An order for up to 20 supersonic aircraft from Boom Supersonic has been placed by American Airlines. American is the second major airline to bet on the return of fast air travel.
The amount of money was not disclosed, but American said the deposit on the 20 initial aircraft was non-refundable. Depending on the outcome of American's safety testing and also Boom's ability to deliver on its promises, the agreement is still subject to change.
American says thatBoom must meet industry-standard operating, performance and safety requirements as well as American's other customary conditions before delivery of any Overtures.
If Boom’s Overture jets pass inspection, the plan is for them to be rolled out in 2025
The plan is for the jets to carry passengers by 2029 if they pass inspection. At that point, Boom claims it will be possible to fly from New York to London in 3.5 hours or Los Angeles to Australia in six hours. According to Boom, tickets could cost as much as $5,000 per seat, but American didn't give any information about pricing.
Since Concorde went out of business in the early 2000s, Boom has been focused on resurrecting commercial supersonic air travel.
The company has a deal to deliver 15 jets to United Airlines, with the option for an additional 35 aircraft. There are contracts with the US Air Force. The company has raised $270 million in funding and has received pre-orders from Virgin Group and Japan Airlines.
In July of last year, Boom revealed its updated design for its Overture aircraft, which included an extra engine, a curved fuselage, and gull wings. The full-scale Overture will be 205 feet long and have a cruising altitude of 60,000 feet.
The jets will run on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel and be net zero carbon. The company has yet to give more information about how they will achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
Environmental groups worry that faster speeds will make pollution worse. supersonic jets are known to be far more polluted than the rest of the aviation industry. It takes more fuel to go faster than carbon neutral.
The XB-1 demonstrator was supposed to start test flights in the hopes of ferrying real passengers in 2020. The demonstrator is expected to fly for the first time this year after entering taxi testing at the airport. When a supersonic airplane breaks the sound barrier, sonic booms can occur.
There was a discrepancy between the amount of investment cash raised by Boom Supersonic and the actual amount. The XB-1 demonstrator is behind schedule. The facts were misstated in a previous version. We apologize for the mistake.