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International - June 5, 2021

United plans supersonic passenger flights by 2029

United plans supersonic passenger flights by 2029

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US airline United has announced plans to buy 15 new supersonic airliners and “return supersonic speeds to aviation” in the year 2029.

Supersonic passenger flights ended in 2003 when Air France and British Airways retired Concorde.

The new Overture aircraft will be produced by a Denver-based company called Boom, which has yet to flight-test a supersonic jet.

United’s deal is conditional on the new aircraft meeting safety standards.

Supersonic flight is when an aircraft travels faster than the speed of sound.

At an altitude of 60,000ft (18,300m), that means flying faster than 660mph (1,060km/h).

A typical passenger jet may cruise at about 560mph (900km/h) but Overture is expected to reach speeds of 1,122mph (1,805km/h) – also known as Mach 1.7.

At that speed, journey times on transatlantic routes such as London to New York can be cut in half.

Boom says Overture would be able to make the trip in 3.5 hours, shaving three hours off the flight.

Concorde, which entered passenger service in 1976, was even faster with a maximum speed of Mach 2.04 – about 1,350mph (2180km/h).

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