Boom Technology selects Engine Designer for Supersonic Plane

Boom Technology, an aviation startup, claims that it would use engines developed by a company known for producing small engines to power supersonic jets.

Boom announced on Tuesday that GE Additive, a branch of General Electric, will assist Florida Turbine Technologies, or FTT, in designing the engines.

According to Boom, the aircraft might conduct test flights in 2026 and begin carrying passengers a few years later. According to the company, its Overture 88-seat jet will have four engines, reach a top speed of 1,300 mph, or 1.7 times the speed of sound, and run on sustainable aviation fuel.

The Denver company was criticised heavily in the aviation community for its aggressive pace and conviction that supersonic passenger flights may be both financially and environmentally advantageous. Concorde, a supersonic aircraft that flew transatlantic routes, was neither and it ceased operations in 2003.

Throughout the 27-year history of Concorde operations, there had only been one tragic accident.

Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde passenger aircraft operating as part of an international charter from Paris to New York, crashed on July 25, 2000, shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 aboard as well as four individuals on the ground.

Air France Flight 4590 crashed on July 25, 2000, shortly after takeoff

On October 24, 2003, the supersonic Concorde jet performs its final commercial passenger flight, flying from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to Heathrow Airport in London at twice the speed of sound.

British Airways’ last Concorde flight departed on October 24, 2003

It will be difficult to get the plane licenced since regulators are being extra careful following two fatal Boeing Max crashes.

To prevent sonic boom damage, flights would probably be restricted to ocean crossings or would need to slow down over land. 

Also read: A new supersonic corridor unveiled?

“I understand that people say Boom’s got its work cut out for us. People who think we’re not going to get there I look forward to having them on board a flight.”

–Blake Scholl, CEO & Founder, Boom Technology

Boom also recently updated the design of Overture. The lack of an engine for Overture has been a major source of doubt. After generating some engineering studies, Rolls Royce abandoned its partnership with Boom early this year, and other top engine manufacturers signalled they had little interest in stepping in.

Boom Technology Overture
Boom Overture

Also read: Boom Supersonic unveils updated “Overture” supersonic airliner design

Before choosing FTT, which is primarily owned by Kratos Turbine Technologies, and GE Additive, which is better renowned for 3D printing than for aerospace manufacturing, Boom reportedly considered a number of other engine designs and producers, according to Scholl.

Scholl claimed that Boom will save money by creating a brand-new engine from scratch rather than modifying an engine created for subsonic flight. According to him, this will be the first engine made specifically for sustained commercial supersonic flying.

Although neither airline would disclose how much they put down, American Airlines and United Airlines have made deposits for upcoming Overtures.

Boom intends to construct Overture in Greensboro, North Carolina, in part due to the city’s proximity to an ocean where the planes may be tested without shaking nearby buildings’ windows.

(With inputs from Denver7)