American Airlines is ‘set to buy 20 supersonic jets’ from manufacturer Boom Supersonic, the two companies have announced.
The move aims to give passengers the opportunity to travel at ‘ultra-fast’ speeds in an aircraft called ‘Overture,’ 20 years after Concorde was withdrawn from active use, though some still have concerns over whether it is, even now, possible to build ultra-fast, safe, quiet and environmentally friendly aircrafts.
“Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers,” said Derek Kerr, American’s chief financial officer.
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“We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers.”
Addressing concerns raised by Concorde’s turbulent time in the skies, aviation journalist Jon Ostrower said on CBS: “I think you cannot ignore the obstacles that will be on the path to getting there.”
According to CNN Business, Boom is developing a jet that the company says will be able to carry 65 to 80 passengers at nearly twice the speed of sound and could be ready to fly by 2029.
It is also being designed to fly more than 600 routes around the world in as little as half the time. Flying from Miami to London in just under five hours and Los Angeles to Honolulu in three hours are among the many possibilities.
The ‘Overture’ shares a very similar aesthetic to Concorde, the ultra-quick – and hyper-expensive – jet that shuttled people across the Atlantic for as much as $10,000 USD a seat.
Concorde was taken out of service in 2003 after a number of crashes and it was also known to be economically draining.
The jet, which used an enormous amount of fuel, was said to be too noisy to fly over land because its high speeds would generate ‘deafening sonic booms’, relegating it to trips only across the ocean, like the popular London to New York City route.
Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom said: “We are proud to share our vision of a more connected and sustainable world with American Airlines.
“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.”
The manufacturer recently unveiled a ‘refined’ version of the aircraft, which it said has completed wind tunnel tests.
It has yet to conduct a test flight, however, and the first productions of the aircraft aren’t expected to roll off the line until 2025, according to a press release.
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