Not Good: Boom Overture Left Without Engines

Not Good: Boom Overture Left Without Engines

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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 both American Airlines and United Airlines have already placed orders for the jet.

Things aren’t looking so good at the moment for this to become a reality.

Rolls-Royce ends partnership with Boom

Up until now Boom has been aiming for a final production design of the jet to be rolled out by 2025, and the jet to enter passenger service by 2029. One big question has involved what engines Boom would use for the Overture, since, you know, that’s kind of a major detail for any plane, let alone a supersonic plane.

In 2020, Boom and Rolls-Royce launched a partnership, intended to advance the Boom Overture’s engine program design, and to “work together to identify a propulsion system that would complement Overture’s airframe.”

After working together for over two years, Rolls-Royce isn’t interested in this concept anymore. As noted by @jonostrower, Rolls-Royce will no longer pursue working on the Boom Overture. Here’s what a spokesperson for Rolls-Royce had to say:

“We’ve completed our contract with Boom and delivered various engineering studies for their Overture supersonic program. After careful consideration, Rolls-Royce has determined that the commercial aviation supersonic market is not currently a priority for us and, therefore, will not pursue further work on the program at this time. It has been a pleasure to work with the Boom team and we wish them every success in the future.”

United has ordered the Boom Overture supersonic jet

Do I still have to explain my skepticism for Boom Overture?

I’ve been skeptical about the Boom Overture concept ever since it was announced, and people call me out on that. Fair enough, though let me explain. It’s not that I don’t want this to become a reality (as an avgeek I love the idea), but rather I just have a hard time taking the concept seriously.

Boom executives have been saying that the plane could be flying passengers by 2029. That’s seven years from now. That’s despite the fact that the plane’s design was completely overhauled just a couple of months ago (in July 2022). We’re not just talking minor differences, but the design went from three engines to four engines, and the plane’s speed was reduced from Mach 2.1 to Mach 1.7.

On top of that, while Boom was collaborating with Rolls-Royce, there was no indication that the two companies had reached an agreement for an engine, beyond just exploring the concept together.

The timeline has seemed highly, highly unrealistic to me, and that made me question the feasibility of this altogether. I mean, just for context, the new Boeing 777X has experienced a delay of roughly five years, and that’s for a plane based on an existing concept.

In seven years we’re supposed to go from a cool rendering to a supersonic plane flying passengers? I just don’t see that happening.

While this is a tangent, I also just don’t see the need for supersonic travel anymore? Let’s use New York to London as an example, since this is probably the prime (theoretical) market for a supersonic jet. Back in the day, airlines didn’t have Wi-Fi, and didn’t have flat beds in business class, so time on planes was largely “wasted.”

Nowadays you can book a fully flat business class seat with a door, and stay connected to Wi-Fi the entire flight. Heathrow has a curfew, so how exactly would eastbound Boom Overture flights from New York to London be timed?

If the flight’s block time is four hours, the time difference is five hours, and there’s a curfew from 11:30PM until 6AM, how would that work? Flights would have to depart by 2PM at the latest for a same day arrival, and I’m not sure how that’s better for the average traveler than just booking an overnight flight in a flat bed? You wouldn’t ever want to book a redeye on this plane, since it won’t feature flat beds.

It just seems like aside from the novelty of flying supersonic, there are very few situations where this is better than existing alternatives.

Rendering of the Boom Overture cabin

Bottom line

Rolls-Royce is no longer working on an engine for the Boom Overture supersonic jet. That’s a major setback for this program, as Boom is stuck trying to find an engine manufacturer that can create something to the required specifications for supersonic travel.

I think it’s pretty safe to say this plane won’t be carrying any passengers by 2029…

What do you make of Boom and Rolls-Royce cutting ties? Do any OMAAT readers still think this plane will be flying passengers anywhere around 2029?

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  1. Pulaski Guest

    I said from the moment I first heard about this project, that it would never happen. The market just there at the price point required to make building the plane commercially viable.

  2. All About The Points Guest

    Boom just bought a plot of land at the Greensboro (GSO) Airport. The Rolls-Royce relationship was a consulting one for the sake of feasibility. I do not agree with the timberline, but they will eventually put a plane out to the market. If they don't, they'll turn out to be a real estate company.

  3. Tyrone. Hollins Guest

    I personally feel we are passed due for a supersonic affordable airlines. If we could have a sustainable, eco friendly, economically friendly supersonic passenger jet it would open all kinds of economic doors. I also believe we should be supportive of innovation considering we can now build a skyscraper in less than a year.

    1. Bohica Guest

      Wow. You hit almost all the catch phrases in that comment. And like all those catch phrases, it is possibly the most foolish thing I've ever heard. Hate to tell you this, but jets don't run on electricity or dairy dust. Jet travel (let alone supersonic travel) uses lots of that devil fossil fuel hippies hate. FYI

  4. Robert J. Walters Guest

    The Future Belongs to the Ambitious !!! … it’ll happen in spite of anyone’s negativity !!!

