Boom: The Future is Supersonic
- It’s certainly not a short-term priority for airlines right now. But the revival of supersonic intercontinental air travel, this time with more economic logic, remains under development. Colorado’s Boom is one leading developer, whose work continues unabated thanks to long-term funding. As its CEO Blake Scholl tells Aviation Week, Boom hopes to launch demonstration flights next year, with a smaller “XB-1” test version of its Overture model, the latter to cruise at 1,400 miles per hour.
A B787 by comparison cruises at about 560 miles per hour. Scholl calls it the first new airliner for the post-pandemic world, and one that’s getting more attention from key aerospace suppliers. A key challenge though, will be offering supersonic flights in an environmentally sustainable manner, in terms of both carbon emissions and noise. Boom hopes alternative fuels will help with the former. And flying mostly trans-oceanic flights will ease concerns about the latter. If XB-1 test flights prove successful, Overture test flights could follow sometime in the middle of this decade.