The Concorde remains of the most talked about aspects of our aviation history, but it also has been a lesson in how supersonic travel had huge disadvantages amidst the pomp and glamour surrounding it. While the demise of the Concorde happened due to its insatiable costs to the noise levels, the advancements in technology have helped shine some light again on the prospects of supersonic travel. However, now it is via a sustainable prism and one that removes the issues which plagued the Concorde.
However, a Colorado-based start-up has cracked the code with a zero-emissions supersonic aircraft called Overture. After the debut of the concept version, the recent reveal of the updated Overture has ignited hopes that the supersonic jet is not a pipe dream. The recent failure of Aerion showed how expensive the supersonic aircraft can be to develop but unlike the Boom is ready with its first flight with its production-ready aircraft by 2026. Orders from United Airlines and others mean that, unlike the Concorde, the Boom Overture could be a commercial success with speed being highly in demand in regard to business jets and in the luxury aviation sector.
The aircraft would go into production by 2024 and it will fly at speeds of Mach 1.7 over water with a range of 4,250 nautical miles along with the ability to fly 65 to 80 passengers. One of the big highlights is the reduction of noise along with the sustainability.
One of the big issues was the noise level of the Concorde and in the Overture, it will fly at Mach 1.7 over water and just under Mach 1 over land. Plus, the four-engine design reduces noise and at take-off, it will use the world’s first automated noise reduction system- thus avoiding afterburners. Hence, it will meet regulatory requirements of subsonic airplanes too.
Other design changes include Overture’s fuselage having a larger diameter to minimize drag and maximize fuel efficiency at supersonic speeds. Just like on hypercars, carbon composite materials have been used instead of metal which introduces lightness and has more thermal stability.
Of course, the aircraft uses 100% sustainable aviation fuel and has net-zero carbon emissions.
Along with sheer speed, the Overture is also the most practical supersonic jet in terms of having more room inside and larger windows. It would be luxurious too and will not rely on speed alone. That said, the allure of flying from New York to London in 3.5 hours would be too tempting for the jet set to pass on. Hence, while it is inching towards reality, the Boom Overture could turn the aviation market upside down.