Aero Engine Maker Pours More Cold Water on the Supersonic Flight Dream

It looked like Boom Supersonic seemed unstoppable on its upward trajectory, especially after rumors that it would build its aircraft in North Carolina were confirmed. But the 2029 launch target now looks like a distant dream. As amazing as it may look on paper, the Boom Overture airliner has no engine, and there are no prospects of getting one.
Boom Overture was a highly-anticipated supersonic aircraft project, but no one will build an engine for it 7 photos
CFM Makes Aero EnginesCFM's LEAP EngineCFM's LEAP EngineBoom OvertureBoom OvertureBoom Overture
A recent aviation event that took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, made headlines after an aero engine manufacturer made some bold statements. The Alta AGM & Airliners Leaders Forum was obviously focused on Latin America, but that’s where a CFM representative happened to bring some more bad news for the supersonic sector.

Aviacionline reports that, when asked about whether they would consider powering Boom’s Overture, CFM President and CEO Gael Meheust indirectly gave a negative response. Meheust said that there doesn’t seem to be “a significant market” for an engine that “targets a very small potential niche.” He further explained that it’s basically not worth investing precious resources in supersonic engines.

This sobering reaction comes after Boom was recently left with literally no option as soon as Rolls-Royce infamously quit the project. Neither GE, Pratt & Whitney nor Safran are willing to give a helping hand. Now, CFM is another name on that list, making things look really bad for the highly-anticipated supersonic airliner.

But if supersonic engines are not the answer, what is the focus of aero-engine development? Innovative propulsion systems based on hydrogen or open-fan technology - according to CFM, at least.

The manufacturer’s CEO made it clear that its commitment will go toward the RISE ((Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) project. Within this frame, CFM is working with Airbus on an Open-Fan demonstrator and a Hydrogen demonstrator.

Even if there’s a long way to go, these concepts are apparently worth the trouble compared to supersonic technology, mostly because they can be applied to a wide commercial market. As for Boom, it must struggle to keep the supersonic dream alive.


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