GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Boom Supersonic’s planned production facility at Piedmont Triad International Airport has a new order.
Boom, which in January announced plans to build the manufacturing facility for its supersonic passenger jet at PTI, on Tuesday said it had a contract to supply 20 of those jets – called Overture – to American Airlines.
American paid a deposit on an order of 20 of the jets, a release from Boom said, and there is an option on an additional 40.
This follows Boom’s existing deals with United Airlines and the U.S. Air Force for orders of jets that will be built in Greensboro. Overture is scheduled to roll out in 2025 and carry its first passengers by 2029.
“We are proud to share our vision of a more connected and sustainable world with American Airlines,” Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom, said in the release announcing the deal with American. “We believe Overture can help American deepen its competitive advantage on network, loyalty and overall airline preference through the paradigm-changing benefits of cutting travel times in half.”
Overture is designed to carry 65 to 80 passengers at twice the speed of typical commercial jets that could cover transatlantic routes in 5 hours or so. The jet is to be built and operate with net carbon zero.
“Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers,” Derek Kerr, American’s chief financial officer. “We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers.”
The contract with United Airlines is for 15 Overture jets deliverable by 2029, with an option on 35 more of the jets. Before the American deal, the company had valued those preorders at $6 billion.
In January Boom announced a 3-year strategic partnership with the U.S. Air Force, a deal the company said is worth $60 million and will accelerate the development of the Overture.
Boom calls its planned facility “The Overture Superfactory” and it will provide for customers and suppliers and then service those jets, Boom Chief Business Officer Kathy Savitt said at the announcement back in January.
The company will hire about 1,761 initially and have an apprentice program for students from North Carolina colleges, but she said that workforce is expected to grow to 2,400 at PTI by 2032.
The Overture is designed to cruise at 60,000 feet and reach a speed of Mach 1.7, which is roughly 1304.36 miles per hour. That’s slightly slower than the now-retired Concorde, which reached 1,350 miles, but it’s sufficient to get passengers from New York to London in 3.5 hours, the company says.
Boom suggests that its jet will fly more than 500 routes to destinations around the world, with a range of 4,888 miles. Boom also claims to be the only airplane manufacturer to commit to a carbon-neutral, sustainable program, flying 100% on “sustainable aviation fuel,” which the U.S. Department of Energy describes as being made from “renewable biomass and waste resources.” Those could be corn or algae or wood products or similar materials.
Some aviation observers have been skeptical, suggesting the launch of Overture would cost between $15 billion and $20 billion.
Principal among those obstacles has been discussed: Development of an engine that runs on fuel sources that are carbon neutral and entirely sustainable. Boom has a partner in Rolls-Royce to build that engine.