Boom Reveals Modified Supersonic Jet Design

Boom Reveals Modified Supersonic Jet Design

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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 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); 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.

While Boom has been in discussions with Rolls Royce about engine manufacturing, it’s my understanding that no final agreement has been reached, and there have been surprisingly few updates about the potential engines for the planes.

https://twitter.com/boomaero/status/1549320174150361088

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 further details about the engine design. 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?

Conversations (37)
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  1. Nate Guest

    Congratulations on adding a passenger compartment to the B-58 Hustler.

  2. Zero Guest

    This is not news. Stop it.

    It's someone with a mockup. If you want I can draw you a supersonic e-VTOL that can take you to Mars. It's just a picture.

    There will be no supersonic airliner anytime soon. There is no demand. Airlines are barely profitable as it is, passengers are price sensitive.. not time sensitive.

    Demand will always be for cheap seats, not fast seats. The potential customers for this either video conference...

    This is not news. Stop it.

    It's someone with a mockup. If you want I can draw you a supersonic e-VTOL that can take you to Mars. It's just a picture.

    There will be no supersonic airliner anytime soon. There is no demand. Airlines are barely profitable as it is, passengers are price sensitive.. not time sensitive.

    Demand will always be for cheap seats, not fast seats. The potential customers for this either video conference these days or fly private.

    This is nonsense. Be better.

  3. KlimaBXsst Guest

    * 6 wheel main landing gear bogies
    * 4 engines instead of an optimal two (or semi efficient 3)
    * a passenger cabin suggesting a greater width and drag
    (note the area beneath the pax cabin doors suggest more of a Concorde sized aircraft than Learjet sized plane with a “Jetstream style” stand up cabin as initially proposed)
    * added weight of a non-lifting body tail plane instead of a lifting...

    * 6 wheel main landing gear bogies
    * 4 engines instead of an optimal two (or semi efficient 3)
    * a passenger cabin suggesting a greater width and drag
    (note the area beneath the pax cabin doors suggest more of a Concorde sized aircraft than Learjet sized plane with a “Jetstream style” stand up cabin as initially proposed)
    * added weight of a non-lifting body tail plane instead of a lifting body chine canard system
    * More engine weight, more fuselage, more fuel, more maintenance cost, more DRAG

    The Overture design is morphing into some of the same basic issues which plagued the Boeing SST or prevented wide scale adoption of Concorde. Long ago i realized the trijet version of Overture was going to need “reheat” (at least upon the #2) to lift this concept into the air. This most recent version of Overture needs a lot more hocus pocus and nose twitching than that.

    While i am not saying the Overture design is struggling… it is definitely not the same smaller airliner as originally proposed and so tremendously well received. Overture is going to take a lot more of design evaluation before it gets into the air and carries passengers at a real price the upper average citizen can afford and airlines can truly make a profit from.

  4. Keith Guest

    The July 21 "Washington Post" has a full page ad saying "Mission Possible" jointly sponsored by Boom and Northrop Grumman. It goes on to say" Boom Supersonic and Northrop Grumman to adapt Overture--to help the United States and allies respond faster."

    Looks like we have at least an attempt to sell the Boom Supersonic as a military system.

  5. Mike Guest

    I hate to be a wet blanket to your article. But first, we have the right to be skeptical, after all, one other company has already shuttered. But don't Boom already have a demonstrator, the XB-1? I mean, it is a huge step.

  6. Greg Guest

    Interesting there are now no windows along the rear third of the fuselage. Wonder if it's a safety thing with the engine placement?

    While I think this one has more legs than prior efforts, I was bummed to see the development being described in the kind of euphemistic language used to describe the development process of mindless apps on your phone. 'iterating,' XX prototypes, 'optimizing' for safety. You don't 'optimize' for safety like a conversion...

    Interesting there are now no windows along the rear third of the fuselage. Wonder if it's a safety thing with the engine placement?

