. The projected capacity of the Boom project is between sixty-five and eighty passengers.
In contrast, the supersonic developed by BAC (BAe) and Sud Aviation (Aerospatiale) might seat between ninety-two and one hundred and twenty-eight.
The new design will have a smaller passenger capacity due to its emphasis on fuel efficiency, but passengers may rest well in the cabin’s minimalistic two-row layout.
Above the subsonic jets and at an altitude where the Earth’s curvature can be seen, the Boom Overture is expected to fly at an altitude of roughly 60,000 feet or 18,300 meters, just like the Concorde.
Overture’s current specification is Mach 1.7 (2,082 km/h), despite earlier speculations that it would cruise at Mach 2.2, or 2,695 km/h. Concorde was faster, with a top speed of 2,470 km/h (or twice the speed of sound) and a cruise speed of 2,160 km/h.
The Concorde could travel up to 3,600 nm, while the Overture is predicted to travel 4,250 nm (7,871 km) on sustainable fuel (6,667 km). The power plants for both endeavors were designed and built by Rolls-Royce.
Carbon composites, which are now easier to make and more resistant to heat generated by supersonic friction, will be utilized in the fuselage of the Overture in place of the aluminum used in the Concorde.
Boom claims that planes with these specs can fly over 600 different routes worldwide, covering each leg of the journey in less than half the time it takes with today’s subsonic jets.
The boom has, however, stated emphatically that the supersonic flight would be conducted exclusively over water. Same as Concorde, which could not fly supersonically over the United States, Overture will fly at Mach 0.94 over the continent.
Avoiding the noise pollution constraints of supersonic flight is an option, but that doesn’t address the problem for these jets, as the fast flight is the best scenario in any zone.
With an order backlog of 130 aircraft (including options), Boom has now exceeded Concorde. Although only British Airways and Air France were awarded a total of 14 Concordes, nearly a hundred airlines had expressed interest in purchasing the supersonic aircraft.
According to Boom, definite orders from United and American Airlines alone already amount to 35 jets, more than the total number of Concordes constructed in 27 years of operation (20 aircraft).
Both American and the United had expressed interest in purchasing a Concorde at one point but ultimately decided not to. Fans of aviation have been promised a new passenger supersonic aircraft, and they can’t wait to see it in action.