Boom Supersonic just got a big boost from the US Air Force through a three year strategic partnership worth up to $60 million,
The startup trying to bring back supersonic flight -- sustainably (?) -- received a contract through AFWERX and AFVentures, two Air Force initiatives that work with private companies to accelerate commercial technologies.
These strategic funding increases is one of the largest investments in the history of the program and will accelerate research and development for Boom's Overture commercial airliner.
"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," said Boom founder and chief executive Blake Scholl, in a statement.
Designed to carry up to 88 passengers, the Overture will be fueled entirely by sustainable aviation fuels and is expected to be a net zero carbon aircraft from the moment it begins operations, according to the company.
Manufacturing for Boom's supersonic aircraft is set to begin in 2023, with the first plane rolling off of assembly lines in 2025 and passenger flights beginning by the end of the decade.
Boom initially won an SBIR contract with the Air Force in 2020.
"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," Scholl said. "As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally."
As competition in technology development becomes more intense internationally, expect to see more steps like this one to expand government efforts in strategically important areas.
Many of these initiatives could emphasize sustainability and mitigating climate change, which the Department of Defense has made a priority under the Biden Administration.