At the most recent air show in Paris, Boom Supersonic discussed how they would be bringing back faster than the speed of sound flight, now its VS the Concorde so which one may be better? They aim to revamp supersonic travel with their Mach 2.2 aircraft, the Boom Overture.
The Boom Overture has been dubbed Concorde 2.0. With the later being retired back in 2003 it seems that the field is open for the new prodigal son to take center stage. But, will the Boom Overture be a match for the famous Concorde? Or will it always be in its shadow?
What is Boom Overture?
The Boom Overture is a new aircraft concept under development to bring back supersonic travel to the regular aircraft flyer. Unlike other projects to develop a new supersonic aircraft, only Boom Aerospace is focusing on large passenger numbers and not private jets.
Currently, they have raised $141m (£107m) in two rounds of funding and are well on their way to build what they have dubbed the ‘Baby Boom’, a miniature prototype. They aim to fly it this year.
The 55-seat number was chosen as this is around the average configuration size of a typical business class cabin.
“You’ll be able to fly Overture for a quarter the price of a Concorde ticket, or about the same price you’d pay in business class today. That’s the most important thing,” – Blake Scholl, CEO of Boom Supersonic.
How does it compare to the Concorde?
The Concorde, originally built back in the 70s, could carry 100 passengers at Mach 2 (1,535 mph / 2,470 km/h) to a range of 3,900 nmi (4,488.04 mi / 7,223 km).
The new Boom Overture is aiming to have 55 seats, fly at Mach 2.2 (1,674.6 mph / 2,695 km/h) and fly to a range of 4,500 nmi (5,179 mi / 8,334 km).
Looking at the numbers above, we can see that the Concorde could carry almost double the passengers of the planned Boom Overture. That being said, the Concorde was only around 80% full on average.
Comparing range and speed, the new Bom Overture is putting 40 years of research and development to good use, by extending the speed and the range of the aircraft. Additionally, the Boom Overture will burn less fuel (no afterburners on takeoff) and will be 30 times quieter.
Will Boom be successful where the Concorde wasn’t?
For one, Boom has taken the time to understand the flaws of the Concorde and how they can avoid the problems associated with it.
The Concorde was banned from flying supersonic over the continental USA and was only allowed to fly at normal jet speeds. Due to this, it became way too expensive to operate. Boom will only focus on routes across oceans, such as the New York to London route that was profitable for Concorde.
So far, Virgin Atlantic and Japanese Airlines have given Boom Aerospace memorandum of understandings to purchase 30 aircraft at a total of $6bn (£4.57bn). They had to commit $1 million USD each for this first right of refusal.