American Airlines has committed to a future purchase of 20 Overture airliners from Boom Supersonic, according to a new agreement announced by the two companies on Tuesday. The agreement includes payment of a non-refundable undisclosed deposit by American with the option to purchase 40 additional aircraft.
Overture is the latest investment by American Airlines in next generation aircraft technology following an Aug. 3 agreement reached with ZeroAvia to purchase 100 of the California-based startup's hydrogen-electric engines. American's agreement with Boom includes requirements for the company to meet "industry-standard operating, performance and safety requirements as well as American’s other customary conditions.”
"The world’s largest airline is now poised to be the world’s largest supersonic airline," Boom Supersonic CEO Blake Scholl said in a tweet announcing the new deal with American.
American Airlines is the latest major commercial carrier to place industry credibility and investment behind Boom Supersonic as the company continues to develop its Overture airliner and prepare for the first flight of its XB-1 demonstrator aircraft—originally planned for last year, now expected to occur later this year—out of its hangar in Denver, Colorado.
Last year, United Airlines announced its own commitment to purchase 15 Overture supersonic airliners with the option to buy another 35 aircraft. Japan Airlines (JAL) was the earliest investor in Boom, committing to the future purchase of 20 aircraft back in 2017.
Overture is being designed to carry 65 to 80 passengers at Mach 1.7 over water—or twice the speed of today’s fastest commercial aircraft. Boom released details on an updated design of Overture and supplier agreements with Collins Aerospace, Eaton, and Safran during the Farnborough International Air Show in July. Updated design features that Boom revealed include four wing-mounted engines, gull wings, and a digital fly-by-wire system that will be "4x redundant" and run on two line replaceable units (LRUs), according to the company's July 19 announcement.
An updated design of the Overture released by Boom during the Farnborough International Air Show in July (Photo courtesy of Boom Supersonic)
Other updated specifications disclosed by Boom include a range of 4,250nm with full payload and a "4x medium-bypass 100% SAF-compatible turbofan" engine. Overture's fuselage will also larger diameter toward the front of the aircraft and a smaller diameter toward the rear, according to Boom.
In their agreement reached with American Airlines, Boom maintained its commitment to roll out the first production Overture in 2025 that will "carry its first passengers by 2029."
“Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers,” Derek Kerr, American’s Chief Financial Officer said in a statement. “We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers.”