American Airlines places deposit on 20 supersonic planes

DALLAS (AP) - American Airlines has agreed to purchase up to 20 supersonic jets and pay a non-refundable deposit for the planes, which are still on the drawing board and years from flying.
Neither American nor manufacturer Boom Supersonic would disclose any financial details Tuesday, including the size of American's investment. American will become Boom's second US customer, following a similar announcement by United Airlines last year for 15 of the Overture-named aircraft.
Almost 20 years have passed since the last supersonic passenger flight of the British-French Concorde, which could not be implemented because of the high flight costs.
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Boom CEO Blake Scholl insists his company's plane will be different when it debuts in 2029, with tickets costing around $4,000-$5,000 to fly from New York to London in about three and a half hours .
"There are tens of millions of passengers each year who fly business class on routes where Overture will bring great acceleration," Scholl said in an interview, "and airlines will be able to do so profitably."
Skeptics have questioned Boom's ambitious timeline, especially given the many years it's taken Boeing, an established manufacturer, to get or even retrofit planes approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to Boom, the Overture program will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion. The plane has a list price of $200 million, though other manufacturers routinely give airlines deep discounts.
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Last month, Boom announced changes to the plane's design to make it easier and less expensive to build and maintain. The most notable change was the change from three engines, including a different type at the stern, to four identical engines under the delta-shaped wings.
However, Boom doesn't have an engine manufacturer on the lineup just yet. It talks to Rolls Royce and others.

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