• Boom Supersonic is revolutionizing commercial flight by reintroducing supersonic travel with Overture, a sustainable supersonic airliner. With twice the speed of today's airliners, their aircraft offer reduced travel time and post-flight fatigue.
• It runs on 100% sustainable aviation fuel and aims for net-zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Backed by investors and pre-order customers like American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines, Boom Supersonic is gaining momentum.
• Their goal is to bring people, families, businesses, and cultures closer together, making the world more connected and accessible through supersonic travel.
Think of cheetahs. Now imagine cheetahs on Red Bull. And for the sake of this analogy, let’s imagine that Red Bull actually gives you wings. This is how I imagine supersonic aircraft; soaring through the skies at unattainable speeds. The good news is we don't have to imagine it for long.
Their mission is to make the world dramatically more accessible. Sustainable supersonic travel enables lengthy trips to become one-day hops, long-distance relationships to thrive, and humanitarian missions to save more lives. They believe that life is better lived in person.
Some of you aviation geeks may be wondering why this is such a big deal. It has already been done before in 1976 by Concorde, the world’s first scheduled supersonic passenger service.
It was a remarkable feat of engineering and lasted for decades. But it was extremely noisy, and exorbitantly expensive, leading to high operating costs, and eventually, after an engine failure and a subsequent crash in 2003, Concorde retired.
How is it going to be any different now?
Well, demand for air travel has significantly increased in the past couple of years, with the number of global airplane passengers rising from 1.7 billion in 2003 to 7 billion in 2022. International business travel has also expanded.
The materials and technology have drastically improved over the same period of time, meaning that the return of supersonic travel is no longer an unattainable goal. With the kind of fast-paced life that we live in, in addition to these statistics, the need for supersonic travel is higher than ever and Boom Supersonic is ready to provide us with faster and more frequent travel, increased time at the destination, decreased post-flight fatigue, and accessibility to far-flung places around the world.
In addition to improving the passenger experience by reducing their journey time, the company is also investing a great deal in enhancing the passenger experience by developing a cabin that is comfortable, tranquil, and productive for travelers.
The aircraft will fly above other commercial aircraft at an altitude of up to 60,000 ft—high enough to see the curvature of the earth below. Flying at supersonic speeds tends to be smoother than subsonic flight because, at 60,000 ft, you’re flying above most turbulence.
The commercial airplane manufacturer has currently introduced two aircraft;
Overture is a supersonic airliner that will carry up to 80 passengers. It will fly at twice the speed of today’s airliners and is designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). They are designing Overture to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability. It is a proposed Mach 1.7 supersonic airliner with 4,250 nmi of range, which is planned to be introduced in 2029 by Boom Technology.
XB-1 is the demonstrator aircraft. The XB-1 program has given the company real-world data to strengthen its software-based approach to airplane design. It has also informed how they think about safety and helped them build a strong, rigorous safety culture at Boom.
Talking about sustainability
Boom plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2025 and net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040 building on the significant progress already made by the company. Boom, quite impressively, has already achieved carbon neutrality through reduction initiatives and high-quality carbon credits beginning in 2021.
Overture is designed from the ground up and optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), as mentioned above. Symphony, the propulsion system for Overture, is being optimized for sustainable commercial supersonic flight by designing it to run on zero aromatic 100% SAF from day one.
Founded in 2014, Boom has assembled a team of over 150 full-time employees who have made contributions to over 220 air and spacecraft programs. Investors, many of whom had backed Scholl’s previous venture, pumped almost $1m into the fledgling business – while it was still operating from the basement of Scholl’s home.
Some were driven by their own desire to see a successor to Concorde, while some simply trusted the ambitious founders. So far, it appears they have been proved right.
Boom Supersonic is now funded by 39 investors. Momentum Ventures, Prime Movers Lab, and Celesta Capital are some of the lead investors. The company has a post-money valuation in the range of $1B to $10B as of April 15, 2021, according to PrivCo; and has raised a total of $147.5M in funding over 13 rounds.
Their latest funding was raised on March 30, 2023, from a Venture - Series Unknown round. Boom’s target customers are commercial passenger airlines around the world, initially targeting high-end business-class passengers.
Boom Supersonic currently counts American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines as pre-order customers. In 2020, Boom Supersonic announced a partnership with the US Air Force to explore Overture modifications for government executive transport.
Boom Supersonic’s business model primarily involves selling Overture aircraft to airlines. Each Overture aircraft will reportedly cost around $200 million. Since no Overture aircraft have been built, Boom Supersonic is taking modest down payments from airline customers for orders of an initial number of aircraft, with the option to buy more contingent on Boom Supersonic meeting industry-standard operating, safety, and performance requirements.
The phenomenal growth of this company is driven by the sheer rise in global connectivity. Air crafts have become a means for human connections, for escape, for business and so much more. Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected and Boom Supersonic is helping us fast forward into a future where the gaps between distant lands and diverse cultures feel merely a few steps away.
Boom’s vision is to bring families, businesses, and cultures closer together through supersonic travel and make the world dramatically more accessible. The once scoffed-upon notion of supersonic travel is now achievable and we get to experience it.
Edited by Shruti Thapa