Boom Supersonic is determined to create the fastest airliner on the planet with its Overture supersonic slender-nose aircraft, and now the sleek vessel will feature an all-new turbo-fan propulsion system.
This month, Denver-based Boom Supersonic announced plans to power its faster-than-sound Overture passenger plane with its Symphony engine. The new engine is being developed in partnership with an industry-leading trio: Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT) for engine design, GE Additive for additive technology design consulting, and StandardAero, one of the most leading independent maintenance, repair and overhaul providers to the aerospace industry.
“Developing a supersonic engine specifically for Overture provides by far the best value proposition for our customers,” said Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic in a Dec. 13 statement. (opens in a new tab). “Through the Symphony program, we can provide our customers with an economically and environmentally sustainable supersonic aircraft – an unattainable combination with current derivative engine constraints and industry standards.”
Overture’s custom propulsion system is intended to run at net zero carbon and fly relatively quietly for a supersonic jet, passing the Chapter 14 noise levels test with flying colors. Symphony hopes to deliver a significant 25% increase in time on the wing and significantly reduce engine maintenance and repair costs, reducing aircraft operating bills for customers by at least 10%. Boom Supersonic plans to supply United with Overture jets for passenger flights and has partnered with Northrop Grumman on a military jet for the US Department of Defense.
“United and Boom share a passion for making the world dramatically more accessible through sustainable supersonic travel,” Mike Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, said in the release. “The Boom team understands what we need to create a compelling experience for our passengers, and we look forward to a United supersonic fleet powered by Symphony.”
FTT is well equipped to confidently steer this new supersonic engine design. Many of its veteran engineers were instrumental in creating the powerful F-119 and F-135 supersonic engines that are fitted to the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Panther.
“FTT’s team has been developing innovative, high-performance propulsion solutions for decades,” said Stacey Rock, president of Florida Turbine Technologies, in the same announcement. “We are proud to team up with Boom and its Symphony partners and look forward to developing the first engine tailored for sustainable and economical supersonic flight.”
According to Boom Supersonic’s December 13 statement (opens in a new tab), Symphony will be referred to as a medium-duty turbofan designed with the same basic engine architecture found in almost all regular commercial aircraft today. However, unlike traditional subsonic turbofans, this next-generation propulsion system adds an exclusive Boom-designed axisymmetric supersonic intake, combined with a variable-geometry low-noise exhaust nozzle and a passively cooled high-pressure turbine.
Some specific design features on Symphony’s drawing board include a mid-bypass, turbofan engine with no afterburner, generating a massive 35,000 pounds of thrust at takeoff and burning 100% sustainable aviation fuel. Its single-stage fan highlights quiet operation and will fully comply with all FAA and EASA Part 33 requirements.
Symphony’s complex plans and design improvements are progressing on schedule, with Overture heading for official type certification in 2029. Production will begin in 2024 at Overture’s superfactory in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a deployment planned for 2026 and a first flight test in 2027.
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