Boom Supersonic, the highly-hyped supersonic jetliner of the future, has filled in (at least for now) one of the critical blanks in the picture: It's signed up three companies to collaborate on engines for the proposed SST.
The company says it has contracts with Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT) to develop the engine, and with GE Additive for consulting on the project and StandardAero for maintenance issues. Originally, Boom had been working with Rolls Royce, one of the major engine suppliers for airliners, but Rolls dropped out earlier this year.
That left Boom in the embarrassing situation of having firm orders from several airlines, including American and United, a shiny new concept drawing, and no firm plans for how to power it by the promised test dates three years out and a few years longer for passenger service.
However, all is not yet clear sailing for the company. FTT, which builds engines for drones, hasn't tackled a project of this scale before, and there are many engineering challenges ahead. Also a dark cloud is the question of market: at its intended range, it's a plane for trans-Atlantic non-stops but not trans-Pacific. Some critics have questioned whether it can be quiet enough for overland operations, and whether there's really a market for a four-engine supersonic airliner with the passenger capacity of a smaller 737.