    While I think this one has more legs than prior efforts, I was bummed to see the development being described in the kind of euphemistic language used to describe the development process of mindless apps on your phone. 'iterating,' XX prototypes, 'optimizing' for safety. You don't 'optimize' for safety like a conversion rate for a Groupon offer.

  7. AJ Member

    I know everyone is focused on if the plane comes to fruition but I'm (genuinely) curious why they have all those 'red lines' in the overhead shot of the plane? Sophistication?? It makes no sense that the lines are coming out of the engines and/or making some pattern in the spacing between the jet bridges. Ok, back to the other details...lol

    1. JT Guest

      The lines are typical lines that are painted on the ramp at the gates. They're to warn the ground crew to keep clear for the aircraft. The lines that look like they're coming from the engine are where the main landing gears should be when it taxis in.

  8. Emily Guest

    Since we’re talking about propulsion, check another concept but to make the A380 viable in the longer term. CFM has designed a counter rotating turboprop for the A380, which was recently tested. Perhaps a significant step towards extending the longevity of the behemoth.

  9. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    As the screenname would imply, I want to believe in this so badly... but the skepticism is overwhelming.

    I was a big believer in Aerion, especially after they (temporarily) joined forces with Airbus to develop their proposed AS2; though (like Boeing's Sonic Cruiser) the advertised cruise speed of never made sense.

    After that flopped, I essentially lost hope again. Maybe Boom will be able to do it, particularly if they tap the resources of the...

    As the screenname would imply, I want to believe in this so badly... but the skepticism is overwhelming.

    I was a big believer in Aerion, especially after they (temporarily) joined forces with Airbus to develop their proposed AS2; though (like Boeing's Sonic Cruiser) the advertised cruise speed of never made sense.

    After that flopped, I essentially lost hope again. Maybe Boom will be able to do it, particularly if they tap the resources of the likes of Airbus/Boeing/Lockheed to do so.

    But wake me when there's an aircraft at a gate, ready to take pax. For now, I'll just be a skeptic.

  10. Ernest Smith Guest

    Everything I've heard or read in press releases says Rolls-Royce is designing the engine. It was featured on CBS "60 Minutes" recently and the CEO said Rolls-Royce is engine company.

  11. phil Guest

    https://paxex.aero/boom-supersonic-rolls-royce-engine-partnership/

    So this changed?

  12. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    The little creepy climate-girl would shit on herself over this, but unfortunately, plenty of Euro-governments probably will too.

    No matter if Boom solves every cost difficulty inherent to this type of operation (and there are plenty), they're always going to be swimming upstream against the advancing flow of anti-aviation extremism that goes well beyond simple environmental protection. And it's definitely taken its hold in Europe. Antics like those of the Kardashians (taking private jets to...

    The little creepy climate-girl would shit on herself over this, but unfortunately, plenty of Euro-governments probably will too.

    No matter if Boom solves every cost difficulty inherent to this type of operation (and there are plenty), they're always going to be swimming upstream against the advancing flow of anti-aviation extremism that goes well beyond simple environmental protection. And it's definitely taken its hold in Europe. Antics like those of the Kardashians (taking private jets to two airports in the Greater Los Angeles area, 3minutes apart) won't help stave off those attitudes from taking root in the Americas either.

    1. Eve Guest

      Extremism? I hope you do realise Europe has recorded record high temperatures this summer with Britain reaching 40c yesterday, first time and highest in history.

      Climate change is real and aviation is also one of the many root causes! You can’t discount these climate activist as “extremist”. Also they are correct, why do you need a 1 hour flight when most high speed train can server that route in slightly longer time? And besides your...

      Extremism? I hope you do realise Europe has recorded record high temperatures this summer with Britain reaching 40c yesterday, first time and highest in history.

      Climate change is real and aviation is also one of the many root causes! You can’t discount these climate activist as “extremist”. Also they are correct, why do you need a 1 hour flight when most high speed train can server that route in slightly longer time? And besides your time at airport would pretty much add up to a similar time scale of reaching your destination.