    1. Bohica Guest

      Concur. But not in the timeline they put forth. Pragmatism is not negativity. Big difference.

  5. Anonymous Guest

    The prototype is also testing General Electric J85 engines. Boom needs to ensure the XB-1 systems meet or exceed specifications before the plane is sent to California for flight testing, which is set for 2026, according to a spokesperson.
    You should do more research

  6. Aaron Guest

    Completely agree... I'll go one further and say that by the time a supersonic jet becomes remotely feasible for production and commercial use (likely 10+years out) the idea of sub orbital flights might be coming into focus. I doubt we'll have them or even be close to having them in 10 years but it may put additional negative pressure on the idea of supersonic flight.

  7. Neil Guest

    Cutting ties with Rolls Royce may help Boom go faster. Rolls maybe relying too much on historical reputation than actual performance, data, documentation, and effort.

  8. Chief Executive officer Guest

    Uncle if it not you I'm not going nowhere I'm refuse to drive here I don't want to race with no one you will have to pick me up at my place that's the only way I will go

  9. GL Guest

    Awww.... whats the big deal... just have Briggs & Stratton provide the engines !!
    There: doubtfulness and pessimism defeated !

  10. F.A. Daniels Guest

    Give General Electric a ring.They will come through.An American made airframe with American made power plants.Yup, it will work.Just pick up the phone. . .

  11. Arthur Guest

    Jet engines, such outdated tech. Time to use gravity wave propulsion. Then, all aircraft can take off like helicopters and go supersonic too.

  12. Theresa Alani Guest

    Hey they could always partner with GE

  13. Henry Young Guest

    This is exactly the kind of initiative that is more motivated by raising then burning investors' money than actually delivering anything. Mugging those investors with sexy but un-deliverable projects is the name of the game ;)

  14. Norgë Guest

    No mention in the article of the fact that financial problems from Rolls Royce may have been a major factor in them pulling out considering their $127 million loss in the first half of 2022.
    No mention that Boom will announce an engine manufacturer by the end of the year. P&W and GE being main contenders.
    No mention that Boom has stated that it won’t cause any drawbacks to their development timeline.
    Critique is fine but this is vague commentary.

    1. JokingJ Guest

      Boom wants/needs an engine that has efficiency more in line with a subsonic turbofan, and a top speed that’s ultimately much lower than existing military designs, so they need something pretty unique. That said, they don’t have the money for a clean sheet design, and they won’t be ordering enough for a manufacturer to justify the R&D, so the compromise is substantially adapting an existing commercial core, even though it’s already meant sacrificing speed and...

      Boom wants/needs an engine that has efficiency more in line with a subsonic turbofan, and a top speed that’s ultimately much lower than existing military designs, so they need something pretty unique. That said, they don’t have the money for a clean sheet design, and they won’t be ordering enough for a manufacturer to justify the R&D, so the compromise is substantially adapting an existing commercial core, even though it’s already meant sacrificing speed and efficiency just in the concept phase. That fact bodes ill for Boom, as GE and P&W will have the exact same uphill battle as Rolls Royce. Likewise, some (very old) marginally adapted GE engines are already what’s in Boom’s “technology demonstrator,” so if GE has some magic to tap into, it’d be in that plane already.

      Also, having worked for a startup, believe me when I say the exec suite will say anything to keep the investor money rolling in if they’re desperate, even if it’s essentially fraud (i.e. lying to investors). Just ask Theranos and their dually convicted CEO and CFO.

    2. JokingJ Guest

      Boom wants/needs efficiency similar to a subsonic turbofan, and top speed much lower than nascent military designs, so they’re asking for something pretty unique. However, they don’t have cash for an entirely fresh design, and they’re order volume isn’t enough for a manufacturer to eat the majority of the R&D cost. The compromise is to adapt an existing commercial core, even though it means sacrificing speed and efficiency (have the shift from two to three...

      Boom wants/needs efficiency similar to a subsonic turbofan, and top speed much lower than nascent military designs, so they’re asking for something pretty unique. However, they don’t have cash for an entirely fresh design, and they’re order volume isn’t enough for a manufacturer to eat the majority of the R&D cost. The compromise is to adapt an existing commercial core, even though it means sacrificing speed and efficiency (have the shift from two to three more to fire engines and a 20% lower speed in the concept phase). That fact bodes ill for Boom, as GE and P&W have the same issues to face as RR. Likewise, some (very old) marginally adapted GE engines are already what’s in Boom’s “technology demonstrator,” so if GE had some supersonic commercial magic to tap into, it’d be in that plane already.

      Also, having worked for a startup, believe me when I say the exec suite will say anything to keep the investor money rolling in if they’re desperate, even if it’s essentially fraud (i.e. lying to investors). Just ask Theranos and their dually convicted CEO and CFO.

