August 17, 2022

Boom Technology is a Colorado-based aeronautics company that has been working on bringing back supersonic passenger air travel. Specifically, the Boom Overture is supposed to become the new Concorde, and United Airlines has even placed an order for the plane (presumably with lots of flexibility and little money down).

Boom has just announced some modifications to the design of the Overture, which will no doubt make some people even more skeptical of the concept.

What has changed about the Boom Overture

At the Farnborough Airshow today, Boom has revealed some major changes to the design and performance of the Overture, intended to optimize speed, safety, and sustainability. First let’s do a “before and after,” with the first rendering below being the initial Boom Overture design, and the second rendering being the updated design.

Boom Overture original design
Boom Overture new design

So, what has changed about the Boom Overture? Boom now claims:

  • The Overture will fly at Mach 1.7 (compared to Mach 2.1 previously)
  • The Overture will feature four engines (compared to three previously); oddly it’s claimed that adding an extra engine “reduces noise while also decreasing costs for airline operators”
  • The Overture can carry 65-80 passengers in an all-business class configuration (compared to 65-88 previously)
Boom Overture rendering
Boom Overture rendering
Boom Overture rendering
Boom Overture rendering

As it’s described, the new Boom Overture concept is the culmination of 26 million core-hours of simulated software designs, five wind tunnel tests, and the careful evaluation of 51 full design iterations. Boom states that production of the jet will start in 2024, which is mighty soon.

Interestingly Boom still hasn’t revealed what company will manufacture the engines for this plane, which seems like a pretty major detail, since that’s about half of the aircraft manufacturing equation (especially when we’re talking about supersonic flight).

Will the Boom Overture become a reality?

Boom has raised a lot of money from investors, and even has the backing of some airlines. I don’t want to be a wet blanket, because admittedly over time we see huge advancements in technology, and it’s always easy to be skeptical.

At the same time, I just don’t think this reflects the direction the industry is headed, and it seems like there are lots of hurdles to overcome. Furthermore, it doesn’t give me much faith that several years into designing this concept, Boom has now changed the number of engines on the plane, all while still not revealing what company is manufacturing the engines. And all of this comes just a couple of years before production of the jet will allegedly start?

I’d love to see the Boom Overture become a reality, so I hope to be proven wrong here.

Will we ever see a Boom Overture in United’s livery?

Bottom line

An overhaul of the design of the Boom Overture has just been revealed. The plane’s cruising speed has been reduced significantly, and the plane will now have four engines rather than three. I’d love to see this plane become a reality, but I remain skeptical…

What do you make of the Boom Overture design changes? Do you think the plane will ever become a reality?

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