In 1996, the Concorde set the record time for a flight between London and New York City, at a rapid two hours 52 minutes, and 59 seconds. The final flight on the high-speed plane was on November 26, 2003, but three airlines have now placed orders for a new ‘Overture’ model from aviation startup Boom Supersonic.
Nearly 20 Years after the Concorde was decommissioned, supersonic travel could be making a comeback as early as 2029, when the Overture models are slated to be ready.
American Airlines are the latest airline to put their names down for running flights on these speed machines, reportedly ordering 20 of them on Tuesday (August 16). United Airlines ordered 15 last year, and Virgin Atlantic penned a deal with the company all the way back in 2016.
Should you jump on a flight between New York City and London today, you’d be looking at kicking back for around seven hours, but the Overture models are hoping to cut that in half. At a speed of Mach 1.7 over water (or 1,304mph), it falls just below the speed of the Concorde (Mach 2.4 at top speed), but can you really complain about those minor details when you’re bumping heads with Big Ben faster than it would take to drive upstate to the Capitol?
Boom Supersonic hopes to have the Overtures begin trials by 2026, and use them for public flights by 2029. They’ll hold 65-88 passengers, slightly fewer than the Concorde, but Boom Supersonic CEO has said the flights will be “affordable”.
According to Boom, the planes would be equipped to fly around 600 routes around the world, including 3.5 hour flights to New York and five hour flights to Miami from London. The company has also stated that they aim to reach net zero carbon dioxide by 2025, before the first Overture passenger flight takes off, and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040; all while flying on “up to 100% sustainable” fuel.
It may be a while off yet, but rapid flights around the world could be back by 2029, opening up a world of opportunities for travelers. Let’s see what happens.
Find out more about the Overture on the Boom Supersonic website.
And for now, we can at least take advantage of these cheap flights from NYC to London.