  13. foo blah Guest

    There are only two major jet engine makers for commercial air, but the field expands a bit if you include defense contractors. Many places to get engines. My bet would be one of the defense contractors, as they have the experience to make jet engines that operate a supersonic speed.

    1. Max Guest

      Actually there are three.
      Rolls-Royce
      Pratt&Whitney
      General Electric

      If I had a guess, Boom will get Rills-Royce engines based on the EJ200 series that powers Eurofighter Typhoon.

  14. Edward Guest

    A niece interned with Boom after she graduated with a degree in aeronautics. She has nothing but great things to say about them. I have no doubt this will become reality. Whether by 2024, I don't know, but they will be flying soon.

  15. Reno Joe Guest

    A first class round-trip ticket from JFK to CDG on Air France is going to run about $12k. That's about the price one would have paid on the Concorde. The market can obviously bear the ticket price. So, the question becomes whether Boom's actual financial metrics (including capital expense) can fit inside a specific airline's financial model. As a manufacturing program, it can't possibly be worse than the A380 -- nothing can.

    1. David Cole Guest

      The question that they will not answer is can it fly nonstop from the west coast of the US to Europe, that’s the only way it will be a financial success

    2. George Guest

      Keep in mind that these things will most likely only be allowed to exceed the speed of sound over water (oceans), so going eastbound from the west coast (well OK it's more like northeast-bound if you consider the shortest route) will involve basically crossing the entire continent sub-sonic, which makes no sense for such an aircraft.
      I'm kind of bummed by the Mach 1.7 (slower than the 70's Concord!) but at least it's still...

      Keep in mind that these things will most likely only be allowed to exceed the speed of sound over water (oceans), so going eastbound from the west coast (well OK it's more like northeast-bound if you consider the shortest route) will involve basically crossing the entire continent sub-sonic, which makes no sense for such an aircraft.
      I'm kind of bummed by the Mach 1.7 (slower than the 70's Concord!) but at least it's still 2x as fast as anything else flying commercially today.

  16. Yves C Belizaire Guest

    Money, technology and time
    are the engine of progress
    engineers always needed to propell humanity to the next
    Level.
    I remain confident to the success of this new endeavor.

  17. Josh G. Guest

    They are working on the engines with Rolls Royce.

    https://boomsupersonic.com/news/post/boom-supersonic-and-rolls-royce

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKPJ-20VVoI

  18. Mister McMister Guest

    They haven’t even flown the prototype. The reason why it’s 1.7 instead of 2.2 is because it’s a much more difficult problem to solve due to ambient air temperatures. What do you expect from a bunch of Groupon bros trying to build an airplane.

  19. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    Hah hah, yeah, sure.

    Your skepticism is well justified. This thing will never happen. They may succeed in building scale models, maybe even a smaller proof-of-concept model, but nobody alive today is going to see anything full-size like their "renderings". We've all seen this movie before (well, I have).

  20. Jayceegee New Member

    There's another key detail that isn't mentioned in the article: The range of the plane is now 4,250 nautical miles...

    For reference, the distance between LAX/SFO and NRT is approx. 4,737 and 4,450 nautical miles, respectively. That puts Japan out of range of most of the US west coast. SeaTac airport is just barely in range at 4,144 nautical miles, which is close enough to the limit to make me wonder if it could make...

    There's another key detail that isn't mentioned in the article: The range of the plane is now 4,250 nautical miles...

    For reference, the distance between LAX/SFO and NRT is approx. 4,737 and 4,450 nautical miles, respectively. That puts Japan out of range of most of the US west coast. SeaTac airport is just barely in range at 4,144 nautical miles, which is close enough to the limit to make me wonder if it could make it in a scenario with severe headwinds... I wonder if the Overture will be restricted to Transatlantic travel routes just like the Concorde was... Maybe they plan to follow-up with a long-range version?

    1. Brianair Guest

      I just realized just how far California is from everything. It’s at least 10 hours to any other continent. Ireland. Japan. Peru. The only convenient destinations to the west are Hawaii and Tahiti. It’s actually a pretty remote part of the developed world despite having populous cities and everything. Seattle and Vancouver are sort of in the same boat, but they have the advantage of being farther north. I guess that’s why they call California “out west”.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "how far California is from everything. It’s at least 10 hours to any other continent."

