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American Airlines announced on Aug. 16 that it has made an agreement with aerospace company Boom Supersonic to purchase 20 of Boom’s Overture aircraft, with an option for an additional 40. American, the largest airline in the world, has already paid a non-refundable deposit on the initial 20 aircraft.
With this latest deal, Overture’s commercial order book stands at 130 aircraft, which also includes purchases and options from United Airlines and Japan Airlines.
Boom Supersonic is developing Overture to be the world’s fastest and most sustainable supersonic airliner. Overture will carry 65 to 80 passengers “at twice the speed of today’s fastest commercial aircraft,” 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).
In July, the company unveiled the final production design of Overture, and is aiming to begin production in 2024. Earlier this year, Boom confirmed its selection of the Piedmont Triad area for its first Overture Superfactory. The supersonic airliner is slated to roll out in 2025 and carry its first passengers by 2029.
American Airlines said Overture would introduce “an important new speed advantage” to its fleet. The aircraft is being designed to fly more than 600 routes around the world in as little as half the time.
However, before the delivery of any Overture aircraft, “Boom must meet industry-standard operating, performance, and safety requirements, as well as American’s other customary conditions” as part of the deal, an American Airlines press release states.
According to Boom, Overture will be powered by four wing-mounted engines, which are designed to both reduce noise and lower costs for operators. The aircraft’s gull wings — which span 106 feet – are sculpted to both enhance supersonic performance and improve subsonic and transonic handling.
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.
As for Overture’s supply chain, Boom has partnered 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.
In addition to Overture serving the civil market, Boom announced in July that it has partnered with Northrop Grumman to develop special mission variants of Overture for the U.S. government and its allies.