Boom to partner with GE Additive on new Symphony engine
Boom Supersonic presented the new Symphony propulsion system designed and optimized for its Overture supersonic airliner. The company will be teaming with three industry leaders to develop Symphony including Kratos Turbine Technologies (formerly known as FTT, now part of Kratos and renamed KTT) for engine design, GE Additive for additive technology design consulting, and StandardAero for maintenance.
“Developing a supersonic engine specifically for Overture offers by far the best value proposition for our customers,” said Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. “Through the Symphony program, we can provide our customers with an economically and environmentally sustainable supersonic airplane—a combination unattainable with the current constraints of derivative engines and industry norms.”
Symphony will be a medium-bypass turbofan engine with the same basic engine architecture that currently powers all modern commercial aircraft. Unlike subsonic turbofans, this new propulsion system will include a Boom-designed axisymmetric supersonic intake, a variable-geometry low-noise exhaust nozzle, and a passively cooled high-pressure turbine.
Symphony at a glance:
- Architecture: twin-spool, medium-bypass turbofan engine, no afterburner
- Thrust: 35,000lbs at takeoff
- Fuel: optimized for 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel
- Single-stage fan designed for quiet operation
- Passively cooled high-pressure turbine
- Additive manufacturing for low weight, low part count, and reduced assembly costs
- Certification: compliant with FAA and EASA Part 33 requirements
“Innovation happens when expertise and opportunity come together in new places and new ways,” said Phil Condit, Former Chairman and CEO, The Boeing Company. “That’s exactly what Boom is doing with Symphony. With this, Boom can design the airplane and engine together to get the best result.”
A Boom-led collaboration
“Boom’s strategy with Symphony is quite innovative,” Boom Senior Advisor, former Rolls-Royce CTO, and Chair of Singapore Aerospace Programme Ric Parker said. “Their approach makes it compelling for top-tier suppliers to have the opportunity to contribute their expertise and capabilities to this exciting, breakthrough supersonic engine program.”
The Boom-led collaboration brings together world-class companies across design, manufacturing, and maintenance including FTT, GE Additive, and StandardAero.
“United and Boom share a passion for making the world dramatically more accessible through sustainable supersonic travel,” said Mike Leskinen, President, United Airlines Ventures. “The team at Boom understands what we need to create a compelling experience for our passengers, and we are looking forward to a United supersonic fleet powered by Symphony.”
Symphony will be a bespoke design leveraging proven technologies and materials to achieve optimal supersonic performance and efficiency. Overture’s new propulsion system will operate at net zero carbon and meet Chapter 14 noise levels.
When compared to derivative approaches, Symphony is expected to deliver a 25% increase in time on wing and significantly lower engine maintenance costs, reducing overall airplane operating costs for airline customers by 10%.
Advanced partners on AM
Boom’s partners will help bring knowledge of advanced processes including additive manufacturing, which has been a key element in Boom’s own strategy for both development, tooling and parts until today. Boom has been known to use both Stratasys and Velo3D technology for plastic and metal parts for the XB-1 demonstrator project.
FTT, a business unit of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.: Engine Design, will provide leading supersonic engine design expertise, including key engineers among the team responsible for the design of the F-119 and F-135 supersonic engines that power the F-22 and F-35.
“The team at FTT has a decades-long history of developing innovative, high-performance propulsion solutions,” said Stacey Rock, President of Florida Turbine Technologies. “We are proud to team with Boom and its Symphony partners and look forward to developing the first bespoke engine for sustainable, economical supersonic flight.”
“The FTT team has decades of experience in supersonic engine design,” said Liz Stein, aerospace engineer and deep tech investor. “Boom is getting an engine (1) optimized for Overture’s flight profile that (2) leverages modern design tools and principles for maximum efficiency (3) without the need for new hot section materials thereby (4) lowering lifetime maintenance costs.”
Symphony will also benefit from the partnership between Boom and GE Additive via GE’s AM division’s proven track record of designing additively manufactured engine components—enabling more streamlined development, reduced weight, and improved fuel efficiency.
“We are excited to support Overture and Symphony,” said Chris Schuppe, General Manager Engineering and Technology at GE Additive. “GE Additive will bring industry-leading capabilities to Symphony, providing additive manufacturing design consulting and technology, while looking for additional areas to potentially collaborate.”
Additionally, StandardAero, one of the aerospace industry’s largest independent maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) providers, will ensure that Symphony is designed for maintainability.
Boom’s collaboration with StandardAero aims to deliver reliable and economical operations, and provision of maintenance services for the life of the aircraft. Boom will also benefit from StandardAero’s experience as an assembler of supersonic engines.
“We are excited to team with Boom as its strategic engine MRO partner and for the opportunity to contribute to the company’s bright future, ensuring its aircraft will receive the industry’s finest engine MRO services,” said Russell Ford, Chairman and CEO of StandardAero. “Our current qualifications, capabilities and experience assembling and servicing supersonic military jet engines makes us the intelligent solution for future commercial, supersonic engine MRO applications.”
Overture program schedule
With Symphony design already underway, Overture is on track to achieve type certification in 2029. Production is set to commence in 2024 at Overture’s Superfactory in Greensboro, NC, with rollout in 2026 and first flight in 2027.
“Today’s Symphony engine announcement by Boom only furthers our excitement around a sustainable supersonic future that will take shape right here at PTI,” said Kevin Baker, Executive Director, Piedmont Triad International Airport.