The return of supersonic aircraft: an airline has ordered 20 aircraft, but there are doubts about the feasibility of the project

This undated image provided by Boom Supersonic shows the supersonic Overture aircraft (Boom Supersonic via AP)

American Airlines has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic aircraft, which is still in the design phase which are years away from it, and deposited a non-refundable amount. Neither American nor Manufacturer Boom Supersonic He wanted to provide financial details on Tuesday, including the size of the US deposit.

American, who also bought options on another 40 Aircraft boom exhibitedBecome Boom’s second customer in the US, After United Airlines announced last year the purchase of 15 aircraft.

It has been nearly 20 years since the last supersonic passenger flight ConcordeIt is the British-French plane that failed to win due to its high cost, whether for passengers or airlines.

Boom CEO Blake Scholl insists His company’s plane will be different when it first launches in 2029, with tickets costing between $4,000 and $5,000 to fly from New York to London in about three and a half hours.

“There are tens of millions of passengers every year who travel business class on routes where the introduction will provide significant acceleration,” Scholl said in an interview. “And the airlines will be able to make a profit.”

Boom claims that his plane will have a maximum speed of 1.7 times the speed of sound, This is some 2100 km / h, it will move between 65 and 80 passengers.

Skeptics questioned Bohm’s ambitious schedule, especially given the years it took Boeingthe manufacturer, in obtaining aircraft or even their adaptations approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

especially, Boom does not have a motor manufacturer yet. He’s talking to Rolls-Royce and others.

American Airlines reports that it has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic aircraft still in the design phase that have separated us from flying for years (Boom Supersonic via AP)
American Airlines reports that it has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic aircraft still in the design phase that have separated us from flying for years (Boom Supersonic via AP)

“With supersonic aircraft, you don’t design an airplane, you design an engine first,” said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst at consultancy AeroDynamic. “This is nothing more than a set of hand drawings until this engine is produced.”

Bohm claims the plane will fly entirely using sustainable aviation fuel, often made from plant-based materials. It is currently very rare and expensive.

Boom, who is based in Denver and plans to build the foreground in North Carolina, says the program will cost between 6000 s 8000 Millions of dollars. The price of the plane is 200 million dollars.although other manufacturers often give airlines deep discounts.

Last month, Boom announced changes to the aircraft’s design to make it easier and less expensive to build and maintain. The most striking change was the transition from three engines, including a different type in the tail, to four identical delta-shaped engines.

The four-engine aircraft market is shrinking. The Boeing 747 is now used mainly for freight, and Airbus shut down production of the A380 in 2021. The vast majority of passenger aircraft flying today have two engines.

The four-engine planes are “much worse from every point of view, from the economy to the emissions,” Abulafia said. “Nobody wants more engines, the answer is fewer engines.”

FILE PHOTO: The XB-1 experimental aircraft that Boom Supersonic is using to test more than 50 years of technology improvements to its proposed aircraft (REUTERS/Alyson McClaran)
FILE PHOTO: The XB-1 experimental aircraft that Boom Supersonic is using to test more than 50 years of technology improvements to its proposed aircraft (REUTERS/Alyson McClaran)

American Airlines said the supersonic plane would change travel. “Going forward, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver our services to our customers,” said Derek Kerr, the airline’s chief financial officer.

The union representing American pilots has questioned the timing of the airline’s investment in aircraft that, at best, will not be available for several years. America struggled this summer, canceled more than 9,300 flights since June 1 — more than double the number of canceled flights in United, Delta or Southwest — according to FlightAware.

“Investment in the current operation should be the sole objective of management,” said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union. “If there is no change in the way this company’s schedules and pilots are managed, it will just be a supersonic cancellation.”

(By David Koenig – AFP)

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