    3. JokingJ Guest

      Boom wants/needs efficiency similar to a subsonic turbofan, and top speed much lower than nascent military designs, so they’re asking for something pretty unique. However, they don’t have cash for an entirely fresh design, and they’re order volume isn’t enough for a manufacturer to eat the majority of the R&D cost. The compromise is to adapt an existing commercial core, even though it means sacrificing speed and efficiency (have the shift from two to three...

      Boom wants/needs efficiency similar to a subsonic turbofan, and top speed much lower than nascent military designs, so they’re asking for something pretty unique. However, they don’t have cash for an entirely fresh design, and they’re order volume isn’t enough for a manufacturer to eat the majority of the R&D cost. The compromise is to adapt an existing commercial core, even though it means sacrificing speed and efficiency (have the shift from two to three more to fire engines and a 20% lower speed in the concept phase). That reality bodes ill for Boom, since GE and P&W will have the same issues to face as RR. Likewise, some marginally adapted GE military cores are already in the “technology demonstrator,” so if GE had some existing supersonic commercial magic to tap into, we’d have seen it already.

      Also, having worked for a startup, believe me when I say the exec suite will say anything to keep the investor money rolling in if they’re desperate, even if it’s essentially fraud (i.e. lying to investors). Just ask Theranos and their dually convicted CEO and CFO.

  15. Larry utt Guest

    Mach 5 or mach 10 like "top gun maverick ".

    1. Scott B. Guest

      You realize that's 5k to 10k mph right??? SMH

    2. JakesDad9 Guest

      Huh? Apparently I was today years old when I discovered that airspeed is measured in MPH.

    3. Jeremy L. Guest

      I mean, I don’t see why not in this particular instance. It’s a simple conversion that he used to show the scale of Mach 5 or Mach 10 in a different way.

  16. Larry utt Guest

    When was the last time a new air port was built in London area? Mach 5 would make all difference as for departure time!

  17. Frank Inselbuch Guest

    NY to London is not where the money is. The real money is LGA/LAX, LGA/SFO. Concorde was planning that all along until Boeing/Lockheed/Douglas convinced America that sonic booms would frighten the cows.

  18. DCharlie Guest

    There are quite a few of us who would be willing to pay whatever the cost for getting to the destination faster. It will still be cheaper than availing a private jet across the same distances. Yes - many things can be done online. But online is not an alternative to face-to-face meetings, a must for many execs. While I never trust the timelines announced by any aircraft manufacturer, I am certain that supersonic air...

    There are quite a few of us who would be willing to pay whatever the cost for getting to the destination faster. It will still be cheaper than availing a private jet across the same distances. Yes - many things can be done online. But online is not an alternative to face-to-face meetings, a must for many execs. While I never trust the timelines announced by any aircraft manufacturer, I am certain that supersonic air travel will return in the next two-to-three decades.

  19. Thomas Yarwood Guest

    Good for RR to end the engine program. It’s about time as it was America that started the kick off over the noise the concord made. That ended its career

    1. Scott B. Guest

      I'm pretty sure it was the airframe dismantling that caused the end...lol

    2. GL Guest

      ... that and the fact that the concorde was having problems not falling out of the sky in a ball of fire...

    3. Jim Knopp Guest

      There was a reason the Concord was cancelled and it wasn't the engines.

  20. Andy Guest

    I think you're missing the market for this. Time might not matter that much for a business flight, especially if you have WiFi and flat beds on board. But the obvious market for this is one where time really is of the essence: flying across the ocean to stop the love of your life from marrying someone else. I think the limited seating reflects this as there won't generally be much more than 80 people...

    I think you're missing the market for this. Time might not matter that much for a business flight, especially if you have WiFi and flat beds on board. But the obvious market for this is one where time really is of the essence: flying across the ocean to stop the love of your life from marrying someone else. I think the limited seating reflects this as there won't generally be much more than 80 people in any departure city having to break up a wedding in any particular destination on a given day. Midweek, there may not be more than 60. I guess unbalanced romantics will just have to plan better.

  21. Todd Guest

    What is it with you and doors in business class. Does it really matter? I am just glad to have a bigger seat.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Doesn't take a genius to figure it out:
      it's obviously a feature that many airlines' best customers tell the carriers that they like, else so many carriers wouldn't spend the money or tolerate the weight of such a feature.

    2. Stacey Pierce Guest

      I love doors

  22. BL Guest

    The author may be correct that Boom Overture well be a flop. However, justifying that flying faster does not matter makes no sense to me. Yes, better Wifi, sleeping beds, etc. Improve flying, but time in the air is not equivalent to time on the ground where your options do something are virtually unlimited. Time is the most precious resource we have. In addition, it is myopic to think faster flight would not have a...

    The author may be correct that Boom Overture well be a flop. However, justifying that flying faster does not matter makes no sense to me. Yes, better Wifi, sleeping beds, etc. Improve flying, but time in the air is not equivalent to time on the ground where your options do something are virtually unlimited. Time is the most precious resource we have. In addition, it is myopic to think faster flight would not have a huge impact on someone flying other areas such as from L.A. to London. People who go will go more often and people who never know may actually go for the first time.

