Nearly two decades after the last Concorde flight, supersonic airliners are making a comeback. US air giant American Airlines has placed an order for 20 new supersonic airliners, which could come into service as soon as 2029.
The aircraft in question is called the ‘Overture’ and it’s being made by Boom Supersonic, an American aviation company. Overtures are promising to be the world’s fastest airliner and reach speeds of Mach 1.7 (over 1,300 miles per hour), which is over double the speed of current airliners.
At that speed, an Overture will be able to get from London to New York (usually a seven-hour flight) in just three and a half hours and span Los Angeles and Sydney (usually a 15-hour trip) in just six hours and 45 mins. Each Overture can carry between 65 and 80 passengers. Here are a few renders of what the airliner might look like.
And American Airlines isn’t the only liner to have snapped up some Overtures. Over 130 have apparently been ordered so far, including from United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Japan Airlines.
Speed aside, Boom’s Overtures are interesting for other reasons. The company says they’ll run entirely on sustainable fuel and be net-zero carbon, which, if true, could be game-changing for the aviation industry. Although, of course, it’s probs better to take any environmental commitments with a significant pinch of salt until there’s any actual proof. (Net-zero long-haul flights are still a distant prospect.)
In any case, supersonic air travel for the masses looks like it’s genuinely back on the cards. Boom is aiming for the first Overture test flights to take off in 2026 and for the planes to go into public service by 2029.