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United Airlines Wants To Bring Back Supersonic Air Travel. Will the FAA Let It?

Interest in the return of commercial supersonic air travel is booming. But will the technology be able to break through the regulatory barriers that stand in its way?

On Thursday, United Airlines announced its intention to purchase 15 supersonic Overture jets from Denver-based aerospace startup Boom Supersonic. The hope is for these 65–88-person airliners—which have yet to be built, let alone tested—to be ferrying passengers across oceanic routes by 2029, according to a joint press release put out by the two companies.

“At speeds twice as fast, United passengers will experience all the advantages of life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer, more relaxing vacations to far-off destinations,” said Boom CEO Blake Scholl.

On its website, Boom says a trip from San Francisco to Tokyo on its Overture jet will take six hours, instead of the current journey of just over 10.

Faster-than-sound travel isn’t a new…

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