  23. Richard Holm jr Guest

    I am a plane junky . I do belive both air lines will be flying with passengers even before 2029. Looking at this plane if GE would get involved it will be in the air before 2029 fore test flights. They made it this far and you get over witch engine pkg.that usually the last major task after that it's basically mop up loose ends. The up side of this plane is you can land...

    I am a plane junky . I do belive both air lines will be flying with passengers even before 2029. Looking at this plane if GE would get involved it will be in the air before 2029 fore test flights. They made it this far and you get over witch engine pkg.that usually the last major task after that it's basically mop up loose ends. The up side of this plane is you can land in Los Angeles Chicago
    ,PORTLAND, Atlanta ,Dallas ,Detroit ,JFK and so on with out the boom so your going to open up another market. Win win.

  24. HB Guest

    Keep in mind that only a small percent of transoceanic flyers travel in lie flat seats.

  25. ANGELA ADAMS Guest

    Well...I saw how the Concorde caught fire, blew up and killed all those passengers!!! Not a good look, at all!! If Rolls Royce pulled out, I'm thinking they feel that the type of engine this company wants, and to be SAFE, IS OUT OF THE QUESTION⁉️⁉️

  26. Christopher Lucy Guest

    A glamour product for elite clientel brings back some desirebility to a modality suffering from a deserved negative.public perception..

  27. Christopher Lucy Guest

    The Market for fast flights was 2 continential europe..the persian gulf. south & east africa.south asia india australia and the far east...china..korea japan etc..if i were bi costal a zippy flight would be nice..if you have been on any of these routes..(I have on some)and the the range is good with the production aircraft you will appreciate the benifit of reduceing 20 to 24 hour flight times..if u can benifit from and afford this kind...

    The Market for fast flights was 2 continential europe..the persian gulf. south & east africa.south asia india australia and the far east...china..korea japan etc..if i were bi costal a zippy flight would be nice..if you have been on any of these routes..(I have on some)and the the range is good with the production aircraft you will appreciate the benifit of reduceing 20 to 24 hour flight times..if u can benifit from and afford this kind of service it will be very positive ..

    1. Bugaloo Guest

      CALL GE AND PRATT AND WHITEY ALREADY!!

  28. Joshua Guest

    This project sounded pie in the sky from the very beginning. I would love to see it work, I just don't think it's commercially viable.

  29. Mike G Guest

    This move seems like a business strategy mistake on the part of Boom. Reading around the news a bit, my understanding is that they wanted RR to shoulder all of the engine development costs. I can see some people viewing that as a prudent "risk management" strategy for Boom but IMO it's an absolutely foolish stance given the current business environment. Raising expensive startup equity to burn on a dev cost share would certainly complicate...

    This move seems like a business strategy mistake on the part of Boom. Reading around the news a bit, my understanding is that they wanted RR to shoulder all of the engine development costs. I can see some people viewing that as a prudent "risk management" strategy for Boom but IMO it's an absolutely foolish stance given the current business environment. Raising expensive startup equity to burn on a dev cost share would certainly complicate things, but it would seem like there are other ways to give RR value without having to deploy capital up front (revenue share on airframe sales and/or miles travelled, though the latter would likely require consent from airlines.) At the same time, raising big $ in a separate equity offering just for the engines (i.e. own a piece of patent royalties or own+operate the engines under a tolling arrangement and share revenue) seems intriguing, if maybe not as feasible now that the SPAC bubble has burst.

  30. Rikk Guest

    The future is bent on fast . You all want it and there's no denying it. From your connection speeds to your cars and every other venture. The only time slow and steady comes from either sex to basking on a cruise ship. It's a phrase that tells us something..."Are we there yet" coined by many ... we even want a faster way through Space..giddy yup

  31. Josh Guest

    There are a few B-58 Hustlers still around in museums. Maybe they can use the engines from old B-58's.... LOL

  32. FlyOften Guest

    Baahhhh....motor cars...do I still have to explain my skepticism towards them?

    They will never replace birse buggies.

    1. Mike Guest

      Yeah I was gonna say... this is gonna happen someday, and these things tend to be pie in the sky until they're not. Maybe if you're a travel blogger who likes to spend time in planes, you don't understand why some people want to be out of them quicker :p but most people want to make an 8 hour flight a 4 hour flight if at all humany possible.

    2. RRRR Guest

      I flew four times on Concorde. One was a same-day afternoon-to-evening flight from New York to London, which really accomplished almost nothing, as we could have managed to leave at 9 AM on a regular flight. One was a return at 7 PM from London that got us into JFK 3 hours earlier than otherwise. Likewise, no big deal. The other two were "must" morning flights, one from London and the other from Paris, in...

