Boom Supersonic has started construction of a 400,000-sq-ft factory in Greensboro, North Carolina, meant to house production of its Overture supersonic airliner, the Colorado-based company said on Thursday. What the company calls its Overture Superfactory sits on a 62-acre campus at the Piedmont Triad International Airport. Plans call for the facility to house the final assembly line, a test facility, and a customer delivery center for the Overture.
"Today's groundbreaking for the Overture Superfactory represents a significant step forward in building sustainable and accessible supersonic travel for the world,” said Boom Supersonic president Kathy Savitt. “This milestone is a shared one and we are deeply appreciative of the input, leadership, and support of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, the local community, and the state of North Carolina."
Boom said it will focus on the construction of the factory with BE&K Building Group and its design partner, BRPH. The company aims to pursue certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in keeping with Boom's stated commitment to environmental sustainability.
Boom’s schedules call for production to start on the Mach 1.7 Overture in 2024. The company expects to employ some 2,400 workers there by 2032.
The company called Greensboro an optimal location for its aerospace workforce base, noting that it includes a large pool of military veterans. In the Piedmont Triad area, Greensboro hosts several aerospace companies, including Honda Aircraft and Haeco Americas. Boom also cites its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, over which it intends to conduct test flights, as another advantage of the location.
Boom rolled out its one-third-scale XB-1 demonstrator in October 2020 as a testbed for Overture technologies. Initial plans call for the development of an airliner that could carry between 65 and 88 passengers while running on 100 percent sustainable fuel. Expected to roll out in 2025 and fly in 2026, the Overture would begin revenue passenger flights by 2029 if Boom’s goals come to fruition. Including both orders and options, Boom claims to carry a backlog totaling $14 billion from United Airlines and Japan Airlines. The company also is working with the U.S. Air Force on potential government applications.
While Boom says both airline orders came with a deposit, analysts question what performance guarantees it might have given at this relatively early stage in development. In a statement to AIN, American Airlines said the “order” does not constitute a definitive purchase agreement. It also declined to discuss potential markets for the airplane, citing the early stage of the Overture’s development.