Boom Supersonic, a Centennial, Colo.-based startup that plans to manufacture supersonic airliners, will build its first plant at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., the company announced Jan. 26. The project is part of a $500-million investment at the site through 2030, said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
Construction is expected to begin this year, though a Boom spokesperson would not name the contractor. The startup aims to begin production in 2024. The first aircraft is expected to be completed in 2025 and carry passengers by 2029.
The first phase of the project will involve building a production hangar facing the south side of I-73, where Boom would manufacture its aircraft, according to the airport. That may be supplemented with another production hangar as demand requires. Besides the 400,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility, plans call for a test facility and customer delivery center at Boom’s 65-acre campus at the airport, says the company.
Test Flights Over the Atlantic
Boom, founded in 2014, says it selected the Greensboro site because of the area’s existing aerospace-proficient workforce and parts suppliers, plus its proximity to the coast for test flights over the Atlantic Ocean.
North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee approved the state’s first high-yield job development investment grant for Boom, authorizing potential reimbursement to the company of as much as $87.2 million over 20 years, as long as Boom meets job creation and investment targets, Moore added.
The incentive package also includes moving up to $9.6 million into a state fund to help rural communities finance infrastructure upgrades to attract businesses, with the state budget also including $106.7 million for road improvements and hangar construction at the airport.
Boom’s investment is projected to grow the state's economy by $32.3 billion over 20 years, the governor said.
Boom was also considering sites in Jacksonville, Fla., and Greenville, S.C. with both cities offering incentives, state officials told the Raleigh News & Observer.
Boom is already testing its XB-1 “demonstrator” supersonic jet that it says was built to prove some of its key technologies for efficient supersonic flight. The company claims its Overture commercial airliner would have a net-zero carbon footprint and be capable of flying entirely on sustainable aviation fuels. It says the planes would carry 65-88 passengers at speeds up to Mach 1.7, twice the speed of the current fastest passenger jets, with a range of 4,888 miles.
United Airlines has ordered 15 Overtures, with an option for 35 more, and Japan Airlines has preordered 20, according to Boom. It also is partnering with the U.S. Air Force to explore supersonic executive transport.