This Is America's First-Ever Supersonic Airliner Factory, Boom Overture to Be Made Here

Overture Superfactory 12 photos
Photo: Boom Supersonic
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It will soon be 21 years since the world's first and only supersonic passenger aircraft, the Concorde, made its final flight. Enough time for some people to start missing the thrills of traveling faster than the speed of sound and start looking for ways to bring such a means of transport back.
At the time of writing there are several companies, plus NASA, working on their own supersonic airliner projects. Few of these groups seem to be as advanced in their programs that a company called Boom Supersonic.

The company was founded just ten years ago with the goal of bringing back supersonic flight for the masses. Since then, with the help of some serious financial backing, it managed to advanced the design of an airliner it calls Overture, it flew a demonstrator called XB-1, and this month completed construction work on what is to become the "first supersonic airliner factory in the U.S." – just as a reminder, the Concorde was a French and British project, and it was built in various places across Europe.

The facility, which in the purest Tesla style is called Superfactory, is located at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. The state was chosen not in small part because it was there where the first controlled, powered flight in the history of humanity was performed by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

We don't know all there is to know about the location because Boom didn't share all that much about it, but we have enough info to form a pretty good picture of what will happen there.

The factory is presently more or less an empty shell, with the crews over at Boom scheduled to begin operationalizing the production floor. That includes fitting all the proper tools to allow for supersonic aircraft to be produced, starting with something called the test cell unit.

Boom Overture
Photo: Boom Supersonic
This collection of hardware will be used by the company to create the manufacturing processes for the plane, study the flow of the assembly lines, and eventually train people on how to build the supersonic aircraft.

When the factory is fully equipped, it will at first be able to spit out 33 Overtures per year. Boom says the total value of these planes is estimated at around $6 billion, a detail that kind of allows us to estimate the price of a single plane to over $180 million.

If airlines are excited enough about the plane to order them, Boom plans to double production capacity to 66 planes per year in the near future. The company says it presently has orders for around 180 planes, including from airline giants American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines.

We are not told exactly when the facility could begin operations, but we do know some 2,400 people will be involved more or less directly with the production effort.

The Boom Overture is described internally as the world's fastest airliner. It will be powered by a type of engine called Symphony that is being designed by Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT), a subsidiary of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions – the same crew involved, together with others, in the development of the engines that power the F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.

A total of four such twin-spool, medium-bypass turbofan powerplants, each capable of developing 35,000 pounds of thrust at takeoff, will push the Overture aircraft to top speeds of Mach 1.7 (1,100 mph/1,800 kph).

Boom Overture
Photo: Boom Supersonic
The plane will burn 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and it will be able to reach distances of up to 4,800 miles (7,800 km). It's a medium-sized contraption, as just 80 people will be able to travel in one at the same time - fewer than in the Concorde, which depending on seating layout could accommodate between 92 and 128 passengers. Even so, Boom is hopeful that “hundreds of millions of passengers will fly supersonic on Overture airliners."

So, how far along is this project? Back in 2020 the company started putting the XB-1 prototype through its paces. That would be a sort of scale version of the Overture that's meant to inform the "software-based approach to airplane design."

The demonstrator had its first true airborne outing back in March 2024, becoming the first machine of its kind to get a Special Flight Authorization (SFA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allowed it to go past the Mach 1 barrier.

Boom says it will continue to fly the XB-1 for testing purposes over the Mojave area of California in an attempt to "confirm the aircraft's performance and handling qualities up to and through supersonic speeds."

Plans were for the first prototype of the Boom Overture to be shown in 2025, and the actual first flight of the supersonic airliner to take place by the end of the decade. It's unclear at this point whether the company will be able to meet those let's-call-them deadlines.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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