Boom and the U.S. Air Force are prepared to advance commercial supersonic flight, recently entering into a three year strategic partnership valued at up to $60 million. The goal is to accelerate research and development on Overture, Boom’s sustainable, commercial supersonic airliner.
Known as the Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI), the contract was awarded through AFWERX, the Air Force’s innovation arm. AFWERX programs are designed to fast-track the development and transition of commercial innovations into the Air Force. The AFVentures division, which functions as an early-stage “investor,” partners with the private sector to accelerate commercialization and grow the number of companies working with the U.S. military.
“With STRATFI, we’re able to collaborate with the Air Force on the unique requirements and needs for global military missions, ultimately allowing Boom to better satisfy the needs of the Air Force where it uses commercially-derived aircraft,” said Boom Founder and CEO Blake Scholl. “As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally.”
As one of the AFWERX program’s largest investments, Boom’s STRATFI award is a significant commitment to the future of commercial supersonic aviation. The transition-focused award represents a substantial increase in the Air Force’s financial investment in Boom following a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract awarded in September 2020.
The STRATFI program’s objective is to bridge the gap between SBIR Phase II and Phase III scaling efforts, facilitating delivery of large-scale, strategic capabilities to the Air Force. In addition, STRATFI is intended to catalyze relationships between Air Force end-users, acquisition professionals, and private-sector innovators like Boom.
STRATFI funding will accelerate critical design and development initiatives on Overture, including wind tunnel testing and propulsion system definition.
Overture offers the Air Force a unique combination of passenger capacity, speed, and enough space and power to accommodate mission systems for a variety of military applications, including executive transport; rapid global logistics; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and special operations. Boom is designing Overture to comply with stringent FAA airworthiness and production regulations, and the aircraft will be fully adaptable to meet specific requirements for a variety of military end users.
As with all of Boom’s efforts, supersonic flight on Overture is meant to bring people together more frequently, more easily, and more quickly–and that includes for global diplomacy.