Is Supersonic Travel Poised for a Comeback?

The Overture, from Boom Technology, hopes so

The Overture
The Overture in flight.
Boom Technology

In 2003, an era of aviation came to an end when the Concorde went on its last flight from New York to London. Writing at The Guardian, Jonathan Glancey evoked its supersonic speed when he called it “[a] time machine of sorts that could transport those who could afford a ticket from London to New York to arrive at least an hour before they took off.” The flight itself abounded with celebrity travelers, and the event is still looked back on with fondness and curiosity today.

At one point, supersonic air travel looked like the way of the future — a method by which no destination would be more than a few hours’ flight away. And while contemporary air travel (at least before the pandemic) has abounded with more air travel, it isn’t always of the fastest variety.

At least one aviation company is banking on that not being the case forever. A new article at One Mile at a Time details the work being done by Colorado’s Boom Technology — specifically, their work developing the Boom Overture.

The Overture is a 100% carbon-neutral supersonic passenger jet, capable of flying at Mach 2.2 and reaching an altitude of 60,000 feet. The concept for the plane would involve a cabin that’s entirely business class, with a capacity of between 65 and 88 customers.

Boom Technology hopes to have a prototype build next year, with the goal of commercial flights in place by 2029. It’s an ambitious plan and as the One Mile at a Time article points out, it’s unclear if there’s a market for commercial supersonic travel. But the statistics cited by Boom offer a lot to delight frequent travelers and observers of the aviation space. Could the Overture be the successor to the Concorde we never expected? It jut might.

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