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US Air Force contracts another startup for supersonic VIP transport aircraft exploration

Overture supersonic aircraft with Air Force One livery
Photo: Boom Supersonic

The US Air Force has awarded Boom Supersonic a contract to explore innovations that could bring supersonic speeds to the air force’s executive transport aircraft program.

Announced by Boom Supersonic on September 8, the contract comes days after the US Air Force unveiled that its Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate had awarded a contract to Exosonic for the development of a low-boom supersonic executive transport aircraft.

Boom Supersonic said it would explore adaptions of its Overture aircraft with a configuration designed for Air Force executive transport. The company added the configuration offers a combination of passenger capacity, speed, and enough space and power to accommodate the requirements of necessary mission systems. Plus, the aircraft can be configured for multiple cabin zones, affording a layout with as much privacy as necessary.

Boom is designing Overture to comply with FAA airworthiness and production regulations, and the aircraft will be adaptable to meet specific requirements for a variety of military end users.

The company noted that the Overture could also be adapted to satisfy other Air Force and broader Department of Defense mission requirements. It could also become part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), enabling humanitarian and other critical airlifts in half the time, Boom said

“Supersonic flight brings people together, whether for work, family or global diplomacy,” said Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO. “By cutting travel times we make it possible for US diplomats and executive leaders to connect more frequently in person, meeting challenges and defusing potential crises with a personal touch. We’re so proud to help envision a new way for the Air Force to provide transport for critical government activities.”

“The United States Air Force is constantly looking for technological opportunities to disrupt the balance of our adversaries,” said Brigadier General Ryan Britton, Program Executive Officer for Presidential & Executive Airlift Directorate. “Boom is an example of the American ingenuity that drives the economy forward through technological advances. We are extremely excited to team with them as we work to shrink the world and transform the future of executive airlift.”

In addition to supersonic aircraft, the Air Force One is evaluating the possibility of flying a Mach 5 hypersonic jet under a contract awarded to Hermeus Corporation earlier this year.