WITH airlines scrambling to update their fleets with aircraft that can go longer distances, use less fuel and carry more passengers, American Airlines made a big move this week to simply go significantly faster.
Double the speed of current commercial planes to be precise, with the American carrier splurging on 20 Overture jets manufactured by specialist plane builder Boom Supersonic (render pictured).
And it appears AA must be quite keen on the advanced supersonic jet, with the deal it signed this week including the option to acquire an extra 40 planes if required.
So what are the major selling points? Well, Overture jets purport to be able to travel at speeds of around Mach 1.7 over water, in addition to boasting a range of 4,250 nautical miles – meaning routes such as Miami to London can be achieved in theory in just under five hours.
“We believe Overture can help American deepen its competitive advantage on network, loyalty and overall airline preference through the paradigm-changing benefits of cutting travel times in half,” Boom’s CEO Blake Scholl said.
With the purchasing of planes spiking in recent months – especially for Airbus A320neos and Boeing 727 MAXs – it will be interesting to see if AA’s competitors follow suit and invest in the supersonic market, perhaps as a hedge against space travel businesses such as Virgin Galactic.
Richard Branson’s futuristic space/aviation brand has its sights set on being able to fly routes like New York City to London in around two hours – which would shatter previous aviation records.
Boom’s Overture is slated to roll out a test phase in 2025 and carry its first passengers by 2029.