American, United May Be Among First To Fly “Son Of Concorde” Planes

by SharonKurheg

The Concorde was the first supersonic passenger-carrying commercial plane. Built jointly by aircraft manufacturers in Great Britain and France, the iconic aircraft made the world’s first supersonic passenger service flight on January 21, 1976.

Known for their elegance and speed, the planes were able to cross the Atlantic in just 3.5 hours. 14 Concorde planes were built, all operated by British Airways and Air France. However, the Concorde had several problems that led to its eventual demise. The plane was extraordinarily noisy, and extremely expensive to run, both of which restricted flight availability. A fatal accident in July 2000 (an Air France Concorde ran over debris while taking off from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. A tire disintegrated and an integral fuel tank ruptured. The plane crashed, killing all 109 people on board) also undoubtedly helped lead to the fleet’s demise. The last Concorde flight occurred in October 2003.

Fast forward 20+ years, a jet that may be able to call itself “son of Concorde” is currently being developed in a state-of-the-art development facility in Greensboro, NC.

Known as Overture, this jet is the brainchild of Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based company currently designing a 65-88-passenger supersonic airliner that could potentially be capable of flying at speeds of up to Mach 1.7, at an altitude of 60,000 feet.

According to Gulf Times, as of August 2022, both United and American Airlines have made pre-order agreements to purchase several of the aircraft once they’re available, while Japan Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have made similar purchase commitments overseas. To date, the start-up’s tally is 35 orders and 130 pre-orders and options.

The aircraft sell for $200 million each at list prices.

Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, says that Overture will fly twice as fast as today’s fastest passenger jets. A London-to-Miami flight typically takes at least nine hours; on Overture, the time could be cut to just four hours and 40 minutes. L.A. to Honolulu, Hawaii, typically a five-hour flight, would decrease to three hours.

However since one of the Concorde’s highest operating costs was fuel, Scholl says Boom Supersonic will make significant changes to its high-speed planes, making Overture a zero-carbon aircraft.

“Sustainable supersonic flight is possible now thanks to significant advancements in propulsion, aerodynamics, materials and alternative fuels since Concorde,” says Scholl. “Fifty-plus years of innovation has made supersonic travel accessible, sustainable and economically viable at scale.”

The first generation of these new supersonic planes could potentially fly for the first time in 2026, with its first commercial flights as soon as 2029.

Feature Photo: Boom Supersonic

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VinnyBayview October 7, 2022 - 1:29 pm

The key is “may be among” – without a current OEM engine partner it’s all theoretical…would love to see this come to a reality though.

derek October 7, 2022 - 2:18 pm

2026/2029 won’t happen, in my opinion, due to lack of an engine or commitment from a major engine manufacturer.

Two other airlines operated the Concorde.

Singapore Airlines had a joint arrangement with BA. The plane was owned by BA, flown by BA pilots based in Singapore. The cabin crew alternated between BA and SQ meaning that some flights had only Singapore Airlines flight attendants.

Braniff International leased the Concorde on a flight by flight basis. The lease would begin when the plane landed at Washington Dulles and Braniff flew it to Dallas Fort Worth Regional (now DFW International). The pilots were Braniff pilots and so were the cabin crew. The plane was temporarily registered in the US with a N-registration, not a G-registration, which was covered with tape.

I heard of one boy and his father who changed their flight to a BN Concorde flight on the same day (and paid a little surcharge for that flight) and created a lifelong memory for the kid.

Alan Bowen October 7, 2022 - 2:46 pm

There simply is no engine manufacturer interested in developing suitable engine for this fantasy. Rolls _Royce who powered Concorde looked at the idea and withdrew last month, just why AA and US put money down for this project is an unknown, hopefully they can recover it.

Slam Duncan October 7, 2022 - 4:22 pm

Engine builders? Um, not interested… no way, no how, not ever.

JohnB October 7, 2022 - 5:20 pm

There were actually 20 Concordes manufactured, but only 14 were delivered to BA and AF. The other 6 were testing and development models. There are actually 3 Concordes in the USA in museums.

Unless there is some kind of new innovation in jet engines, this new aircraft will probably never be built.

Twod October 8, 2022 - 9:56 am

This is a “green” plane. They are redefining the turbine blades as windmills.


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