      I flew four times on Concorde. One was a same-day afternoon-to-evening flight from New York to London, which really accomplished almost nothing, as we could have managed to leave at 9 AM on a regular flight. One was a return at 7 PM from London that got us into JFK 3 hours earlier than otherwise. Likewise, no big deal. The other two were "must" morning flights, one from London and the other from Paris, in order to get back to New York before noon. But in a post-covid world where an enormous amount of business is being done by video-conferencing, even important meetings, the rationale of "I have to be back by X, but I can't leave before Y" just isn't going to be relevant for as many people as often. And since Boom is slower than Concorde was, the novelty is non-existent for those of us who flew Concorde, and when you factor in long security lines the time advantage is less. A lot will have to do with whether, for example, a supersonic plane could fly non-stop NY to Asia or NY to mideast and cut what is now a 10- to 13-hour journey in half, and even that might not be all that compelling going west to east where you'd still have to sleep on the plane and lose more than half a day on the clock.

  33. Steve-YYZ Guest

    Boom goes bang and will go bust!

  34. Mike Wilson Guest

    Of course there's a need for such an aircraft. It would allow the airlines to send your luggage to the wrong country at almost twice the speed of sound.

    1. Dan Guest

      Hahaha my favorite comment

  35. Gregory Guest

    One has to wonder who from these two carriers are ordering planes which in my mind don't pass the feasibility sniff test? While the concept seems(ed) intriguing, common sense especially now with the lack of a reputable engine manufacturer seems like a futuristic pipe dream. I would love to be wrong.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The airlines may be foolish, but they aren't stupid. These aren't actual orders, they're just MOUs on options.

      If there's any deposit at all, you can bet the ability to get a refund is well-written.

  36. AW Guest

    And Israel which might have been a decent market for this has just announced an upcoming ban on 4 engine planes.

    1. Fairbus A380 Guest

      Good. Isreal is irrelevant anyway.

  37. Frederik Guest

    Well done Lucky for not falling for this hype. I always respect you as a travel journalist because you do not overhype things that marketeers say (it must be the German in you more direct and to the point hehe). Anyway, you are looking much more sensible in your reservations now, after all the media bloviating and hype this year. Hope your family are well.

  38. Tom Guest

    To me, it seems obvious this is a company that has no idea how to bring its ideas to fruition just from the name. Boom? Seriously?

    You honestly named your supersonic jet company after the two main things you don't want people to associate with your product based on prior reputation (the extra noise and the risk that it might go boom). Literally lol.

  39. Jacob Guest

    I'm still thinking that they can make this happen, let alone in 2029, and if they do, it could end up changing the way we fly forever.

  40. John Macmillan Guest

    They put a man on the moon in less than 9 years and with only half an hour experience of manned space experience. No reason why it can’t be operational in 7 years.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Except for all the reasons long-since listed... chief of them being, that the internet has essentially made the business case for supersonic flights obsolete for most applications.

    2. Joshua Guest

      With the space program, they made it up as they went along, and it didn't have to be commercially viable. I just don't see them going from concept to an FAA certified part 121 aircraft in 7 years while still turning a profit.

    3. Rotuma Gold

      The space flights were taxpayer funded. Taxpayers don’t want to subsidize supersonic transport for the wealthy.

    4. JokingJ Guest

      And how. To the tune of multibillion dollar government subsidies in today’s dollars, and with no expectation of private sector viability. Boom has a bit under 300 million in investor money thus far, plenty of it already spent. Not exactly an apples to apples comparison…

  41. Jordan Guest

    As someone working for a commercial aerospace company, I can back up the author's skepticism on their time frame. For our company, which is an established airplane manufacturer, the MINIMUM time from drawing-board to passengers is ten years. It typically is more in the range of twelve to fifteen years, not just due to certification hurdles, but due to production sourcing. There are not many sub-contractors left that are capable of building wings and nacelles.

  42. Ehud Gavron Guest

    A fool and his money are soon parted. Boom's boom has gone boom.

    - Even before the pandemic flights across the Atlantic were reduced in profits, packed to the gills, and with reduced seat pitch. Now they've hit the "least unsweet spot" so there's no incentive to lose money on faster expensive flights they can't fill that won't be profitable.
    - Aircraft require thrust and that requires engines. Rolls-Royce is only one of many...

    A fool and his money are soon parted. Boom's boom has gone boom.

    - Even before the pandemic flights across the Atlantic were reduced in profits, packed to the gills, and with reduced seat pitch. Now they've hit the "least unsweet spot" so there's no incentive to lose money on faster expensive flights they can't fill that won't be profitable.
    - Aircraft require thrust and that requires engines. Rolls-Royce is only one of many aircraft engine mfgs but they're also the most innovative (see e.g. the Trent series on the B787.). If they walk away, something is not right.
    - The leadership of Boom are not the mavericks who have ever brought an ENTIRELY NEW INDUSTRY TO MARKET. This is more than one aircraft. It's an industry of supersonic flight, fast turnaround, filling seats in a way Concorde couldn't, and sustaining it. Concorde (as per its name) required the resources of two European governments just to keep going. Boom has suckers called "investors."
    - Financially, technically, managerially, visionarily, and practically there's no way this will happen absent some radical or revolutionary change. Evolution in the airline industry is slow. That's why we fly 30-40 year old jets.

