GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro landed a big one. Boom Supersonic, a high-speed commercial jet manufacturer, will call Piedmont Triad International Airport home for its first factory. Here's what you need to know about the jet-maker coming to the 'First in Flight' state.
1. What does Boom Supersonic make?
The company builds high-speed jets that will one day be used for passenger travel. The factory coming to PTI Airport will build Boom's flagship plane called the 'Overture.'
"This is not just another aircraft manufacturer, another MRO - they're coming in here to make the next generation of supersonic transport aircraft, which is really, really exciting stuff," said Nicolas Yale, director of aviation programs at Guilford Technical Community College.
2. When will Boom open its factory at PTI Airport?
Boom will break ground on the facility later in 2022. Production will start in 2024. Here's a look at where it will be.
3. How many jobs and what is the pay?
Boom will create 1,761 jobs at its Greensboro plant by 2030. The company said it plans to employ 2,400 workers by 2032. State and local leaders have said the average pay will be around $69,000 a year.
Boom will begin hiring for its Greensboro plant in 2023. Their website says interested applicants can submit contact information for them to keep on file.
4. When will the Overture aircraft take flight?
The first Overture aircraft will be unveiled in 2025, fly in 2026, and carry its first passengers by 2029. It can carry around 80 passengers.
Boom has another plane. The XB-1 is a demonstrator aircraft the company rolled out in 2020. Flight testing will happen sometime in 2022. The XB-1 is really paving the way for the Overture plane through testing, design, and technology.
5. Why did Boom choose Greensboro?
A few reasons. Company leaders said the interstate system, education, diverse workforce, and quality of life were just a few reasons why Greensboro was the best choice. They also said the proximity to the coast makes it great for practicing touch-and-goes, as their planes will travel faster than the speed of sound while over the ocean.
6. Will Boom offer opportunities for students?
Yes. Boom says it will create 200 internships through 2032 for students who attend public North Carolina universities, community colleges, or technical schools.
7. What is supersonic flight?
Boom Supersonic says its jets will be capable of flying faster than the speed of sound (761.2 mph, for those of you wondering).
For comparison, a typical passenger airplane flies anywhere between 460-575 mph.
Boom Supersonic says its mission is "To make the world dramatically more accessible" by turning three-day business trips into one-day hops.
"Time is our most treasured, valued asset, and people will pay for speed to save time. So, imagine flying twice as fast as a traditional airliner. Imagine flying at flight levels up to 60,000 feet where you can see the curvature of the earth," airline transport pilot MayCay Beeler said.
8. OK, so how fast?
Boom Supersonic has a few examples of just how fast it will be able to get you from A to B.
A nonstop flight from New York to London is typically 6 hours, 30 minutes.
The Overture plane would make that flight 3 hours, 30 minutes.
"You’re going to be able to get to every place in the world faster about half the time or less than you currently do now," Yale said. "All the airlines are going to have to get involved in this to be competitive. One of the key things that boom is trying to do that the previous supersonic transport aircraft didn’t do is keep the price within a manageable range."
9. What about the noise?
Boom Supersonic says Overture won't fly faster than the speed of sound while over land, so people on the ground won't be exposed to sonic booms.
While over the ocean, Overture will fly at supersonic speeds. The company says passengers won't even notice when the plane breaks the sound barrier.
"Part of their designs is to take that sonic boom that would normally blow windows out and turn it into the sound of a car door slamming. That’s going to be how loud it is. That’s their goal, is to make it that loud," Yale said.
10. What does this mean for the Triad and North Carolina?
Boom Supersonic is investing $500 million in the Triad. State officials say that half-a-billion dollar investment is expected to pump $32.3 billion into North Carolina over the next 20 years.
It's huge for our economy and it comes just weeks after Toyota announced its $1.29 billion investment in the Piedmont Triad. Toyota is building its first North American car battery plant at the Greensboro-Randolph mega-site, which is also bringing hundreds of jobs here.
Bottom line: Big companies are noticing the Triad.
Greensboro real estate agent Ashauna Harris told us Boom's plant will mean more people looking for homes near PTI Airport.
"This is the perfect time to capitalize on available land because you know the people are coming," Harris said.
Harris said the area around the Toyota mega-site is already getting more attention too.
"We have seen developers buying up land and houses near the Toyota site," she said.