      LAX-BOG, is the same distance as JFK-LGW. Barely 7hr.
      LAX-LIM, is the same distance as JFK-VCE. Just over 8hr.

      So yeah, the West Coast may seem isolated, but it's really not that bad for S.Am, and the eastbounds to Europe are still often beneath the 10hr range (not so the westbounds).

    3. Never In Doubt Guest

      This just in: The Pacific Ocean is really large!

  21. SFlyer Guest

    The three engine concept meant that Engine #2 would be in the tail cone, which would make it a lot more difficult for maintenance crews to get at. That was one major issue with trijets because the engine could just be uncoupled from the engine pylon.

  22. Emily Guest

    Actually, it is entirely possible that a four engine turbojet (not turbofan) design will be more economical. At supersonic speeds, the air velocity has to be dramatically decreased before it can enter the combustion cans. To do this, the inlet is designed such that the amount of air entering is constrained and then expanded significantly. More power needs more air, causing problems for this inlet design since remember that all of the air passes through...

    Actually, it is entirely possible that a four engine turbojet (not turbofan) design will be more economical. At supersonic speeds, the air velocity has to be dramatically decreased before it can enter the combustion cans. To do this, the inlet is designed such that the amount of air entering is constrained and then expanded significantly. More power needs more air, causing problems for this inlet design since remember that all of the air passes through the combustor and there is no bypass. The only other option is to run a greater fuel-to-air ratio. This is inherently wasteful and the power gains with each incremental increase in fuel is not proportional. The only option is to run four engines, each at a reduced capacity, but at the peak efficiency. This can therefore be more economical. The original Concorde considered the same method of operation at cruise.

  23. BuiltInYorkshire Guest

    Would have been more realistic if the renders had "Global Airlines" as the carrier...

  24. Never In Doubt Guest

    I’d love to see this work out financially.

    I’m not holding out much hope that it will, sadly.

  25. Cedric Guest

    You have less than a third of the passengers on a normal plane. I just don't get how this is going to be remotely sustainable. The only way the concorde got off the ground was with huge government funding. I don't see government being able to fund such a project now.

    1. Gravelly Point Guy Guest

      Are you serious, are you kidding me, really?? We gave, we, our taxpayers over 55 billion dollars from US tax money to the airlines. No checks and balances, no watchdogs, no accountability. Don’t ever tell me they don’t have the government funding for project like this one! Concorde would only have wished to have such government support!!!

    2. Keith Guest

      Well, I’m telling you anyway. That $55B was payroll money during a financial crisis, not seed money for a new start up company that’s never built an airplane before. The military may invest a negligible amount (<$100M), but not enough to offset required private investment.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Emily Guest

Actually, it is entirely possible that a four engine turbojet (not turbofan) design will be more economical. At supersonic speeds, the air velocity has to be dramatically decreased before it can enter the combustion cans. To do this, the inlet is designed such that the amount of air entering is constrained and then expanded significantly. More power needs more air, causing problems for this inlet design since remember that all of the air passes through the combustor and there is no bypass. The only other option is to run a greater fuel-to-air ratio. This is inherently wasteful and the power gains with each incremental increase in fuel is not proportional. The only option is to run four engines, each at a reduced capacity, but at the peak efficiency. This can therefore be more economical. The original Concorde considered the same method of operation at cruise.

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Gravelly Point Guy Guest

Are you serious, are you kidding me, really?? We gave, we, our taxpayers over 55 billion dollars from US tax money to the airlines. No checks and balances, no watchdogs, no accountability. Don’t ever tell me they don’t have the government funding for project like this one! Concorde would only have wished to have such government support!!!

2
Max Guest

Actually there are three. Rolls-Royce Pratt&Whitney General Electric If I had a guess, Boom will get Rills-Royce engines based on the EJ200 series that powers Eurofighter Typhoon.

2
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