Boom Supersonic reveals X-B1 demonstrator ahead of next year’s flight testing

Supersonic X-B1 rollout ©Boom

Eying a return to supersonic transatlantic air travel that ceased with the decommissioning of the Anglo-French Concorde 2003, Boom Supersonic (Boom) has unveiled its innovative XB-1 which has a 21.6 m (71 foot-long) fuselage, a carbon-composite airframe and three GE-designed J85-15 engines.

Carbon-neutral flight testing is scheduled to begin towards the end of next year (2021) in Mojave, California. One of the principal challenges for the aircraft is to meet with noise and carbon emission standards which are in place for more traditional commercial aircraft.

According to Reuters news agency, when interviewed, Boom’s Chief Executive, Blake Scholl, commented that he anticipates that the passenger-carrying supersonic version of the jet, Overture, will enter into service by the end of the decade.

The supersonic airlines will have between 65 and 88 seats, with the target market being business travelers. The jet will be capable of reducing the length of transatlantic flights by 50%, resulting in a three-and-a-half-hour flight. Scholl confirmed that he has already received advanced orders for the jet from both Japan Airlines and the Virgin Group. He also said he expects the aviation market, hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, to rebound by the time Overture comes to market. “The nice thing about supersonic jets is if you’re concerned about time on airplanes, less time is better.”.

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