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Contained in the world’s fastest airliner: Boom Supersonic Overture jet

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The concept of travelling from Miami to London in only five hours might sound too good to be true for a lot of weary travellers. 

Nevertheless it could turn out to be a reality in only seven years, following the news that American Airlines has agreed to purchase 20 Overture jets from aircraft maker Boom Supersonic. 

The Overture, dubbed the ‘Son of Concorde’ remains to be under development, but is tipped to be the ‘world’s fastest airliner’, reaching speeds of Mach 1.7 (about 1,300mph). 

That is double the speed of current business jets, and will slash the journey time between Miami and London from nine hours to only five. 

‘Overture is our flagship aircraft, a supersonic business airplane that may carry as much as 88 passengers,’ Boom Supersonic explains on its website. ‘We’re designing Overture to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability.’ 

Here’s a have a look at the important thing features we expect to see in Overture, ahead of its roll out in 2025, first flight in 2026, and first passenger flight in 2029.

The Overture remains to be under development, but is tipped to be the ‘world’s fatest airliner’, reaching speeds of Mach 1.7 (about 1,300mph). Overture is slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and expected to hold passengers by 2029

Still under development, the Overture is expected to reach speeds of Mach 1.7, or about 1,300 mph, roughly double the top speed of the fastest current commercial jets on the market, including the Boeing 747

Still under development, the Overture is predicted to achieve speeds of Mach 1.7, or about 1,300 mph, roughly double the highest speed of the fastest current business jets available on the market, including the Boeing 747

Boom Overture key specifications 

Cruise speed: Mach 1.7 supersonic, Mach 0.94 subsonic

Range: 4,250 miles with full payload

Passengers: 65–80

Exterior Dimensions: Length – 201 feet, Wingspan – 106 feet, Height – 36 feet

Wing: Gull with digital leading and trailing edge flap control

Flight controls: 4x redundant digital fly-by-wire on 2 LRUs

Powerplant: 4x medium-bypass 100% SAF-compatible turbofan

Sustainability: Net zero carbon, flying on 100% SAF

4-engine design 

Overture is driven by 4 powerful wing-mounted engines that power the plane to cruising speeds of Mach 1.7 (1,300mph) over water, and just below Mach 1 (767mph) over land without the usage of afterburners. 

‘Using 4 engines keeps weight and temperature balanced, and shrinks the scale requirements of every engine, which ​​allows the production of those engines to fall inside current supply chain and manufacturing capabilities,’ Boom Supersonic explained. 

Each engine is fed by a highly-efficient, streamline-traced, axisymmetric inlet. 

These inlets provide ‘exceptional’ pressure consistency that permits the engines to operate with subsonic airflow at supersonic speed, in line with Boom Supersonic. 

‘Engine placement was chosen to adapt to the strictest passenger safety requirements,’ it added. 

Quieter operation

While you may expect Overture to be incredibly loud, thankfully this is not the case. 

Using 4 engines leads to lower thrust requirements for every, which implies reduced overall noise levels, in line with Boom Supersonic. 

The plane can also be fitted with the world’s first automated noise reduction system. 

With no afterburners and buzz-free engines, Overture’s takeoffs will mix in with existing long-haul fleets, leading to a quieter experience for each passengers and airport communities, meeting or exceeding ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) requirements for all subsonic aircraft operating over land and at or near airports,’ Boom Supersonic explained. 

Still under development, the Overture is expected to reach speeds of Mach 1.7, or about 1,300 mph, roughly double the top speed of the fastest current commercial jets on the market, including the Boeing 747

Still under development, the Overture is predicted to achieve speeds of Mach 1.7, or about 1,300 mph, roughly double the highest speed of the fastest current business jets available on the market, including the Boeing 747 

Boom says that Overture, which will be able to fly at 60,000ft and carry between 65 and 80 passengers, will use 'the world's first automated noise reduction system'

Boom says that Overture, which can have the opportunity to fly at 60,000ft and carry between 65 and 80 passengers, will use ‘the world’s first automated noise reduction system’

What’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)? 

SAF is a biofuel used to power aircraft that has similar properties to traditional jet fuel but with a smaller carbon footprint. 

Depending on the feedstock and technologies used to supply it, SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically compared to traditional jet fuel. 

Feedstocks for producing SAFs include:

  • Corn grain
  • Oil seeds
  • Algae
  • Other fats, oils, and greases
  • Agricultural residues
  • Forestry residues
  • Wood mill waste
  • Municipal solid waste streams
  • Wet wastes (manures, wastewater treatment sludge)
  • Dedicated energy crops

Contoured fuselage

Overture is designed to minimise drag and maximise fuel efficiency at supersonic speeds. 

