UPDATE: Boom announces engine partners for proposed supersonic jet

By Bryan Corliss

Dec. 13, © Leeham News: Boom Supersonic announced this morning that it will team with three partners, including a division of GE, to create engines for use specifically on its proposed Overture passenger transport.

“Developing a supersonic engine specifically for Overture offers by far the best value proposition for our customers,” Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl said.

The partners are:

  • Florida Turbine Technologies, which will design the engines;
  • GE Additive, which will consult on ways to fabricate engine parts through additive manufacturing technology; and
  • StandardAero, which will be Boom’s MRO partner and will consult on making the engines easy to maintain.

The announcement didn’t specify who will fabricate the engines, or where they will be built. It did note that Standard Aero has experience assembling and servicing supersonic engines for the military. Boom has not yet responded to a request for clarification.


  • Major engine manufacturers had passed on Boom
  • Engines could include additively manufactured components
  • Significant challenges remain
Major engine manufacturers had passed on Boom

The engine — dubbed “Symphony” — will be a medium-bypass turbofan with basic architecture similar to standard commercial jet aircraft engines, Boom said.

However, the new engines will include a Boom-designed axisymmetric supersonic intake, a variable-geometry low-noise exhaust nozzle and a passively cooled high-pressure turbine, the company said.

The announcement comes after all the major North American engine manufacturers already had passed on the project. As previously reported by LNA, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney and GE’s aerospace division all  said they either weren’t interested in partnering with Boom, or had other priorities.

The engine designer for the Symphony project will be Florida Turbine Technologies. According to it’s LinkedIn page, it’s a 200-person engineering firm in Jupiter, FL, and a business unit of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, which acquired an 80% stake in the company in 2019.  Boom says its workforce includes engineers who worked on designing the supersonic engines for F-22 and F-35 fighter jets. However, the Kratos website indicates its Turbine Technologies unit’s main products are small engines for drones and cruise missiles, and pumps and other equipment for liquid-fuel rocket engines.

The design team “has a decades-long history of developing innovative, high-performance propulsion solutions” and is “proud to team with Boom and its Symphony partners … to develop the first bespoke engine for sustainable, economical supersonic flight,” according to a statement from Florida Turbine Technologies President Stacey Rock.

Engines could include additively manufactured components

While GE Aerospace has passed on the Boom project, another GE unit — GE Additive — is going to take part. GE Additive’s role will be to design engine components that will be fabricated using additive manufacturing technology, which Boom says will streamline development, reduce weigh and improve fuel efficiency.

There might be a bigger role for GE in the future, according to a statement from Chris Schuppe, the general manager for engineering and technology at GE Additive. He said his unit will provide “additive manufacturing design consulting and technology, while looking for additional areas to potentially collaborate.”

Standard Aero is an MRO provider based in Scottsdale, AZ, with service teams across the United States and in the United Kingdom. It says its technicians work on engines and APUs powering commercial and regional aircraft.  It also does maintenance on P&W F-135 engines that power F-35s flown by the Dutch air force, and GE F-110 engines that power fourth-generation fighters including F-14s, F-15s and F-16s.

That “experience assembling and servicing supersonic military engines makes us the intelligent solution for future commercial, supersonic MRO applications,” StandardAero Chairman and CEO Russell Ford said.

Significant challenges remain

Boom says it will begin production at it’s Greensboro, NC, factory in 2024, with rollout set for 2026 and first flight in 2027. It expects to achieve type certification in 2029.

As LNA has reported before, Boom faces major headwinds, including cash flow, regulatory issues (particularly around noise), less-than-firm orders and serious environmental concerns. Operating costs could also be a factor, if Boom utilizes expensive and scarce sustainable aviation fuels to meet its low carbon emissions targets, and  the physics of thrust and noise will be hard to overcome.

But Boom says the new engine will operate at net carbon zero and meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Chapter 14 noise levels. The company also projects lower engine maintenance requirements, which will cut operating costs by 10%.

“Through the Symphony program, we can provide our customers with an economically and environmentally sustainable supersonic airplane,” Scholl said. That’s “a combination unattainable with the current constraints of derivative engines and industry norms.”

Boom has announced orders and options for 130 jets. American Airlines this year put down deposits on 20 Overtures, and has options on 40 more. United has put money down on 15, with options for another 35.


18 Comments on “UPDATE: Boom announces engine partners for proposed supersonic jet

  1. How much does it cost, how long does it take to design & develop an engine, set up supply chain and assembly and fully certify it for all scenarios and conditions?

  2. Wait, what’s the cash burn rate of Boom? How long can it sustain??

    To dream … the impossible dream …
    To bear … with unbearable sorrow …

  3. First flight in 2027?! I just snorted my coffee out my nose. More than two years after its rollout, the XB-1 “Baby Boom” demonstrator has yet to fly. And it has real (albeit 60 year old) engines.

    Market, financial, regulatory, and environmental questions surrounding Boom remain simply thought experiments, since even with this announcement Boom has no engine plan. And they never will.

    Since we’re discussing airplane fantasy land today, has the Eviation Alice made its second flight yet? Shockingly, the answer is no!

    • The tell was naming this mcProduct after its worst feature (if said product existed).

      trolldom.. that Theranos lady Elizabeth Holmes might be impressed, though.

  4. It gives GE someplace to play with the printer parts!

    As for the rest, what a line of BS.

    Or as the Engineer told the Captain of the Titanic, its not a question of sinking or not, its a certainty we are sinking. The only question is how soon.

    • “Boom”.. the sound of this mcProuduct crashing into, um, reality?
      No mention of who’s actually going to *build* this fabled engine..


  5. It is one thing to build something that fly, it is another division of complexity and cost to get all FAA engine design and production permits, certify, issue all manuals, get reliability and customer support running. Maybe USAF/DoD think it is good with US competition against GE/PWA and will support this effort. We will see.

  6. Some delay may help the team to read up about supersonic interference drag and to find a smarter way to integrate the engines. The suspended engines in their advertisement look like copied from an A340 which doesn’t fly that fast.

  7. What a shame, Concorde will never have a successor. And they call this progress?

    If Hydrogen was used water vapor would the emissions, and the environmentalists would still criticize that like they criticize contrails now.

  8. Sooooo a 200 person engineering firm that’s never built an engine is going to make one quieter and more efficient than anything the military has today? All while using additive parts not incorporated before? And it will be carbon neutral? Is anyone still buying this?!

  9. This is beginning to look like Theranos. Everyone hoping that something magic will happen and an engine will appear, it will get attached to a frame that doesn’t yet exist and it will fly. How do they get investors?

  10. P&W Florida is next doors, so many senior staff can get a shorter commute to work at FTT and can get their designs metal 3D printed by GE. With the right mix of key staff (like when the few Germans at Lycoming was key to get the T-55 in production), some USAF funding and P&W standards it can go pretty fast.

  11. It’d be an astonishing fate to develop and certify an all-new engine within a few years. Can it be achieved in less than seven, eight years??

  12. BOOM supersonic is a Trump level grifting operation.

    It is truly a spectacular level of gullibility and stupidity that allows this company to keep grifting new victims.

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