Boom Supersonic, the aerospace company building the world’s fastest and most sustainable supersonic airliner, today announced it has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with the U.S. Air Force valued at up to $60 million.
The Air Force awarded this contract to Boom through its innovation arm, AFWERX, and its AFVentures division, which is designed to accelerate commercial technologies. Known as the Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI), the STRATFI contract awarded to Boom is one of the programme’s largest investments and a significant commitment to the future of supersonic aviation.
The STRATFI contract will accelerate research and development on Overture, Boom’s commercial airliner. Overture will carry 65–88 passengers at twice the speed of today’s airliners. Designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuels, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net zero carbon from day one. The supersonic airliner is set to enter manufacturing in 2023, roll out in 2025, and begin flying passengers by the end of the decade.
STRATFI funding will accelerate critical design and development initiatives on Overture, including wind tunnel testing and propulsion system definition. The award represents a substantial increase in the Air Force’s financial investment in Boom following a SBIR Phase 2 contract awarded in September 2020.
“We are proud of the Air Force’s continued support and recognition of Boom’s leadership in supersonic flight—and we see our partnership as mutually beneficial,” said Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl. “With STRATFI, we’re able to collaborate with the Air Force on the unique requirements and needs for global military missions, ultimately allowing Boom to better satisfy the needs of the Air Force where it uses commercially-derived aircraft. As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally.”
The new Air Force contract represents a further widening of government efforts to ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront of supersonic commercial development. Additionally, a derivative of Overture could offer the Air Force a future strategic capability in rapid global transport and logistics. Potential users and applications include executive transport; Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance; Special Operations Forces; and the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).