Boom rolls out supersonic demonstrator XB-1

Boom Supersonic, the aerospace company building the world’s fastest airliner, unveiled its supersonic demonstrator, XB-1, history’s first independently developed supersonic jet.

Supersonic Jet demonstrator, XB-1. Boom Supersonic Photo
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To design and build XB-1, Boom recruited a team of experts from around the industry, forged relationships with key suppliers, and built a strong safety culture. XB-1 is slated to fly for the first time in 2021 and will undergo a 100 per cent carbon-neutral flight test program. Boom’s innovations include developing one of the highest-efficiency civil supersonic engine intakes ever tested, demonstrating Boom’s ability to deliver a breakthrough in propulsive efficiency for Overture.

“Boom continues to make progress towards our founding mission–making the world dramatically more accessible,” said Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO. “XB-1 is an important milestone towards the development of our commercial airliner, Overture, making sustainable supersonic flight mainstream and fostering human connection.”

On Oct 7 the world will see XB-1 fully assembled for the first time and hear from the team that designed, built and are currently testing the aircraft. Boom’s XB-1 virtual rollout will highlight some of XB-1’s notable features including:

  • Shape: XB-1’s 71-foot-long fuselage has been optimally shaped for high-speed aerodynamic efficiency.
  • Materials: The carbon-composite airframe maintains its strength and rigidity, even under the high temperatures and stresses of supersonic flight.
  • Wing: The delta wing balances low-speed stability at takeoff and landing with high-speed efficiency.
  • Propulsion: Three J85-15 engines, designed by General Electric, provide more than 12,000 pounds of thrust, allowing XB-1 to fly at breakthrough supersonic speeds.
  • Cockpit ergonomics: Guidance and feedback from XB-1’s test pilots played a key role in cockpit design, which was the product of hundreds of hours of human factors and usability testing.
  • Forward vision system: XB-1 leverages a high-resolution video camera and cockpit display to give pilots a virtual window through the nose, providing superior runway visibility for landing.

Additionally, Boom will be sharing the virtual presentation stage with a number of aerospace leaders, Boom partners and investors. These guests will discuss the supersonic future, XB-1, and their excitement for Overture. Event speakers include:

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  • NASA Leaders and Astronauts: Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr, USMC (Ret.), 12th NASA Administrator and
    Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson, USN (Ret.)
  • Chief Concorde pilot for British Airways, Captain Mike Bannister
  • Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde author Lawrence Azerrad
  • U.S. Air Force Brig. General Ryan Britton
  • Chairman of Japan Airlines, Yoshiharu Ueki
  • Strategy director at Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, Simon Carlisle
  • Founder of Prometheus Fuels, Rob McGinnis, a company producing net zero carbon jet fuel, an evolution beyond
    low-carbon sustainable fuels
  • Boom investors, Sam Altman, Emerson Collective, John Collison, Reid Hoffman, Jeff Holden, Greg McAdoo and
    Sir Michael Moritz
  • Boom advisors, Dr. Ray O. Johnson and Dr. Lourdes Maurice

After rollout, XB-1 will complete its ongoing, extensive ground test program before heading to Mojave, Cali., in 2021 for flight test. At the same time, the company will finalize Overture’s propulsion system and conduct wind tunnel tests to validate aircraft design. When XB-1 breaks the sound barrier in flight, Boom will be finalizing the design of Overture, whose own rollout is on track for 2025.

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