Boom Supersonic on Wednesday unveiled what it hopes to be the first step in letting ordinary people fly at supersonic speeds again. The XB-1 that rolled out at an event in Colorado won’t carry passengers, but it’ll serve as a demonstration aircraft to test the company’s technologies.
“We have begun to pave the path of a mainstream supersonic future,” said CEO Blake Scholl. “Today we stand on the precipice of a new age of travel.”
The 71-foot XB-1 will use three General Electric engines with 12,000 pounds of thrust. As with the, a long pointy nose will obscure the view of the runway from the cockpit during landing, but cameras will take the place of the Concorde’s dropping nose.
“[The XB-1’s] fuselage is designed for speed minimizing drag and supersonic performance,” Scholl said. “Its carbon composite airframe retains its rigidity and strength even under the temperatures of supersonic flight and its delta wind balances low-speed performance for take off and landing with high speed efficiency.”
Boom’s ultimate goal is to bring back commercial supersonic flight following the retirement of the Anglo-French Concorde in 2003. Its planned Overture airliner, which was first announced at the 2017 Paris Air Show, promises to carry between 45-55 passengers –half the capacity of the Concorde.
Flying at more than twice the speed of sound, it would cut the current flight time between London and New York in half to just 3 hours, 15 minutes and a reduce a typical 14-hour flight between Los Angeles and Sydney to 6 hours, 45 minutes.
More importantly, though, Boom promises the Overture will