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Hard Pass! American Airlines Orders 20 Supersonic Jets

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Do we really need to fly passengers faster than the speed of sound? Really?

Back in the 70’s the Concorde jet famously zipped people around the globe at supersonic speed, and for supersonic prices. The average round trip price was 12,000 dollars. Mostly because the aircraft used so much fuel, approximately one ton per seat. That’s a lot of gas, kids.

I remember at least a couple times as a kid hearing the sonic “boom” from the plane as it crossed my part of the country. Of course, if you didn’t realize what the boom was, it was a bit unsettling.

Not as unsettling as the prospect of flying faster than the speed of sound, and higher than a passenger plane probably should. I’ll settle for Amtrak, thanks.

Recently American Airlines has jumped in and ordered 20 supersonic jets to serve business travelers. Let’s fly over to the New York Post for the details:

American Airlines on Tuesday agreed to buy 20 supersonic jets that can travel at 1,300 miles per hour but are years away from hitting the friendly skies.

The Texas-based airline put down a non-refundable deposit for the fleet of Boom Supersonic Overture jets and has the option to buy 40 more.

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That’s a major commitment to hypersonic air travel, considering it’s going to be possibly up to a decade before the planes will be ready, and the deposit is nonrefundable.

This looks to be the kind of deal that could bankrupt a company is something goes sideways.

Boom calls its planes the “world’s fastest airliner” because they can make it from Miami to London trip in just under five hours or Los Angeles to Honolulu in three.

Tickets to fly from New York to London — a three and a half hour trip — would cost about $4,000 to $5,000.

The supersonic jets would be used by American Airlines for international travel only, as planes must stay below the speed of sound while traveling over land, reported the Dallas Morning News. The Overture could ramp up to Mach 1.7 over water and carry 65 to 80 passengers.

So, what we are looking at here is the prospect of flying faster than the speed of sound, over water, in a plane made by a company called “Boom”. Ironic that boom is the sound something makes when it explodes. Over water.

I’m not saying that’s going to happen, I’m just saying a supersonic accident over water pretty much eliminates the need to have a flotation device under your seat. Just dental records will have to do.

What will these planes run on, fuel wise? After all we are being dragged kicking and screaming into a green new world of electric vehicles. Surely these hypersonic missiles aren’t electric?

Last year, United Airlines agreed to purchase 15 Boom jets, which will fly entirely on sustainable aviation fuel, often made from plant material.

Hold up, so these ultra-fast, advanced technology jets are going to run on sustainable jet fuel made from plants, but my Ford Mustang is going to have to be plugged into my garage just to run for a couple hundred miles? (Just kidding, I’m never buying an EV).

Sounds like Boom needs to share their technology with the auto industry. I don’t want to go that fast in a car, but I would definitely like to NOT have to plug up every couple hundred miles.

However this technology shakes out, it will be without me. Slow and steady wins the race, and keeps you from being vaporized at Mach speeds.