Supersonic flight has existed for over 50 years but has never been efficient enough for routine travel. Until now…
Boom Technology has unveiled the XB- 1 Supersonic Demonstrator, a subscale prototype of the Boom supersonic passenger airliner.
On display for the first time ever at Boom’s Hangar 14 at Centennial Airport, the XB-1, nicknamed ‘Baby Boom’. The XB-1 is the world’s fastest civil aircraft ever made, and it will demonstrate in flight the key technologies for affordable supersonic travel.
XB-1’s first flight is planned for late 2017 with subsonic flights conducted east of Denver and supersonic testing carried out near Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, in partnership with Virgin Galactic’s The Spaceship Company. The XB-1 is a technically representative one-third-scale version of the production Boom airliner.
“I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of highspeed commercial flights,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic’s decision to work with Boom was an easy one. We’re excited to have an option on Boom’s first 10 airframes. Through Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, we will provide engineering and manufacturing services, along with flight test support and operations as part of our shared ambitions.”
The XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator will fly with hardware from General Electric (engines), Honeywell (avionics), Tencate (carbon fibre), with composite structures fabricated by Blue Force. Final assembly and vehicle integration are taking place in Boom’s facility at Centennial Airport.
Formerly of NASA, SpaceX and Boeing, Boom brought together the top minds in aviation to build its modern supersonic passenger airliner. Learning from the Concorde, they combined advanced aerodynamics, efficient engine technology and new composite materials to power a safe and affordable supersonic aircraft 2.6x faster than current jetliners.
The product of over 1,000 simulated wind tunnel tests, Boom’s tri-jet design features a refined delta wing, a gracefully tapered carbon fibre fuselage, and efficient turbofan jet engines. Unlike Concorde, the Boom design requires no afterburner, significantly improving fuel economy.
“60 years after the dawn of the jet age, we’re still flying at 1960s speeds,” said Blake Scholl, chief executive officer and founder of Boom. “Concorde’s designers didn’t have the technology for affordable supersonic travel, but now we do. Today, we’re proud to unveil our first aircraft as we look forward to first flight late next year.”
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