Days after the U.S. Air Force let SBIR contracts to startups Exosonic and Hermeus for potential Air Force One (and other executive use), Boom Supersonic announced it has similarly been tabbed to develop its upcoming Overture supersonic aircraft for that same role. Boom may have a strategic leg up in this competition as its XB-1, called “Baby Boom,” is slated to roll out next month and begin test flights in 2021. Both the Exosonic and Hermeus programs, with help from the USAF’s AFWERX program, are still in the early design phase.
“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 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.”
Boom’s test program will eventually filter up to the Overture aircraft, a 50-seat, pointy-nosed design with three Rolls-Royce medium-bypass turbofans without afterburners. The company says the design will be capable of Mach 2.2 with 5000-mile range.