Two years after entering into a collaboration agreement, Rolls-Royce is ending its involvement with Boom’s supersonic plane project, according to a report.
The company claims that to address the financial issues that the infamously loss-making supersonic transport (SST) could never resolve, it will make use of the 50 years of advancements in aerodynamics, materials, and propulsion since the creation of the Concorde.
Boom asserts that eventually, the Overture transport’s operation will be carbon neutral due to the use of 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Actually, Overture has received order commitments from four specific airlines, including what it describes as definitive orders for 15 from United Airlines and 20 from American Airlines most recently.
We’ve completed our contract with Boom and delivered various engineering studies for their Overture supersonic program,” Rolls-Royce said in a statement. “Rolls-Royce has decided that the commercial aviation supersonic market is not currently a priority for us and, as a result, will not continue further development on the program at this time,” says the statement.
Boom’s development schedule shows the rollout of the first prototype in 2025, giving it about three years to line up its suppliers, establish a facility to build the airplane, and assemble the planned four-engine, composite-bodied, 65- to 80-passenger Overture. In January Boom said it chose Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, as the site for its manufacturing plant, groundbreaking on which it expects by the end of this year.
During July’s Farnborough Airshow, Boom revealed the final production design, including a new propulsion system based on four engines rather than two and a revised fuselage shape that features a larger diameter toward the front of the aircraft and a smaller diameter toward the rear.
While Boom estimates the Overture could serve as many as 600 markets around the world, Ferguson sees that most, apart from perhaps transatlantic routes between North American cities and Heathrow Airport, as difficult to justify economically.
In a recent interview with AIN, Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl acknowledged that coastal cities will benefit most from the Overture’s supersonic speed, but because the airplane would fly 20 percent faster than a conventional jet over land at Mach .94, the airplane will serve far more cities than most imagine when considering the purely transatlantic service the Concorde provided.
the company has developed proprietary route optimization software that calculates the most favorable mix of time spent over water versus over land for greater time savings.