Something to look forward to: Boom says the Overture will reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.7, cutting flight time in half for some routes compared to today's commercial aircraft. If all goes according to plan, the Overture will have its first commercial flight in 2029, almost three decades after the retirement of the Concorde, the last supersonic airliner.
American Airlines announced that it placed an order for up to 20 Overture aircraft from Boom Supersonic, with an option for an additional 40. The companies didn't say how much the deal was worth, but American did mention it has already paid a non-refundable deposit on the initial 20 aircraft.
Boom claims the Overture will be able to carry 65 to 80 passengers and fly as fast as Mach 1.7 (1,100 mph; 1,800 km/h) over water, twice the speed of today's fastest commercial aircraft. To put it into perspective, a direct flight from Miami to London takes about nine hours right now. Overture could make the same trip in just under five hours.
In July, Boom unveiled the final production design of the Overture, with four engines instead of the original's three, a redesigned gull-form wing and fuselage to reduce drag. It will reportedly operate at a quarter of the cost of Concorde by relying on dry engines (without afterburners) and composite structures. Boom also claims the jets will be net-zero carbon and will be able to run on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel.
The Overture will be 205 feet long and have a cruising altitude of 60,000 feet. However, it will have a limited range of just 4,250 nautical miles (4,888 miles; 7,867 km), meaning that transpacific flights would require a refueling stop. The aircraft also generates a loud-enough sonic boom to limit flights above land to subsonic speeds.
Boom plans to build the aircraft at its upcoming manufacturing facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the first model rolling out in 2025 and the first flight scheduled for 2026. If all goes well, the Overture will start commercial flights by the end of the decade.