Boom rolls out XB-1 demonstrator aircraft

There’s been very little good news to report in the aviation industry over the past few months, with airplanes grounded or pushed into early retirement.



a large airplane at an airport


© Boom Supersonic


However, Boom Supersonic is going all out to show that there will be light at the end of the tunnel in the future.

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More than 50 years after the world’s first supersonic airliner took its maiden flight, the Denver based start-up has made history with the roll out of XB-1, the first independently developed supersonic aircraft.

Dubbed Baby Boom, the 71-foot-long fuselage is a 1:3 scale prototype of Boom’s upcoming supersonic commercial jet Overture, which is to have a maximum speed of Mach 2.2, making it capable of flying London to New York in just three hours and 30 minutes.

“Supersonic [travel] has been promised for so long,” Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic tells CNN Travel.

“What’s different is that we now have history’s first independently developed supersonic jet. We have an assembled aircraft with all the technology that we need to do what we’re talking about here.

“And it’s not a piece of paper, it’s not a computer render, it’s an airplane. An airplane designed to be safe enough for humans to fly on. So supersonic is here.”

‘First post pandemic airliner’

XB-1, which has a wingspan of 6.40 meters, is equipped with three J85-15 engines, designed by General Electric, that supply more than 12,000 pounds of thrust, allowing it to fly at breakthrough supersonic speeds.

According to the team at Boom, the aircraft’s carbon-composite airframe will enable it to maintain its strength and rigidity “under the high temperatures and stresses of supersonic flight.”

The eagerly anticipated roll out of XB-1, specifically designed to “discover learnings” for Overture, was broadcast on October 7 in a live

Supersonic startup Boom unveils XB-1 prototype, begins flight testing

  • Boom Supersonic just unveiled the prototype for its supersonic commercial jet that’s slated to bring a new era of ultra-fast travel.
  • The XB-1 demonstrator will begin flight testing in 2021 to prove viable the technology that will power the larger, Concorde-like Overture passenger plane.
  • Development of the Overture will continue concurrently with the XB-1’s flight testing for a planned 2025 debut.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The days of supersonic travel are almost here again and leading the charge isn’t Airbus or Boeing, but smaller startups including one Colorado-based aviation firm that just rolled out a flyable prototype.

Boom Supersonic has been at the forefront for the relaunch of supersonic commercial flight with a design of its own, the Overture, a Concorde-like jet that’s slated for a 2025 debut. The $200 million plane could cut down travel times in half if successful and make the world a significantly smaller place.

The Concorde was known for three-hour transatlantic crossing between the East Coast and Europe, making it possible for travelers to have breakfast in New York and lunch in Paris, or breakfast in London and a second breakfast in Washington. But standing in the way between today’s planes and the next supersonic age is flight testing — thousands of hours of it. 

Boom just took the wraps off of the prototype that will perform flight testing and prove its technology viable for wide-scale commercial flight. The single-pilot demonstrator known as the XB-1 will take to the skies starting next year and pave the way for the Overture. 

Airlines have already shown an interest and desire to get back into supersonic travel as Virgin Atlantic Airways and Japan Airlines are both investors in the company that has racked up 30 pre-orders. Even the US Air Force wants to get on