Boom Supersonic's aircraft will cut travel times in half and operate on up to 100% sustainable aviation fuel. Picture: supplied.
Boom Supersonic's aircraft will cut travel times in half and operate on up to 100% sustainable aviation fuel. Picture: supplied.

United Airlines’ bold 2029 supersonic flights plans will have competition

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jun 4, 2021

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United Airlines plans to carry passengers on supersonic flights by 2029.

The airline will purchase 15 of Boom’s ’Overture’ airliners from Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based aerospace company.

In an announcement this week, United detailed its agreement with Boom Supersonic and its co-operative sustainability initiative.

United says it will buy 15 of Boom’s ’Overture’ airliners once Overture meets United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements.

United has the option of buying an additional 35 planes.

The roll-out is set for 2025, with the first flight scheduled for 2026 and passengers travelling on the plane by 2029.

The aircraft

Set to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, Overture will run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The aircraft will feature in-seat entertainment screens, ample personal space, and contactless technology.

The Overture aims to fly at speeds of Mach 1.7 and will connect to more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time.

If the routes are given the green light, Overture could fly from Newark to London in three and a half hours, Newark to Frankfurt in four hours and San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours.

United chief executive Scott Kirby said the airline wanted to build a “more innovative, sustainable airline”.

“Today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes.

“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 travellers access to a stellar flight experience,” he said.

Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic founder and chief executive, said the net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marked a significant step toward their mission to create a more accessible world.

“At speeds twice as fast, United passengers will experience all the advantages of life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer, more relaxing vacations to far-off destinations,” he said.

Competition

Spike Aerospace announced the Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet that “sweeps passengers to their destinations in half the time it takes other jets” is under development.

The Spike S-512 may debut commercial flights by 2028.

According to the Spike Aerospace website, the Spike S-512 jet will fly at Mach 1.6 and about 720km/h faster than any other civilian aircraft.

If successful, travellers can get from New York to London in less than three hours or Dubai to Joburg in 3.8 hours.

Spike S-512 can carry 18 passengers and offers incredible panoramic views.

The jet boasts a Multiplex Digital Cabin, which features cameras with live feeds to high-definition digital screens, reduced cabin noise, increased oxygen levels, high-speed wireless Internet access, in-flight telephone system and more.

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