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United plans to add Boom supersonic jets to fleet by end of 2020s

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United plans to add Boom supersonic jets to fleet by end of 2020s
A conceptual rendering shows how the Boom Overture supersonic aircraft would look in United Airlines livery. Photo courtesy United Airlines

June 3 (UPI) -- United Airlines said Thursday it's agreed to buy more than a dozen supersonic aircraft to add to its future global fleet.

The airline said it will buy the Overture passenger planes from Denver-based Boom Supersonic. The planes are designed to fly at speeds exceeding Mach 2, or twice the speed of the fastest airliners in service today.

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The carrier said it has agreed to buy 15 of the supersonic planes once they are built.

"Overture meets United's demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft," United Airlines said in a statement.

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"Once operational, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel."

United said it expects the first Overture planes to start flying in 2026 and serve passengers by 2029.

"Today's advancements in technology are making it more viable ... to include supersonic planes," United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement, adding that the new aircraft will give travelers a "stellar flight experience."

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Boom Supersonic founder and CEO Blake Scholl said United's is the first investment by a major carrier in carbon-neutral aircraft.

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Boom unveiled the design of the Overture aircraft six years ago and said at one point it would be able to carry 55 passengers. It was initially planned to enter service in the early 2020s, but is now expected by the end of the decade.

Boom said in 2018 it had received close to 100 pre-orders for supersonic aircraft.

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