United Airlines is going supersonic. The airline recently announced an agreement with aerospace company Boom to add 15 of its Overture aircraft to United’s global fleet. The move is set to return supersonic speeds to aviation, cutting travel time in half.
“United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement. The agreement also includes an ambitious cooperative sustainability initiative—once Boom’s Overture airliners have met United’s safety, operating and sustainability requirements, it will be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, running on sustainable aviation fuel.
With a target date of 2029 for carrying passengers at flying speeds up to Mach 1.7—twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners—Overture could connect more than 500 United destinations in half the time. Potential routes include Newark to London in just three-and-a-half hours, or San Francisco to Tokyo in six hours.
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