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United Airlines Supersonic jets fly Sydney to LA in 8.5 hours

Supersonic flight is making a comeback.

United Airlines has announced plans to buy 15 new supersonic jets to “return supersonic speeds to aviation” by 2029.

Supersonic flight is when an aircraft travels faster than the speed of sound. It significantly cuts travel times. But it has not been possible since Air France and British Airways retired Concorde in 2003.

Denver-based company Boom will produce the aircraft known as ‘Overture’. The deal is conditional on the company meeting safety standards.

How fast will United’s supersonic Overture jets go?

At an altitude of 18,300m the United Supersonic jets could travel up to 1,805km an hour, known as Mach 1.7.

At that speed, the flight time from Sydney to Los Angeles would be reduced from 15 hours to just 8.5.

Travel times between London and New York would be cut in half. According to Boom the trip would take just 3.5 hours.

The retired Concorde jets were faster at 2,180km an hour or Mach 2.04.

United Supersonic jet
A conceptual image of United's Boom Supersonic Overture interior. Credit: United Airlines

Sustainable travel

Once operational, the Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one.

The supersonic jets will run on 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel.

“United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes,” United CEO Scott Kirby said.

“Our mission has always been about connecting people and now working with Boom, we’ll be able to do that on an even greater scale.”

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