    I would have liked to fly supersonic once in my lifetime, but honestly, I can just tape up an LCD display on my seat, have it set to show "1.7" or "2.1" and it will feel exactly the same.

  43. snic Guest

    "I also just don’t see the need for supersonic travel anymore"

    I know, Ben! My great-great-grandfather said the same thing when Henry Ford started mass-marketing that iron horse contraption. "Twenty-five miles per hour!" he said. "Who would ever need to go that fast?"

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      You miss the point entirely.

      Contrary to popular belief, (BA's) Concorde profitability didn't come from whimsical travel by celebrities and the uber-rich. It was mostly in securing same-day contract signing and courier service for the likes of Cantor Fitzgerald-- whose most frequent travelers flew the aircraft more than twice per week, and more than 100 of whom died in the twin towers.

      But in the days of PDFs and e-signing, who's going to dish...

      You miss the point entirely.

      Contrary to popular belief, (BA's) Concorde profitability didn't come from whimsical travel by celebrities and the uber-rich. It was mostly in securing same-day contract signing and courier service for the likes of Cantor Fitzgerald-- whose most frequent travelers flew the aircraft more than twice per week, and more than 100 of whom died in the twin towers.

      But in the days of PDFs and e-signing, who's going to dish out 5 figure fares to have a same-day signing? Who's going to buy two seats at up to $12K each, so that a courier could have a package of contracts sitting in his/her view at all times?

      Those days are gone. It's not that people/businesses don't want to go fast-- they've already done that: new technology has allowed them to be done at speeds no mechanical vehicle could ever hope to compete with.

  44. Matt Chambers Guest

    Which will happen first: frequent suborbital rocket-powered flight, or frequent supersonic jet-powered flight? I'm betting on suborbital happening first because the fuel can be made carbon neutrally and you don't have to worry so much about sonic booms at 50km+. I'm not sure how cheap it can get though. Hopefully cheap enough I can try it once. :)

    1. Lee Guest

      The alternative name is trans-atmospheric. At hypersonic speeds. That's where the real attention has been. Also, as mentioned by another person, the airframe design of supersonic aircraft (as opposed to hypersonic) has focused on detached and self-canceling shockwaves. Ever since the mid-1990s. Boom's traditional design would relegate it to over-water routes. As soon as I saw the renderings, I figured it was - as Pink sang - already over before it began.

    2. Michael Rasmussen Guest

      I believe this Boom has Burst.

  45. Bjr Guest

    Isn't there an existing military engine they could use? It makes absolutely no sense for an engine manufacturer to develop a new engine for such a niche application. The only way they could possibly make their deadline is to use an engine that's available today.

    Also do they have the range to fly the Pacific? It makes no sense to fly supersonic over the Atlantic, it's only a six hour flight plus a couple of...

    Isn't there an existing military engine they could use? It makes absolutely no sense for an engine manufacturer to develop a new engine for such a niche application. The only way they could possibly make their deadline is to use an engine that's available today.

    Also do they have the range to fly the Pacific? It makes no sense to fly supersonic over the Atlantic, it's only a six hour flight plus a couple of hours for customs and security, cutting three hours off of an eight hour trip is pointless. In the other hand cutting cutting a 20 flight down to 10 is signicant.if they can't fly the Pacific then the project is pointless.

    1. Kobane Guest

      It would be very difficult to get an advanced supersonic capable military ITAR restricted engine placed into an commercial aircraft that will be flying all around the world and landing at non-military secure airports.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Stand next to a military airfield during takeoff runs, then go have an audiology test that same afternoon... and you'll realize why such a thing is a nonstarter in today's era.

    3. JokingJ Guest

      Military engines have essentially no limit on the noise they make, so that’s problem number one (Boom will need engines that meet standard airport noise pollution thresholds for takeoff and landing). Military cores also typically have much different priorities when it comes to efficiency vs. peak performance; an F-16 can refuel from a tanker midair, fly with auxiliary tanks under the wings, etc. Not an option for Boom. They want an engine that has efficiency...

      Military engines have essentially no limit on the noise they make, so that’s problem number one (Boom will need engines that meet standard airport noise pollution thresholds for takeoff and landing). Military cores also typically have much different priorities when it comes to efficiency vs. peak performance; an F-16 can refuel from a tanker midair, fly with auxiliary tanks under the wings, etc. Not an option for Boom. They want an engine that has efficiency more in line with a subsonic turbofan, and a top speed that’s ultimately much lower, so they need something unique. That said, they don’t have the money for a clean sheet design, and they won’t be ordering enough for a manufacturer to justify the R&D, so the compromise is adapting an existing commercial core, even though it’s already meant sacrificing speed and efficiency just in the concept phase. Anyway, it bodes ill for Boom, as GE and P&W will have similar issues.

