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The eco brief. United Airlines wants to relaunch the supersonic aircraft


The project of the future American supersonic aircraft “Overture”. (- / BOOM SUPERSONIC / AFP)

Will the Concorde be reborn on the other side of the Atlantic? We are there in the American dream, but why not. With this order for 15 planes, United Airlines is highlighting a young start-up from Denver, the aptly named Boom Supersonic, supported by large American investment funds who believe in this project. This plane would fly at a speed of Mach 1.7 (nearly twice the speed of sound), would connect New York to London in 3h30, against seven hours with a traditional airliner.

To produce such an aircraft, you have to invest up to $ 15 billion (around 12 billion euros) with drastic safety standards. Boom Supersonic assures that the device could be presented in 2025, fly for the first time in 2026 and carry its first passengers before the end of the decade, in 2029.

The initiators of the project promise an aircraft powered 100% by sustainable aviation fuel, of the type that the French group Total is developing based on recovery of cooking oils. But it will be necessary to remove several obstacles, such as noise pollution, and obtain authorization for the higher flight altitude of a few kilometers compared to conventional airliners.

United Airlines is going against the current trend of flying cheaper, not necessarily faster. “Overture” is the name of this American supersonic aircraft project. “Overture” in French, like the prelude to a great adventure.

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