US: Supersonic flight gets one step closer with FAA Proposal

Fans of supersonic flights will rejoice at news indicating that commercial supersonic flights are on their way back. On March 30th, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a release of proposed standards for noise certifications that apply to new supersonic aircraft.

The FAA’s new proposal

On March 30th, the FAA announced the new proposal. This would set takeoff and landing noise standards for new supersonic aircraft. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is available for public comment for 90 days from the date of publication.

The FAA notes that this NPRM follows a 2019 proposed rule to update requirements for special flight authorization to fly above Mach 1 in the United States. These guidelines are important as companies, such as Boom, work on creating the next generation of supersonic aircraft.

Boom supersonic
Boom is developing a new supersonic commercial jet. Photo: Boom Technology

The history of supersonic travel

One of the most iconic aircraft in the world is the Concorde. Introduced back in the 1970s, the airliner had a long history before it was finally retired just after the start of the 21st century

Concorde Takeoff
The Concorde is one of the most iconic supersonic jets. Photo: Getty Images

Since then, leading aircraft manufacturers and airlines have largely stuck to traditional, subsonic jets. However, that could change. New innovations in design, manufacturing, and noise-reduction technology have made supersonic travel a little more appealing than it was twenty years ago. One of the companies working to reintroduce commercial supersonic flights is Boom.

The Boom Overture

Boom’s Overture shares some similarities with the Concorde. Its shape is not too far from the trailblazing aircraft. Meanwhile, on the inside, the aircraft is a narrowbody designed to carry a lighter load of passengers. In fact, the Overture is designed to host only about 55 passengers onboard in an all-business configuratio

BOOM SUpersonic
Boom is advertising the Overture as a narrowbody luxury jet. Photo: Boom Technology

The layout of the aircraft is direct-aisle access all-business class. Thus, this aircraft will be one of the most exclusive and luxurious of planes out there, similar in concept to British Airways’ all-business A318.

Business class
The aircraft is designed to be in an all-business class configuration. Photo: Boom Technology

The company has had some success with airlines. Japan Airlines has backed the aircraft with a strategic investment and collaboration deal to help create the passenger experience. In addition, the airline has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft. The Virgin Group also has 10 of the aircraft on option.

Supersonic commercial flights
The Overture already has some backers. Photo: Boom Technology


These new FAA proposals will help manufacturers as they design their aircraft to create the least amount of noise possible. While supersonic travel is a few years away, the aviation world has to start preparing for their arrival. However, the FAA is already preparing for the reintroduction of commercial supersonic flights. Although no US airlines have signed on to supersonic aircraft, a few foreign airlines have and the United States would no doubt be a popular destination for supersonic aircraft.

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