Boom Supersonic wins $60m funding from US Air Force

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Boom Supersonic has won a US$60 million US Air Force contract to advance development of its Overture airliner.

The US-based company is designing the Mach 2.2-capable Overture airliner to carry up to 88 passengers and have a range of 4,500 nautical miles. The aircraft will be powered by three non-afterburning, medium-bypass turbofan engines, two under the wings and one in the tail.

Boom plans to roll out the first completed Overture aircraft in 2025, with entry into service planned for 2029. The aircraft is in its design phase, while engineers at the company plan to start flight testing a prototype of Overture called XB-1  this year.

This week the company announced it will receive US$60 million as part of a three year strategic partnership with the US Air Force. The funding award is one of the largest to be granted through the US Air Force AFWERX’s Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI), which aim to accelerate the commercial development of aviation technologies.

Boom said that the STRATFI contract will accelerate R&D on Overture, including wind tunnel testing and propulsion system definition. The airliner is set to enter manufacturing in 2023.

The US Air Force already invested in Boom following a SBIR Phase 2 contract awarded in September 2020.

Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl said, “We see our partnership as mutually beneficial. With STRATFI, we’re able to collaborate with the US Air Force on the unique requirements and needs for global military missions, ultimately allowing Boom to better satisfy the needs of the Air Force where it uses commercially-derived aircraft.

“As a potential future platform for the US Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option  domestically and internationally.”

A derivative of Overture could offer the Air Force a future strategic capability in rapid global transport and logistics. Potential users and applications include executive transport; Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance; Special Operations Forces; and the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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