Boom Supersonic, the aviation startup that intends to manufacture planes at Piedmont Triad International Airport, has lined up a group of design contractors for its supersonic jet. The move comes following the pull out of its originally intended manufacturer Rolls Royce.
In the departure area lobby, standing on a makeshift stage with a large backdrop displaying Boom’s Overture supersonic airliner, company founder Blake Scholl lists the virtues of the plane’s new engine, called Symphony. Addressing a group of local politicians and other community leaders, Scholl predicted the in-house design made specifically for their aircraft would generate a 10% reduction in operating expenses, 25% more air time, and lower engine maintenance costs.
"Today I’m super proud for you to be the first in the world to see the Symphony engine which we are developing to power Overture. Symphony is a Boom-led development program, with a team of world-class, best-in-breed companies that are alongside us to bring this wonderful engine, and wonderful airplane to our customers," he says.
Scholl was later joined on stage by leaders from all three collaborating companies: Florida Turbine Technologies’ design team, engine component manufacturer GE Additive, and maintenance and repair providers StandardAero. Scholl says its 88-seat jet will fly nearly twice the speed of sound — about 1,300 mph — and use sustainable aviation fuel. But the Denver-based company has generated some skepticism in aviation circles for its ambitious rollout schedule and confidence that supersonic passenger flights can be profitable and good for the environment.
Following the company’s announcement, International Council on Clean Transportation Program Director Dan Rutherford, says what Boom is trying to do is laudable, but extremely unusual.
"I’m a little bit puzzled by the announcement," says Rutherford. "I mean, as I understand it you have a company to work on aircraft design, you have a company to work on component manufacturing, and you have a company that knows maintenance really well. What seems to be missing is a company that actually builds engines."
And that’s pretty important, Rutherford adds, given the certification date for Overture remains 2029.