DENVER – Nearly 20 years after the Concorde made its last commercial flight, efforts to revive supersonic travel are gathering pace.
American startup Boom Supersonic said this week that it has chosen Greensboro, North Carolina, to build its Overture airliners.
The aircraft, with a capacity for up to 88 passengers, will fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuel at twice the speed of today’s fastest passenger jets, the company said.
“Selecting the site for Overture manufacturing is a significant step forward in bringing sustainable supersonic air travel to passengers and airlines,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom.
“With some of the country’s best and brightest aviation talent, key suppliers and the state of North Carolina’s continued support, Boom is confident that Greensboro will emerge as the world’s supersonic manufacturing hub.”
The Overture Superfactory will be about 400,000 square feet and constructed on a 65-acre campus at the Piedmont Triad International Airport. Economists estimate that the factory will grow the state’s economy by at least $32.3 billion over 20 years, Boom said.
The company will break ground in Greensboro this year, with production slated to begin in 2024.
United Airlines will be the launch customer of the aircraft. In June, it agreed to buy 15 airliners, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft.
Boom will test a “demonstrator” airplane, the XB-1, this year. Both the Overture and the XB-1 will feature advanced, thermally stable carbon composite airframes, which are easier to fabricate and maximize fuel efficiency, the company said.
The first Overture commercial flight is scheduled for 2029.
The previous supersonic aircraft, the Concorde, was operated by Air France and British Airways during 1976-2003. A British Airways Concorde made the final commercial flight from New York to London on Oct. 24, 2003.