The US airline has ordered 15 machines for a supersonic passenger aircraft that is still in development. The Concorde-like Overture is said to fly twice as fast as the currently fastest line machines.
With the end of Concorde, supersonic jets disappeared from civil aviation, but now, United Airlines, a large US airline, is setting the course for a comeback. The company announced on Thursday that it had ordered 15 “Overture” supersonic airliners from the US start-up Boom Supersonic. The agreement also includes an option to purchase 35 additional machines. However, the jets are still in development. The supersonic aircraft with a top speed of Mach 1.7 is scheduled to go into production in 2025, fly for the first time in 2026 and transport passengers from 2029.
The Concorde-like Overture should then fly twice as fast as the currently fastest line machines. According to United, it could connect Newark, which is next to New York, with London in three and a half hours and with Frankfurt am Main in four hours. The flight from San Francisco on the US west coast to the Japanese capital Tokyo is expected to take six hours.
A purchase price for the supersonic aircraft, which will seat between 65 and 88 passengers, was not mentioned. The prerequisite for purchasing the machines is that United’s requirements for safety, operation and sustainability are met, as the airline explained. The Overture is supposed to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuel.
“United continues on its course to build a more innovative and sustainable airline,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “Today’s advances in technology make it more feasible for that to include supersonic aircraft.”
Start-up was founded in 2014
Boom Supersonic was founded in 2014. According to the company, there have been 70 orders for Overture aircraft so far. With the United order, there is now an order for CO2-neutral supersonic aircraft, explained Boom Supersonic boss Blake Scholl. “United and Boom share a common goal: to connect the world safely and sustainably.”
So far, the Concorde has only been a supersonic passenger aircraft. The French-British prestige aircraft was traveling at twice the speed of sound – Mach 2 – but was not profitable because of the enormous fuel consumption. The crash of a Concorde in Paris on July 25, 2000 with 113 deaths heralded the end of the supersonic aircraft. Operations ceased in 2003.