  46. Clem Diamond

    I would disagree about a lie flat redeye being better: flying to London especially from the East Coast is way too short of a flight to get proper rest, so I would 100% take a much shorter flight in a comfortable non flat seat over a 5 hours redeye in a bed.

  47. David Legarreta Guest

    Everyone is going to two engines, i don't see a supersonic jet with more than to engines. It's a lot more expensive to maintain more than two engines.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The problem being: how do you get sufficient thrust to move an aircraft of that size, up to supersonic speed, with only two engines.

      What a lot of people don't seem to understand, is just increasing the output (lb/ft) of thrust, won't work. Simply put: an aircraft won't fly faster than the exhaust being output.

      That's why slapping the likes of a scaled down high-bypass engine (e.g. GE90, GENx, Trent1000, etc) would be useless: their...

      The problem being: how do you get sufficient thrust to move an aircraft of that size, up to supersonic speed, with only two engines.

      What a lot of people don't seem to understand, is just increasing the output (lb/ft) of thrust, won't work. Simply put: an aircraft won't fly faster than the exhaust being output.

      That's why slapping the likes of a scaled down high-bypass engine (e.g. GE90, GENx, Trent1000, etc) would be useless: their trust output will cap out at around 600mph, so that's essentially how fast you can expect your plane to travel.

      At this point, a turbojet or low-bypass turbofan would still be needed, and there's none of suitable fuel consumption + noise mitigation, to do so in compliance with today's (and really, tomorrow's) requirements.

  48. Bee Guest

    In addition, the plane must have green credentials to be able to be successful in this era of global warming. Just able to fly supersonic like what Concorde could won't cut it anymore. And they vaguely promised that, but the how is even more questionable and makes it even more unrealistic

  49. Steve Guest

    add in the time wasted getting thru security, and checking in, one has to wonder how much time is actually saved on a east coast to europe transatlantic flight. back in the 70's, when you had to meet face to face, the concorde could barely make it work. Now, with the internet, is there even a need for supersonic business travel?

  50. Pavan Pharter Guest

    Excellent points. It's not going to happen. I'd rather 1st of Biz class slow then sardine fast.

  51. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    I wonder if AA can get their money back now that the timetable & suppliers has changed so recently to their "purchase agreement" & deposit. BOOM had to know that Rolls Royce wasn't interested in moving forward at the time of negotiation. AA always does this, follows another airline, announcement falls flat, then becomes a mute point. INVEST IN THE BASICS.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Do you ACTUALLY believe that American paid non-refundable money, for advertisement of potential future (but current vaporware) "aircraft" that didn't even bother to include its (AA's) corporate insignia on the haphazardly constructed presentation? lol

      You probably couldn't buy a meal at Shake Shack with what AA likely had to "spend" for that ridiculous announcement.

  52. Frank Kalinowski Guest

    Props to you for saying it out loud. I, too, understood the unreality of their timeline predictions. Time to follow the money, to see who profited from this scam.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      ...and Aerion.

      ...and QSST.

      ...and Spike.

      ...and...........

    2. Rotuma Gold

      And earlier than those were Dassault’s and Gulfstream’s SSBJ design studies. They each released some shiny artistic renderings, but as far as I know, didn’t try to sell units in advance.

  53. Santos Guest

    What’s the old saying about fools and their money?

  54. David Coutts Guest

    Retired airline pilot here. Totally agree. Really have not addressed any of the problems Concorde had at the time.
    Also, back in the day we were told we would all be using flying cars for our commute. Thank god that hasn’t happened

  55. JokingJ Guest

    Agreed that, as much as I like the idea of supersonic passenger travel, this thing was DOA and has really only gotten worse since. We're talking about a plane that's doomed to fly only open ocean routes (since they did nothing to mitigate the sonic boom), that now only holds 80 people, doesn't have the range for nonstop transpacific hops, and has no engines. And even if it ever gets engines, they'll be compromises, since...

    Agreed that, as much as I like the idea of supersonic passenger travel, this thing was DOA and has really only gotten worse since. We're talking about a plane that's doomed to fly only open ocean routes (since they did nothing to mitigate the sonic boom), that now only holds 80 people, doesn't have the range for nonstop transpacific hops, and has no engines. And even if it ever gets engines, they'll be compromises, since Boom is trying to adapt standard subsonic turbofan cores for supersonic flight, you know, because it's cheaper (also the reason they went from 3 to 4 and dropped the top speed 20%). Which is to say nothing of climate optics headache (even burning biofuel still creates emissions in the upper atmosphere...) much less the dubious economics of it all.

    In any case, better companies and minds than Boom have already tried and failed -- just ask Aerion. Having worked for a startup, I can also see the signs of over-promising and under-delivery in pretty much everything these guys do and say. All they have to their name are some nice renders, two airlines with options (not orders), a technology "demonstrator" that doesn't actually demonstrate any of the most critical tech their proposed plane will need, and a bunch of investor money burning a hole in their pocket.

    1. DiogenesTheCynic New Member

      Wait, they really don't have the range to do trans-Pacific nonstop? That's wild.