Boom Supersonic opted for a fuselage with a bigger diameter towards the front of the aircraft, and a smaller diameter towards the rear. 

Gull wings

Overture features gull wings, which permit air to flow easily over and across the aircraft. 

A contoured wing profile reduces sonic shock strength and creates a swirling vortex along the whole wing surface that generates lift and reduces engine stress. 

‘Particular to Overture, this wing is a derivative of the normal delta wing found on most supersonic aircraft,’ (including Concorde), Boom Supersonic explained. 

‘The delta platform is optimised for supersonic flight but doesn’t operate optimally in lower-speed / subsonic conditions. 

‘The complex gull-wing design was chosen to optimise cruise and low-speed conditions.’

Carbon composite structure 

The plane is built from a lighter carbon composite material, which makes it more fuel efficient, and thus more sustainable.

While many existing planes use aluminium as a key constructing material, Boom Supersonic says that carbon composite structures are a greater option. 

‘The carbon-fibre composites maintain strength at elevated temperatures higher than aluminium,’ it explained.

‘The composites expand and contract much lower than metal under supersonic conditions, allowing Overture to fly at higher speeds more safely.’

'Overture is our flagship aircraft, a supersonic commercial airplane that will carry up to 88 passengers,' Boom Supersonic explains on its website. 'We are designing Overture to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability'

‘Overture is our flagship aircraft, a supersonic business airplane that may carry as much as 88 passengers,’ Boom Supersonic explains on its website. ‘We’re designing Overture to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability’

Overture will be powered by four powerful, wing-mounted engines that enable the airliner to cruise at Mach 1.7 (1,300mph) over water and just under Mach 1 (770mph) over land

Overture might be powered by 4 powerful, wing-mounted engines that enable the airliner to cruise at Mach 1.7 (1,300mph) over water and just below Mach 1 (770mph) over land

American Airlines on Tuesday agreed to buy up to 20 Overture jets (above) from aircraft maker Boom Supersonic, vowing to cut the time of long-haul flights over water nearly in half

American Airlines on Tuesday agreed to purchase as much as 20 Overture jets (above) from aircraft maker Boom Supersonic, vowing to chop the time of long-haul flights over water nearly in half 

Net zero carbon

Overture is built to operate on 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel – jet fuel made out of sustainable and renewable sources, somewhat than fossil fuels. 

‘Environmental performance is being considered in all elements of Overture, from design and production to flight and end-of-life recycling,’ Boom Supersonic said.

‘The engineering team prioritises circularity by repurposing used tooling, recycling components on the shop floor, and leveraging additive manufacturing techniques that end in less manufacturing waste and lighter, more fuel-efficient products.’   

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CONCORDE: THE FIRST COMMERCIAL SUPERSONIC JET

Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that was operated until 2003. 

It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 k per hour at cruise altitude) and will seat 92 to 128 passengers.

It was first flown in 1969, but needed further tests to ascertain it as viable as a business aircraft.

Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued flying for the subsequent 27 years. 

It’s one in all only two supersonic transports to have been operated commercially. 

The opposite is the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144, which ran for a much shorter time period before it was grounded and retired because of safety and budget issues.

Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that was operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 k per hour at cruise altitude) and could seat 92 to 128 passengers

Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that was operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 k per hour at cruise altitude) and will seat 92 to 128 passengers

Concorde was jointly developed and manufactured by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. 

Concorde’s name, meaning harmony or union, reflects the cooperation on the project between the UK and France. 

Within the UK, any or the entire type are known simply as ‘Concorde’, without an article. 

Twenty aircraft were built including six prototypes and development aircraft.

Air France (AF) and British Airways (BA) each received seven aircraft. 

The research and development didn’t make a profit and the 2 airlines bought the aircraft at an enormous discount.

Amongst other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Recent York-JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados.

It flew these routes in lower than half the time of other airliners. 

Over time, the aircraft became profitable when it found a customer base willing to pay for flights on what was for many of its profession the fastest business airliner on the earth.

The aircraft is regarded by many as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel, but it surely was also criticized for being uneconomical, lacking a reputable market, and consuming more fuel to hold fewer passengers than a Boeing 747.

Concorde was retired in 2003 because of a general downturn within the business aviation industry after the kind’s only crash in 2000, the September 11 attacks in 2001, and a choice by Airbus, the successor to Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.

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