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Boom Supersonic, Rolls-Royce collaborate on Overture aircraft engine

The agreement aims to identify a propulsion system complementary to the supersonic aircraft.
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Overture. Source | Boom Supersonic

Boom Supersonic (Denver, Colo., U.S.) an aerospace company building the world's fastest civil aircraft, and leading industrial technology company, Rolls-Royce (London, U.K.), announced on July 30 an engagement agreement to explore the pairing of a Rolls-Royce propulsion system with Boom's composite-intensive flagship supersonic passenger aircraft, Overture. Boom’s XB-1, the world’s first independently-developed supersonic jet, makes extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites, as detailed in its blogs, “The big 3 components of supersonic aircraft” and “Going the distance: Materials made for supersonic”.

Boom says the goal of the new agreement is to work together to identify the propulsion system that would complement Boom's Overture airframe and will involve teams from both companies collaborating in engine-airframe matching activities for the aircraft. The teams will also examine certain key aspects of the propulsion system including an investigation for whether an existing engine architecture can be adapted for supersonic flight, while Boom's internal team continues to develop the airframe configuration.

"We've had a series of valuable collaborations and co-locations with Rolls-Royce over the past years to lay the groundwork for this next phase of development," says Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO. "We look forward to building on the progress and rapport that we've already built with our collaboration as we work to refine Overture's design and bring sustainable supersonic transport to passenger travel."

Boom notes that the priorities of this engagement are informed by Boom and Rolls-Royce's shared commitment to sustainability. Both companies recognize that supersonic passenger travel has to be compatible with a net-zero carbon future, and the two teams will work together to address sustainability in Overture design and operations. Boom admits that overcoming the technological challenges of supersonic flight provides a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation sustainably.

"We share a strong interest in supersonic flight and in sustainability strategies for aviation with Boom," says Simon Carlisle, director of Strategy at Rolls-Royce. "We're now building on our valuable experience in this space as well as our previous work together to further match and refine our engine technology for Boom's Overture."

As a result of this collaboration, Boom and Rolls-Rouce expect to make significant progress toward finalizing Overture’s aircraft configuration and propulsion system. 

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