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Boom Supersonic reveals production Overture design, partners with Northrop Grumman on special mission variants

By Skies Magazine | July 20, 2022

Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 16 seconds.

During the 2022 Farnborough Airshow, Boom Supersonic, an aerospace company aiming to build the world’s fastest and most sustainable supersonic airliner, revealed the refined, production design of Overture.  

A supersonic commercial airliner, Overture will carry 65 to 80 passengers “at twice the speed of today’s airliners,” the company said in a press release. Overture will run on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel, and will be capable of flying Mach 1.7 over water and Mach 0.94 over land, with a 4,250-nautical-mile range (with full payload).

Boom Supersonic’s refined Overture design. Boom Image

Boom confirmed that Overture will be powered by four wing-mounted engines, which are designed to both reduce noise and lower costs for operators. On take-off, Overture will use the world’s first automated noise reduction system. “The airliner will fly without afterburners, meeting the same strict regulatory noise levels as the latest subsonic airplanes,” the company noted.

The majority of Overture’s build will incorporate carbon composite materials, which Boom said are lighter, stronger, and more thermally stable than traditional metal construction. The carbon composite materials will also contribute to Overture’s aerodynamic efficiency, as they can be manufactured with highly complex curvature.

The aircraft’s gull wings — which span 106 feet – are sculpted to both enhance supersonic performance and improve subsonic and transonic handling. Boom said the wing shaping “also helps ensure safety and stability at any speed.”

In order to minimize drag and maximize fuel efficiency at supersonic speed, Boom designed Overture’s fuselage with a larger diameter toward the front of the aircraft and a smaller diameter toward the rear – according to the principle of area-ruling.

The Overture supersonic airliner is the culmination of 26 million hours of simulated software designs, five wind tunnel tests, and the careful evaluation of 51 full design iterations.

“Aviation has not seen a giant leap in decades. Overture is revolutionary in its design, and it will fundamentally change how we think about distance,” said Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl. “With more than 600 routes across the globe, Overture will make the world dramatically more accessible for tens of millions of passengers.” 

With the refined design of Overture now revealed, Boom is continuing to build the supply chain for the aircraft. The company recently announced partnerships with Collins Aerospace, Eaton, and Safran Landing Systems, which will supply key systems such as landing gear, fuel and inerting systems, avionics, and ice protection.

Overture will be capable of flying Mach 1.7 over water and Mach 0.94 over land, with a 4,250-nautical-mile range. Boom Image

Boom also announced on July 19 that it will begin outfitting a new 70,000-square-foot hardware ground test facility in Centennial, Colorado, to be called The Iron Bird. The facility will house the first full-scale Overture testing model and flight deck simulators. The test model, also referred to as an iron bird, will be used for integrating Overture’s flight hardware, software, and systems.

In addition to the aforementioned announcements, Boom also shared that it has partnered with Northrop Grumman to develop special mission variants of Overture for the U.S. government and its allies.

Boom and Northrop “will pursue new use cases for Overture to support government and military operations that require rapid response, including quick-reaction surveillance and reconnaissance, command and control, as well as mobility and logistics missions such as emergency medical and troop transport,” the company said.

In January 2022, Boom announced that it entered into a three-year strategic partnership with the U.S. Air Force to accelerate research and development on Overture. The contract, valued at up to $60 million, was awarded to Boom through the Air Force’s innovation arm, known as AFWERX, and its AFVentures division, which helps to accelerate commercial technologies.

Overture’s commercial order book currently stands at 70 aircraft, which includes purchases and options from United Airlines and Japan Airlines.

Earlier this year, Boom confirmed its selection of the Piedmont Triad area for its first Overture Superfactory. The company remains on track to begin production in 2024.

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