Boom Supersonic wants you to break the sound barrier

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Someday ordinary people might fly at supersonic speeds in this. 


Boom Supersonic

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 Concorde, 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

Supersonic startup Boom unveils XB-1 prototype, begins flight testing

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  • Boom Supersonic just unveiled the prototype for its supersonic commercial jet that’s slated to bring a new era of ultra-fast travel.
  • The XB-1 demonstrator will begin flight testing in 2021 to prove viable the technology that will power the larger, Concorde-like Overture passenger plane.
  • Development of the Overture will continue concurrently with the XB-1’s flight testing for a planned 2025 debut.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The days of supersonic travel are almost here again and leading the charge isn’t Airbus or Boeing, but smaller startups including one Colorado-based aviation firm that just rolled out a flyable prototype.

Boom Supersonic has been at the forefront for the relaunch of supersonic commercial flight with a design of its own, the Overture, a Concorde-like jet that’s slated for a 2025 debut. The $200 million plane could cut down travel times in half if successful and make the world a significantly smaller place.

The Concorde was known for three-hour transatlantic crossing between the East Coast and Europe, making it possible for travelers to have breakfast in New York and lunch in Paris, or breakfast in London and a second breakfast in Washington. But standing in the way between today’s planes and the next supersonic age is flight testing — thousands of hours of it. 

Boom just took the wraps off of the prototype that will perform flight testing and prove its technology viable for wide-scale commercial flight. The single-pilot demonstrator known as the XB-1 will take to the skies starting next year and pave the way for the Overture. 

Airlines have already shown an interest and desire to get back into supersonic travel as Virgin Atlantic Airways and Japan Airlines are both investors in the company that has racked up 30 pre-orders. Even the US Air Force wants to get on