Aerospace & Defense

US and French firms team up to accelerate the return of supersonic travel

Key Points
  • Boom Supersonic hope to develop a 55-seater plane called “Overture.”
  • The plane would be the first commercial plane to break the sound barrier since Concorde.
  • To speed the design process, Boom has bought a design package from Dassault Systemes.
Mock up photograpgh of Boom Aerospace's proposed supersonic airplane.
Boom Supersonic

A U.S. firm attempting to bring commercial supersonic air travel back will use a design package owned by a European aerospace giant.

Boom Supersonic announced Wednesday that it has bought the cloud-based design system from Dassault Systemes called 3DEXPERIENCE. The system, typically used by designers of new small planes, generates a three-dimensional visualization of a plane's components and how they fit together.

In its press release, the aerospace start-up claimed the design tool would cut development time of its first prototype in half as well as improving the plane's build quality.

Boom's founders hope to develop a 55-seater plane called "Overture" that will break the speed of sound but be 30 percent more efficient and 30 times quieter than the Concorde.

If it reaches the production and certification stage, Overture would fly at a top speed of Mach 2.2, allowing journeys from New York to London in just over 3 hours and from Tokyo to San Francisco in 5 and a half

Boom has said it is targeting the mid-2020s for it to enter service.

Could supersonic transport be making a comeback?

Joshua Krall, co-founder and VP of technology at Boom Supersonic said that the plane will "revolutionize long-haul commercial airline travel."

"We need powerful design tools to deliver our vision of a supersonic future, and that is exactly what Dassault Systemes provides," added Krall.

In January 2019, the Colorado-based company reportedly closed a $100 million series-B investment round to support the development of its concept aircraft. Total funding for Boom now stands at $141 million.

Boom has said its supersonic demonstrator plane, the XB-1, will break the sound barrier this year.

Subscribe to CNBC International on YouTube.