On Frequency - Week 3: Supersonic Travel - The future or destined to fail?

The thing that limits Overture’s routes the most is its range. At a measly 4,250 nautical miles, it still pales in comparison to subsonic jets such as the 777. Despite this, I think a future in supersonic travel is still possible.

A little thing caused to fail for Concorde. I’m hopeless about supersonic fast jets. Also, i think current speed rate is enough for world. This is not necessary. And world doesn’t need to take new risks.🎢

I’m gonna be honest with this one, I have absolutely no idea what to expect. It could really go any direction. Anything could happen.

My best possible guess is that mcdonalds will be the largest operator of supersonic jets, and that all passengers will revieve a free quarter pounder, but the cheese will cost 5 dollars extra.

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This right here is my main going concern about Boom. We (the United States) are in a financial position where having debt is expensive. With Boom not having a partner to aid them in building the engines for Overture, they’re not making any progress toward a finished product. No progress = no product. No product = no money. No money = eventual bankruptcy filing.

I’ll admit, I did get caught in the buzz surrounding the potential for supersonic travel to return, but as Boom has suffered a substantial setback in losing a partner to aid them in developing a non-afterburning engine, I feel it is only a matter of time before the company is forced to shut its doors.

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I still see too many unknowns out there

Sure it’s been done before with the Concorde and TU-144 with varying success rates, but those had the backings of entire governments.
Currently it appears that it’s only some private firms attempting it, which could mean they’re going to aim more at economic viability to get customers over whatever the governments behind the two pre-mentioned SSTs had in mind

I’m definitely forgetting some details but I already typed it out and am not going to let it go to waste

I honestly have no idea. If we look at the history of supersonic flight, the prognosis doesn’t look good. However, this is a brand-new plane with new technology, so I am cautiously optimistic. 6+ hour plane rides suck if you’re in economy/coach.

They (somehow) project 600+ profitable routes with Overture, so more or less, that’s what they’re going for.

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Honestly I think the answer to this question atm is simply:

we’ll see………

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I think supersonic aviation will succeed, in the sense that it will cater very well to a particular segment of air travel. Commercial supersonic travel cannot become the norm, for at least another couple of decades though. This method of flying is still in it’s early stages of development, and has been largely left unexplored, even by huge aircraft makers like Boeing and Airbus. The main constraints which we currently face now are efficiency, payload capacity and relatively higher operating costs. Only after overcoming all these hurdles, can we see supersonic travel become economically viable for airlines to be operated on a larger, more general scale. Until then, supersonic travel will be successful in catering to the comparatively smaller business travel segment and luxury travel segment.

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Supersonic aviation is bound to succeed if we learn from our mistakes from the concord. Supersonic travel will replace the current technology if there are no significant accidents concerning the aircraft. Airlines are all over the Boom Supersonic and there will be some competitors.

Considering it’s been 19 (soon to be 20) years since Concorde was retired, Boom might be able to bring Supersonic back to life. As of rn tho, I’m not so hopeful. I want to be, I really do. But I’m not.

I love the idea, but i don’t see it working on the next 10-20 years. Most airlines canceled there Concorde orders because of range and that the aircraft can’t go supersonic over residential areas. So if boom can fix these issues, it will be great. The other thing is the Concorde was rich and luxurious, and that brought a nice price the the ticket, so if it is cheaper it will work. Already they already have order form UAL

it would be a interesting thing but it would be a huge loss for airlines

Time will tel with the Boom Supersonic aircraft. It’ll be interesting though to see how a modern supersonic aircraft, will preform in modern times of air travel!

Supersonic flights over land are a nightmare in themselves. Even during the era of the Concorde, many governments were only allowing subsonic flight over certain areas of their airspace due to sonic boom concerns that did cause damage on the ground.

Looking away from Boom and their Overture, something which I honestly think is nothing more than a marketing stunt, supersonic travel is perhaps a niche that might end up being profitable on only so many routes. These routes aren’t even ones with high capacity, and in many areas of the world, flying at supersonic speeds would yield small changes to the overall flight time, thus often making the extra cost unjustifiable.

Take a city pair that should, in theory, be one that has a large number of travellers who should be able to afford this flight; Singapore to Hong Kong. On a regular flight, it should take somewhere in the region of 3 and a half hours to 4 hours on an especially windy day. Now, assuming that you’re really only able to take advantage of the added speed a supersonic plane can bring with it during its cruise phase, you’d be talking about a 45-minute reduction in flight time as a whole.

