Remember that supersonic jet we talked about last month? The one from that new startup that was aiming to fly people anywhere in the world for just 100 dollars. The jet was designed to seat around 65 people and could handle speeds up to Mach 2.2. Well, it seems that United Airlines has shown the startup, Boom Supersonic, some interest and will buy 15 of said supersonic jets.
The companies announced yesterday that would initially hold a deal for 15 jets whilst keeping an option to increase that number to 50 later. Boom Supersonics’ main goal is to speed up travel times whilst keeping the carbon emission of the flight to reasonable levels. The new deal depends on if Boom can deliver the 15 Overture jets despite never having built or flown a full-scaled one before.
If the jets do pass inspection, they are expected to roll out in 2025 and start flying the next year. Though official passenger travel won’t be coming until 2029. It seems Boom still needs to look at a lot of things. According to United CEO Scott Kirby, “Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation, combined with the industry’s most robust route network in the world, will give business and leisure travelers access to a stellar flight experience”.
Boom has raised around $240 million in funding and preorders from Japan Airlines and the Virgin Group. Although the Overture hasn’t been shown much, Boom’s first full-scale XB-1 demonstrator aircraft is slated to take its inaugural flight later this year. The XB-1 is the scaled-down model of the Overture jet. The full-scale model will be 205 feet long while the XB-1 is around 71 feet long.
The demonstrator aircraft only has room for the pilot and both United and Boom claim that the jets will run on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel and will be net-zero in carbon emissions on day one. That’s a bold claim considering the speeds that Boom is touting. It’s unclear what fuel they are using and how are they actually going to get net-zero carbon emissions.
United hasn’t talked about pricing yet but Boom says that its tickets would cost around $5000 per seat. What’s interesting is that Boom initially wanted to start test flights in 2017 and start passenger flights in 2020 but it seems they’ve been delayed a whole decade now.