NASA Progresses Exploration of Technology for Supersonic Travel

Boom Supersonic joins NASA’s study to support the U.S.’s strategic imperatives: speed and sustainability

Between the NASA Advanced Air Vehicles Program and the White House’s focus on speed and sustainability in its National Aeronautics Science & Technology Priorities report, there is notable momentum around the future of faster and more sustainable flight.

NASA states that their recent studies concluded that there is a viable passenger market for supersonic air travel, with the use of aircraft that travel between Mach 2 and Mach 4 (1,535-3,045 mph at sea level). 

NASA is moving into the next phase of its high-speed travel research, which includes awarding contracts for the development of concept designs and technology roadmaps. The resulting roadmaps will identify needed technologies to make high speed travel a reality. Contracts were awarded to two teams, one of which includes Boom.

Boom is part of the team led by Northrop Grumman, which was awarded a NASA contract to deliver solutions for the High-Speed Endo-atmospheric Commercial Vehicle Conceptual Design Study and Technology Roadmaps Development program. 

The study for future research and development will identify technologies to continue the advancement of commercial supersonic flight efficiency. Initial technologies to be explored include mechanisms to increase aircraft efficiency and reduce emissions, net CO2 reduction, net non-CO2 reduction, and climate feedback loops.

Sustainable supersonic flight

Achieving sustainable aviation and promoting connectivity and speed are two of the White House’s priorities laid out in the National Aeronautics Science & Technology Priorities report, noting emerging commercial interest in supersonic flight and spotlighting sustainability as integral to the future of aviation. Read more about the report here.

Both the Administration’s report and NASA’s ongoing studies highlight the need for continued research, investment, and innovation in high speed flight and sustainable aviation in order for the United States to maintain its leadership in this sector. It also demonstrates that there is a long term interest in supersonic travel on a national level.

Research and development that focuses on sustainability in aviation is of particular significance to Boom, as sustainability is one of the company’s founding pillars. While Boom’s mission is to make the world dramatically more accessible by cutting travel times in half, the company also prioritizes innovations in technology and fuels that will allow for sustainability.

Overture and SymphonyTM, its propulsion system, are optimized to run on up to 100% sustainable aviation fuel. As a company, Boom achieved carbon neutrality in 2021 and plans for net zero carbon by 2025 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Progressing defense collaboration with Northrop Grumman

Boom Supersonic's Overture with Northrop Grumman livery. Boom and Northrop Grumman are progressing exploration through NASA supersonic research.

Separately, Boom and Northrop Grumman are collaborating on special mission Overture variants for the U.S. military and allies, focused on three rapid response use cases: VIP transport, repaid logistics, and personnel and aeromedical evacuation.

Boom’s Defense Advisory Group

Boom Supersonic's Defense Advisory Group is assessing Overture (seen here) for national security missions.

Boom continues to expand the market for Overture, and is consulting a team of military leaders on optimizing the aircraft for the Department of Defense through its Defense Advisory Group. The group is assessing Overture for national security missions. The members bring valuable military and defense expertise to the development of defense variants of the world’s fastest airliner, Overture.


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