Boom Supersonic has finally secured an engine maker to power its passenger supersonic jet, they in fact secured 3 engine makers.
Revealed today, Boom has announced plans to work with Florida Turbine Technologies, StandardAero and GE Additive which is a unit of GE Aerospace.
The name of the engine has been dubbed Symphony. Blake Scholl, the founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic commented on this partnership…
“Developing a supersonic engine specifically for Overture offers by far the best value proposition for our customers. Through the Symphony program, we can provide our customers with an economically and environmentally sustainable supersonic airplane—a combination unattainable with the current constraints of derivative engines and industry norms.”
Here are some specifications of the engines.
Architecture: twin-spool, medium-bypass turbofan engine, no afterburner
Thrust: 35,000lbs at takeoff
Fuel: Optimized for 100% SAF
Single-stage fan designed for quiet operation
Passively cooled high-pressure turbine
Additive manufacturing for low weight, low part count, and reduced assembly costs
Certification: Complaint with FAA and EASA Part 33 requirements
Boom Supersonic has a goal to start manufacturing in 2024, that is not a lot of time to create a complete engine and test it to the extent that it could be installed on a flying overture.
Boom wants to roll out its first overture in 2026 with a view of starting its test flight campaign in 2027. This goal pushes back its original deadline of 2025 to 2026.
Boom still has a very strong possibility of making it happen, and they currently have 200 orders of the overture, that is ten times the number of concordes ever built.
As much as there are buzzwords, this really means nothing. I’d like to see more specific information before coming to a conclusion because the terms listed here are so vague, they could apply to many engines that are already seen in today’s world.
Some of the information that would definitely be interesting would be the operating core temperature, bypass ratio, pressure ratio, rated takeoff performance thrust deviation with altitude and/or temperature, specific impulse, exhaust velocity, and as always, the operational realities as opposed to the simulated, theoretical figures that are developed in the engineering room.
Until there’s an actual test block that is able to fire up and test run, I’m afraid that I’ll remain sceptical. I do hope to be proven wrong, though. Supersonic flight has always intrigued me and I would love to see it exist in a sustainable economic environment with costs that make the ticket prices justifiable.
But will sustainable aviation fuels be at a large enough scale to where it has a similar price point to regular jet fuel, and will it be widely enough available by the time Boom wants to start their test flight campaign, is the question?
This is certainly interesting, especially after the recent featured topic on whether boom is for real.
I found myself bouncing between the exponential growth of additive manufacturing (GE Additive etc.), and L/D ratios at supersonic cruise (Concorde stated to be about 7 vs 747 at 17) vs the higher ground speed, in contributing to economies of fuel per seat mile. There’s higher drag and less engine efficiency in the subsonic low altitude phases of flight, they have to make up for in cruise.
How far from boom’s original fuel(?) claim of “subsonic business class seat parity” will they end up? I think they backed off on the cruise speed since that original claim?
How will all their simulations stress test when nuts and bolts hit the market?
I wake up every day just to be a hater against Boom. This engine won’t be ready for at least 6 years if not a decade, if ever. They have a design partner, a consulting partner, and a maintenance partner - but no manufacturing partner.
There’s a reason manufacturers pulled away from working with them. It’s unreasonable to make this engine. Getting hella Nikola vibes.
You make some good points. We don’t know the financial and other contract terms needed to draw in the replacement engine participants to meet the self-imposed year-end deadline for engine partners. Venture capital backer milestones?
There’s also the need to remember that turbofans are incredibly difficult to research, develop, and test, let alone mass manufacture it. To put it simply, a turbofan is a controlled spinning bomb. That’s what it is.
I’ve always been a sceptic and likely will continue to be one until proven otherwise. As much as I want to be proven otherwise, the razor-thin margins of the aviation industry mean that Boom will need to bring on something that we’ve never seen before to even reach parity, let alone be a justifiable project.
Something about this screams “another failed project that’s just thinly veiled by some major companies”, also called FTX. Who knows what’s really happening to the pledged funds from these major airlines, and I’m sure that there’s some clause somewhere that can never guarantee that they’ll receive their planes.
Not to get too off track, but getting big names like United to make such a big deal out of this doesn’t just happen without cause. There has to be some force behind the scenes propelling the Boom name despite not even having a theoretical design finalised or prototyped.