U.S. Air Force signs deal on developing commercial airliner to fly with sustainable fuel

Jan. 13, 2022
The $60 million STRATFI contract will accelerate R&D on commercial airliner “Overture”

The U.S. Air Force has signed a three-year strategic partnership, valued at up to $60 million, with passenger airline firm Boom Supersonic, to acelerate research and development on flying a commercial jet fueled by sustainable aviation fuel.

The Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) contract will set in motion the path for Boom's Overture airliner to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.

Overture will have a capacity of 65 to 88 passengers and its speed will be twice that of today’s airliners, according to the report. Overture is expected to be the first net-zero carbon large commercial aircraft.

Manufacturing of the Overture is expected to start in 2023 and the rollout will start in 2025. The aircraft is expected to begin flying passengers by the end of the decade.

 STRATFI funding will accelerate Overture’s development initiatives, including wide tunnel testing.

 Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl said, “We are proud of the Air Force’s continued support and recognition of Boom’s leadership in supersonic flight—and we see our partnership as mutually beneficial. 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. As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally.” 

Boom is working with Rolls Royce on advancing the sustainable aviation fuel system. The company also has announced agreements with United Airlines, among others.