While it is true that there are definitely a number of people who would value this 45 minutes, however, being cramped into a space that’s about the same size as a narrowbody, with seats not nearly as comfortable as those found on widebodies, as well as a price that would almost seem completely unjustifiable, the additional time that could be used for rest or productive purposes in a more comfortable environment would sound like a much better expenditure.

I completely understand that there are many development pathways that are being explored to enhance the end passenger experience, however, keep in mind that if you’re going to end up paying an exorbitant amount of money for something that doesn’t match the already-competitive market that exists in today’s world, in tandem with a financial gamble on a development that can’t seem to even secure their own engine development, and perhaps you might see why this is an unattractive option.

The ultimate argument of, “well if it wasn’t popular, then why were there so many orders placed?” is also a flawed argument, considering that these are often done with incredibly favourable terms on the purchaser’s part, not to mention, the bulk of the money that’s used to purchase a plane is often only moved once the plane has been delivered, thus, any funds raised through orders during the development phase only sounds like a way to secure some money to explore the opportunity that supersonic travel may bring, before committing to some serious development. Besides, without any modern engine that’s suitable to even power such an aircraft with the efficiencies demanded at this point in time, I’d like to see this part of the equation solved before even talking about anything else.

Overall I am rather pessimistic. The era of supersonic travel ended long ago with the demise of the Concorde; and even then, it would have struggled to compete in the ever-changing world as people would slowly shift to value their comfort over time. Imagine paying for a seat that’s narrower, smaller, and more uncomfortable than that on a narrowbody, while simultaneously shelling out more money than you would on a first-class seat on a B747. No amount of champagne and caviar would make up for the comfort that already exists, and if supersonic travel really was a market that exists, I’d love to see why the Concorde never had a true successor in place or in development at the time of its retirement.

Remember, airlines value their coffers more than the sentiments of an aviation enthusiast. I, too, would love to see some form of supersonic travel return, but if it existed under the conditions that the Concorde had to endure, something I would hardly expect to be any different in today’s era, the arguments against would be a tower to conquer in comparison to the footsteps the arguments for may hold.

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Ill make my remark, I dont think it’ll fail entirely, i just think it’ll turn into BizJets and select airlines that sell the tickets for mind boggling prices. Millitary may pick it up, VIP transportation ? I see a small future, but combustion engine’s aint going no where.

Cya next week !

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What makes you think that’s possible or more economical?

When do we cross this line? The Concorde itself had a significant accident (as we all know) that heavily contributed to it’s demise. That was 25 years after it’s introduction into service. A controversy like the 737 MAX will immediately destroy the entire future of commercial supersonic air travel.

No driver for economies of scale because the added speed has diminishing incremental benefit relative to the cost.

What does this mean? The vast majority (business travelers included) don’t need the modest time savings for such a premium cost. This limits the potential scale, which makes it even more expensive, as you can’t spread costs over a large customer base.

Cool concept, true. Economically sensible, no - the extra cost doesn’t answer a burning need. A toy for the rich, so maybe on a limited scale.

And, there is some evidence there’s a bit of snake oil sales tactic in greater economic prospects than seasoned participants would think:

Engine Makers Won’t Help Boom Build a Supersonic Engine for Overture (businessinsider.com)
“After careful consideration, Rolls-Royce has determined that the commercial aviation supersonic market is not currently a priority for us and, therefore, will not pursue further work on the program at this time,” the company continued. "It has been a pleasure to work with the Boom team and we wish them every success in the future.

After Rolls-Royce’s comments, GE Aviation, Honeywell, and Safran Aircraft Engines have all told FlightGlobal that they are not currently interested in making a supersonic engine for Boom."

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Supersonic will be destined to fail because it has many problems like during of the concorde times.

1.) Fuel inefficient / Economic inefficient
2.) FAA banned supersonic flights over land due to sonic boom
3.) Maintenance cost
4.) Fuel Pricing
5.) Green Parties / Activist all over the world going to protest
6.) No Engine for Boom - Rolls Royce left the Project. CFM, PW, Honeywell and Safran Aircraft Engines and GE aren’t interest of the project either.
7.) Expensive tickets - Most people are looking for the cheapest price for buying ticket now a days.

So, I don’t think supersonic will be back in the future.

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