Tests of the supersonic passenger plane Overture are expected to begin as early as next year.
United Airlines announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with a Denver-based startup to acquire 15 supersonic aircraft that United says will fly 1.7 times faster than the speed of sound while using an environmentally friendly fuel with zero carbon emissions.
In a press release, the airline said that the aerospace company Boom Supersonic deals with United the right to buy 35 more aircraft after the manufacturer develops its first airliner. The airline said it was the world’s first agreement to buy zero-carbon supersonic aircraft. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
On the website of the developer company Boom Supersonic, it is reported that the Overture series aircraft will be able to fly 1.7 times faster than the speed of sound, covering about 2092 kilometers per hour. This is more than twice the speed of conventional passenger aircraft.
The aircraft will have a capacity of 88 people and will fly at an altitude of about 18,288 meters using an environmentally friendly carbon-neutral fuel. The manufacturer plans to start delivering new United aircraft by 2029.
Development of Overture is still ongoing. On the company Boom Supersonic website, it is claimed that the liner tests can begin as early as next year.
If the development is successful, the Overture will be the first supersonic liner capable of carrying passengers, after the Concorde series liners were decommissioned in 2003. The luxury supersonic aircraft was introduced to the market in 1976, and Air France and British Airways used it for transatlantic flights. However, the Concorde aircraft proved to be very noisy and expensive to produce and create environmental problems. In 2000, the Concorde of the French airline Air France crashed into a hotel building shortly after taking off from Paris, killing all the people on board and four people who were on the ground at the time of the crash.