American Airlines Preorders Supersonic Passenger Planes

American Airlines will buy 20 supersonic planes from Boom.

American Airlines will buy 20 supersonic planes from Boom.

This morning, commercial air carrier American Airlines and supersonic aircraft manufacturer Boom Supersonic announced jointly that American had put down a deposit for 20 of Boom’s Overture supersonic aircraft. This is only the second preorder Boom has received in its lifespan, with the first one being an order for 15 Overtures by United Airlines last year.

“Passengers want flights that are faster, more convenient, more sustainable and that’s what Overture delivers,” Boom CEO Blake Scholl told CNBC. “Flight times can be as little as half as what we have today, and that works great in networks like American where we can fly Miami to London in less than five hours.”

According to Boom, their Overture aircraft will be capable of Mach 1.7 flight, roughly 1,304 mph. That kind of speed would be enough to cut a transcontinental flight nearly in half. The planes will carry up to 80 passengers, and are slated to run on Boom’s on proprietary low-emission jet fuel.

“Supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers,” American’s chief financial officer, Derek Kerr, said in a statement.

The first Overture aircraft is projected to finish construction in 2025, followed by test flights in 2026. Assuming no major roadblocks, Boom could start mass-producing and delivering the Overtures by 2030, and if American likes the vessels, they’ll have a reserved spot to immediately purchase another 40 of them.

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