    2. JokingJ Guest

      4250 nautical miles — that’s about 3000nm short of LAX to Tokyo, the shortest transpacific hop. They’re not even close…

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "two airlines with options (not orders)"

      Three. Everyone forgets that JAL "committed" to this before United.... which the former is probably grateful for, at this point.

  56. Raj - PlanMoreTrips.com Guest

    It is pretty crazy that the Concorde entered service in 1976 and in 2022, we don't have anything that is even close to the speed. Imagine if the fastest commercial car, computer, or phone available today was still from 1976.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Because, as mentioned above, technology took the business case for this in another direction.

      It's like saying "imagine not having passenger blimps bigger than the Hindenburg, in 2022" or "imagine not having oceanliners faster than the Queen Mary"

    2. EGF Guest

      We do have ocean liners faster than queen Mary. Also the blimp is a different form of transportation. Planes can and have gotten either faster or more efficient.

  57. pstm91 Diamond

    Were AA and UA also transferring people to Fyre Festival?

  58. Brandon Biden Guest

    I'm a skeptic by nature, never understood the economics of it, let alone the engineering demands. Thought the United PR stunt was silly too, someone has a cute model on their desk.

    Maybe Elon's can bore through earth's crust, send us to london in supersonic tubes?

  59. LEo Diamond

    Do LGW/STN have a curfew?

  60. PhotoPilot Guest

    Their CEO is just sending out wishful renderings trying to pump up funding all the while with no real technical substance. I called this out from the beginning. Not surprised to see RR pull out. They see the writing on the wall too. I wish supersonic commercial flight would happen, but Boom is not the right company to do it.

  61. reddargon Diamond

    Agree with you that this plane is never going to happen. Although I do think there would be demand for supersonic travel between US and Europe (although I'm not sure if it's enough to support the cost of these planes). You say:

    "Flights would have to depart by 2PM at the latest for a same day arrival, and I’m not sure how that’s better for the average traveler than just booking an overnight flight in...

    Agree with you that this plane is never going to happen. Although I do think there would be demand for supersonic travel between US and Europe (although I'm not sure if it's enough to support the cost of these planes). You say:

    "Flights would have to depart by 2PM at the latest for a same day arrival, and I’m not sure how that’s better for the average traveler than just booking an overnight flight in a flat bed?"

    Some people may disagree, but to me this still seems far better than an overnight NYC-London flight on a flat bed. That flight is only ~6 hours in the air, and unless you skip dinner that leaves you *maybe* 4 hours to sleep. Not to mention, sleeping on a plane even if it's a flat bed is nowhere near as comfortable as an actual bed. While I have flown a redeye flight to the UK and done meetings the next day, it's not fun. If I had the option to fly over the day before and sleep in an actual bed in a hotel for more or less a full night, I'd take that option 95% of the time.

    Also this analysis completely ignores flights in the reverse direction. If we estimate a 3 hour flight time between London and NYC, you could leave London at 9:30am and land in NYC at 7:30am, in time to make it to morning meetings in NYC the same day. This is just not possible with non-supersonic jets.

    1. Levi Gold

      The schedule that might work as a rotation is:

      Dp LON 0930
      Ar NYC 0800
      Dp NYC 1000
      Ar LON 1830
      Dp LON 2030
      Ar NYC 1900
      Dp NYC 2200
      Ar LON 0630

      The WB departures will generally do well and get a premium, but I suspect EB will have to be heavily discounted (probably charging similar to existing EB J for something that's basically fancy CR9 F). The market would thus look more Londoners needing to get to NY than vice versa.

  62. Sean M. Diamond

    I see a market for eco-friendly gliders in their future.

  63. Abey Guest

    With Ben here as much as I want to see this happen it’s makes 0 economic sense

  64. richyjoye New Member

    The timeline was indeed totally unrealistic and the collaboration just for study work. They are far far far from getting anything commercial. And I then to agree, is there a need for supersonic flights ? Probably not, or at least probably not for a Concorde-like jetliner. If we were talking about 2000 pax from New York to Singapore in 2h... that would be different, but this is not the case.

  65. DenB Diamond

    The major obstacle will be political/regulatory. Fuel burn per passenger mile will be much higher than alternatives, leading to public pushback and regulatory restrictions. I can't imagine this thing having a clear path in enough markets. NIMBY will kill this thing.

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

Because, as mentioned above, technology took the business case for this in another direction. It's like saying "imagine not having passenger blimps bigger than the Hindenburg, in 2022" or "imagine not having oceanliners faster than the Queen Mary"

4
Sean M. Diamond

I see a market for eco-friendly gliders in their future.

4
ConcordeBoy Diamond

Do you ACTUALLY believe that American paid non-refundable money, for advertisement of potential future (but current vaporware) "aircraft" that didn't even bother to include its (AA's) corporate insignia on the haphazardly constructed presentation? lol You probably couldn't buy a meal at Shake Shack with what AA likely had to "spend" for that ridiculous announcement.

3
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