- Boom Supersonic has announced Symphony, the engine that will power its ultra-high-speed Overture jet.
- The propulsion system will feature 35,000 pounds of takeoff thrust and reduce operating costs by 10%.
- The news comes a few months after major manufacturers told Boom it wouldn’t help it build a supersonic engine.
Boom Supersonic’s ultra-high-speed airliner now has plans for an engine.
On Tuesday, the Denver-based startup announced its future Overture jet would be powered by Symphony, the new Boom-led propulsion system that will be “designed and optimized” for the plane.
According to Boom, it will partner with three entities to bring the engine to life, including Florida Turbine Technologies, which is a part of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, to assist with the design. The planemaker has also tapped StandardAero for maintenance, and General Electric subsidiary GE Additive arm for consulting on metal additive manufacturing, which is also known as 3D printing.
While FTT is not a widely known engine maker like Rolls-Royce or Pratt & Whitney, the over-20-year-old business has been awarded multi-million dollar contracts and has developed a turbojet for cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
“The team at FTT has a decades-long history of developing innovative, high-performance propulsion solutions,” company president Stacey Rock said in a press release. “We are proud to team with Boom and its Symphony partners and look forward to developing the first bespoke engine for sustainable, economical supersonic flight.”
Designed to operate on 100% sustainable aviation fuels, the new medium-bypass turbofan engine will emit net zero carbon, feature 35,000 pounds of takeoff thrust, have low-weight materials, and reduce overall operating costs by 10% compared to other supersonic engines.
With the Symphony project already started, Boom says Overture, which was recently redesigned, will start production in 2024. Its first flight is set for 2027, with type certification expected by 2029.
The company’s small XB-1 prototype, known as Baby Boom, has already begun test flights in Colorado and is intended to demonstrate “key technologies for safe and efficient high-speed flight.”
The news comes just a few months after every major manufacturer said it would not help Boom create an engine for Overture, with Rolls-Royce saying the “commercial supersonic market is not currently a priority for us.”
CFM International joined the trend in October when CEO Gaël Méheust said the company doesn’t “see a significant market for an engine that targets a very small potential niche.”
Despite the setback, Boom managed to achieve its goal to secure an engine maker by year’s end, giving hope to the jetliner’s eventual commercial use.
To date, three airlines have invested in Boom, including United Airlines, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines, with United Airlines Ventures president Mike Leskinen welcoming the new project.
“United and Boom share a passion for making the world dramatically more accessible through sustainable supersonic travel,” he said in a press release. “The team at Boom understands what we need to create a compelling experience for our passengers, and we are looking forward to a United supersonic fleet powered by Symphony.”
The jet is expected to carry between 65 and 80 passengers in an all-business configuration, traveling between New York and London in as little as three and a half hours.