Boom enters the supersonic Air Force One race

Boom Supersonic, an aerospace company designing the supersonic airliner Overture, was awarded a contract by the United States Air Force to explore the potential use of the supersonic aircraft as an Air Force executive transport.

“By cutting travel times we make it possible for U.S. diplomats and executive leaders to connect more frequently in person, meeting challenges and defusing potential crises with a personal touch,” said Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO in a statement. “We’re so proud to help envision a new way for the Air Force to provide transport for critical government activities.”

Boom is preparing for the flight of XB-1 (also known as Baby Boom), a ⅓-scale manned prototype of the Overture plane that Boom intends to commercialize. The final product will be able to reach a speed of Mach 2.2 (about 2,710 kilometers per hour), faster than the Concorde. 

“Boom is an example of the American ingenuity that drives the economy forward through technological advances,” said Ryan Britton, Program Executive Officer for Presidential & Executive Airlift Directorate. “We are extremely excited to team with them as we work to shrink the world and transform the future of executive airlift.”

In the last couple of months, two U.S.-based startup companies developing supersonic aircraft, Exosonic and Hermeus, received similar contracts under the AFWERX program, which funds innovations for future Air Force applications.

The President of the United States would not be the first head of state to fly supersonic, though. From 1981 to 1995, the Concorde was the official governmental plane of France. Similarly, the supersonic airliner was also occasionally used to transport the British Prime Minister and the Royal Family.

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