The Boom SST engine problem, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

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December 08, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: Boom Technology and Virgin Atlantic plan to offer supersonic business class passenger traffic over the Atlantic. We covered the type of challenges that this poses in previous articles. The most difficult challenge is finding a suitable engine.

Figure 1. Boom Technologies Boom Mach 2.2 airliner with 45 seater. Source: Boom.

We described what type of engine will be required in Part 2 of the series. We will now investigate what thrust this engine must deliver at different parts of the flight envelope.

How “draggy” is supersonic flight? Why did Concorde and the Tu-144 need afterburners for the acceleration to cruise speed?


  • Supersonic drag forces slender aircraft designs to minimize supersonic drag.
  • An SST needs to use a special climb technique to hold this and other drag factors low.
  • Passing the sound barrier and supersonic climb is demanding flight phases
  • Can a non-afterburning turbofan operate efficiently to master these phases and combat the supersonic drag?

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