United Airlines Have Ordered 15 Supersonic Transports
Could we be entering a new supersonic age within the next decade?
United Airlines have announced they have plans to buy 15 supersonic aircraft (with the option for 35 more) from Boom Supersonic, an American aviation company. This may be the first supersonic transport since the legendary Concorde which was retired in 2003. Boom Supersonic claims that the supersonic transport, called Overture, may enter service as soon as 2029. It will be able to carry between 65-88 passengers and travel at Mach 1.7. Boom claim it will be able to fly from London to New York in 3.5 hours, about half the time most airliners take today. The Boom Overture is supposed to be rolled out in 2025, fly in 2026, and like I said, enter service in 2029.
The Overture is supposed to cut emissions and be extremely efficient unlike the last SST, Concorde, which brings me to another thing. Only 20 Concordes were ever made, and just 14 of those entered passenger service. At first, the Concorde was supposed to be the next big thing in aviation, with 19 airlines showing interest, but only BOAC (became British Airways) and Air France didn't cancel their orders. Ultimately, despite its iconic status, the Concorde was not as big of a success as it was supposed to be. There were other designs for SSTs designed to compete with Concorde, some of which had orders (only one entered service, the Soviet Tu-144), but they ended up being canceled. Just last month the development of the Aerion AS2, a design for a supersonic business jet was canceled. My point is that it is hard to tell if this is going to be the next generation of commercial aircraft, or if it is not going to be successful.
The recently canceled Aerion AS2. Image: Aerion
I really hope that this airliner will be successful, it would be great to see a new supersonic era, but like I said it is hard to tell if this project will be successful or not.
A rendering of the Boom Supersonic in the United livery. Image: Boom Supersonic