Boom to Soon Test Supersonic Plane XB-1

Boom Supersonic, an innovative force in the aviation world, is preparing to test its groundbreaking creation: the XB-1.

by Faruk Imamovic
Boom to Soon Test Supersonic Plane XB-1
© Getty Images Entertainment/Tom Cooper

Boom Supersonic, an innovative force in the aviation world, is preparing to test its groundbreaking creation: the XB-1. Touted as the world's first independently developed supersonic aircraft, this aviation marvel not only redefines speed but also brings a bouquet of technological advancements to the fore.

Sustainable Supersonic Travel Takes Flight

The XB-1 has been crafted to usher in the next generation of aviation. By harnessing carbon composites, state-of-the-art avionics, and digitally fine-tuned aerodynamics, the company seeks to enable sustainable supersonic travel—a vision for the future that promises to shrink the world.

Sporting a robust carbon composite and titanium hull that stretches 21.6 meters, the XB-1 is powered by three formidable General Electric J85 engines. These engines can collectively generate a staggering 5.6 tons of thrust.

Initially brought to life in Contennial, Colorado, this prodigious aircraft recently relocated to the Mojave Air and Space Port in California's Mojave Desert. Here, it underwent a battery of extensive ground tests, ranging from basic runway maneuvers to more intricate examinations.

Lending further credibility to the project, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently inspected the aircraft meticulously. The stamp of approval from the FAA is a significant leap for Boom Supersonic as it signifies the aircraft’s safety and readiness for flight.

Echoes of Historic Feats and A Glimpse of the Future

The upcoming test flight over the Mojave Desert isn’t just another flight. Chief Test Pilot Bill Shoemaker and Test Pilot Tristan Brandenburg will be soaring in an airspace thick with history.

It was here that Captain Charles Yager defied the known limits, breaking the sound barrier aboard the Bell X-1. Moreover, the majestic SR-71 Blackbird, a strategic reconnaissance marvel, first graced the skies from this very location in 1964.

Ensuring safety, Boom Supersonic has invested heavily in training. The pilots have undergone intensive sessions, spending hundreds of hours in high-fidelity simulators to replicate the exact conditions they would face. But the XB-1 isn't just an end—it's a beginning.

The aircraft is a precursor to the "Overture," envisioned to be a sustainable supersonic jet, running on 100 percent renewable jet fuel. With a potential to cruise at Mach 1.7, the Overture could effortlessly carry 65 to 80 passengers at speeds dwarfing today's fastest passenger planes.

Major airlines are already on board with this vision, as American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines have collectively placed orders for 130 units.