Rolls-Royce, the engine manufacturer, has ceased its partnership with Boom Supersonic to construct a passenger airliner that travels faster than the speed of sound, adding a new and exceedingly complex challenge to the quest for the new supersonic aircraft to carry on the heritage of the legendary Concorde.
The two had established a contract back in August 2020 to progress the design of Overture’s engine programme and collaborate on finding a propulsion system that would go well with Overture’s airframe.
After careful consideration, Rolls-Royce has determined that the supersonic business aviation market is not currently a priority for us and therefore will not continue to work on the program at this time. It has been a pleasure working with the Boom team and we wish them every success in the futureAs reported by AINonline, the engine manufacturer said
However, it is also worth noting the fact that Rolls-Royce equipped the world’s first supersonic airliner, Concorde, with four Olympus 593 engines, almost 50 years ago.
The news wouldn’t be surprising, since Jon Ostrower had already stated in July via his publication The Air Current that RR will not be spending its funds to create alternatives to the projects already in progress, namely the Ultrafan and Pearl 10X.
Boom, a Denver-based company, has been working on an Overture supersonic aircraft that it claims can carry up to 80 passengers and travel at Mach 1.7. The overture was originally going to have two engines but was recently switched to a four-engine configuration.
Although Boom has claimed that Overture will burn sustainable aviation fuel, balancing its carbon footprint to “net zero,” supersonic aircraft are less efficient per passenger than subsonic variants. Regarding the accessibility and environmental advantages of such alternative fuels, there is still much ambiguity.
We are appreciative of Rolls-Royce’s work over the last few years, but it became clear that Rolls’ proposed engine design and legacy business model is not the best option for Overture’s future airline operators or passengersBoom said on 7 September
Reportedly, Boom has two choices: to appease investors, to increase the bet, and to look for a courageous engine manufacturer with the courage or recklessness – to develop an engine in less than three years; or to take advantage of the free exit, blame Rolls-Royce, and abandon a project that faces enormous technical challenges.
Later this year, we will announce our selected engine partner and our transformational approach for reliable, cost-effective and sustainable supersonic flightBoom
Overture’s first flight and delivery have been slated for 2026 and 2029, respectively, by the company.
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