Concorde’s successor has completed its first flight

Concorde’s successor has completed its first flight
Concorde’s successor has completed its first flight

The XB-1 test supersonic aircraft of the start-up Boom did not break the sound barrier when flying over the Mojave desert, but it is among the main aspirants for the rebirth of commercial supersonic flying. Nicknamed Baby Boom, the 19-meter-long and 6.4-meter wingspan was piloted by the company’s chief test pilot, Bill Shoemaker, who tested the aircraft’s basic features, including safety features, at an altitude of 2,100 meters and a speed of 439 km/h. The flight lasted approx. 30 minutes.

“The XB-1 took off in the same hallowed airspace (Test Flight Valley – ed.) where the Bell X-1 first broke the sound barrier in 1947,” said Boom Supersonic Founder and CEO Blake Scholl. “I’ve been looking forward to this flight since the company was founded in 2014, and it represents the most significant milestone yet in our journey to bring supersonic travel to passengers around the world.”

XB-1 first flight video (Source: YouTube | Boom Supersonic)

The first take-off of a trijet, i.e. a machine powered by three engines (in this case, it was a GE J85-15 with a total thrust of 12,300 pounds), was watched by Mike Bannister, former chief pilot of the Concordes at British Airways. “When I last flew Concorde in 2003, I knew this day would come. The first flight of the XB-1 supersonic demonstrator is a major achievement on the road to making sustainable supersonic flight a reality.”

On the way to Overture

As already mentioned, the XB-1 is just a test machine, a small scale of what the start-up is up to. The company plans to deploy the Boom Overture aircraft to the commercial world, which will be three times larger than the XB-1 and can accommodate between 64 and 80 passengers. Boom has already received a commitment to purchase at least 130 machines from Japan Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines, which have expressed interest in purchasing up to 50 machines by 2029 and using them primarily on New York – London flights, which was Concorde’s iconic route. He managed it in three hours, Overture should reach the same time.

Static engine test from late 2023 (Source: Youtube | Boom Supersonic)

According to the head of the company, sustainability and environmental friendliness are an important aspect. Concordes were expensive mainly because of the fuel they consumed. “We want to make sure that supersonic travel is safe and sustainable, both economically and environmentally,” concluded Scholl.

This is what the future of supersonic travel should look like (Source: Boom Supersonic)

Article source: Flying/Fonetech

The article is in Czech

Tags: Concordes successor completed flight


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