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Supersonic Aircraft: United’s Boom Overture

Supersonic Aircraft

Jun 5, 2021 | Trends

In 1971, U.S. Congress halted federal funding of a next-generation supersonic transport, dubbed the “SST.” It was one of the dumbest acts ever perpetrated in the name of the U.S. public, setting the aviation industry back half a century. Now, a glimmer of hope for faster air travel has arrived thanks to Denver-based Boom Supersonic and United Airlines.
In 2003, the era of supersonic commercial flights came to an abrupt end when the Concorde completed its last flight between New York and London. That created a market gap, made seemingly larger by one of the most persistent Ubertrends ruling our world today, Time Compression — the acceleration of life. Ask frequent travelers today if they would like to arrive at their destinations faster, and you would get a resounding “yes” answer.
  • Boom Supersonic – After the successful unveiling of its XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator at the 2017 Paris Air Show, the company promised that the one-third-scale “Baby Boom” — could be flying as early as 2023. Now the company believes the XB-1 could fly as early as 2021 or 2022.
  • Rolls Royce – Boom has partnered with Rolls-Royce to help develop an Overture propulsion system that reduces community noise, optimizes fuel efficiency, and accommodates 100% sustainable aviation fuel. Those Rolls-Royce engines will have to do all that while powering the Overture to a cruise speed of up to Mach 2.2 (1,452 mph; 2,337 kph).
  • United – If Boom’s new Overture jet passes FAA certification, it could start flying in 2026 and carry United passengers by 2029. The Overture has a seating capacity of 65-88 passengers. Knowing United, that means they’ll jam 88 pax into the narrow-body jet, turning the supersonic Overture into a flying sardine can. The good news is you don’t have to suffer that torture for too long. New York to London — typically a seven-hour flight — will take just 3.5 hours, Los Angeles to Sydney — typically a 15-hour trip — six hours and 45 minutes. United has promised to buy 15 of Boom’s airliners once Overture meets United’s safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft.
United, when can I reserve my seat? 😍

Ubertrend Categorization: Time Compression.

Michael Tchong

Michael Tchong

Founder, Author, Adjunct Professor, Futurist

Michael is the founder of Toolhacker LLC, an innovation speaker and adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco, futurist, and author of “Ubertrends — How Trends And Innovation Are Transforming Our Future.” He is also the founder of four ahead-of-the-wave startups, including MacWEEK, Atelier Systems, CyberAtlas, and ICONOCAST.
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