In 2029, it will be more than a quarter of a century since the legendary Concorde embarked on its final journey, the size Boom Supersonic plans to service Overture, the first passenger carrier since Concorde to be faster than the speed of sound. The company unveiled a scaled-down prototype of the machine on Wednesday, which will test the technologies needed to develop Overture. The XB-1, or “baby boom,” is only a third the size of the final plane, and accordingly resembles a fighter rather than a passenger plane. At just 21 meters long and 6.4 meters wide, you won’t find a passenger compartment, and its engines are quite different: while the Overture will be lifted high by a Rolls-Royce-developed engine, the XB-1 will be powered by three General Electric Powered by J85-10 engines, which together provide more than fifty thousand Newton thrusts to the machine.
Blake Scholl, the CEO of the Denver company, didn’t skimp on big words at the show. According to him, travel is on the verge of a new era, and with the XB-1, the foundations for supersonic travel available to the masses have been laid. Scholl said the fuselage was designed to minimize air resistance and the carbon-fiber composite fuselage retains its rigidity and strength even at high temperatures during supersonic flight. Like the Concorde, the nose of the plane stretches long forward, but thanks to the cameras, the pilot can still see exactly what is in front of him, and thanks to the delta wings, the plane maintains its balance even at the slower speeds required for takeoff and landing.
Boom Supersonic’s undisguised goal is to bring supersonic flight back into aviation, which has not been possible since Concorde retired in 2003. For this reason, the Overture, built on the XB-1 by 2025, placed special emphasis on correcting the weaknesses of the French-English co-production machine, which was loud, costly to operate and had a fairly short range compared to a conventional passenger carrier. . The machine’s lightweight, carbon-fiber coating – which will be created with 3D printing – guarantees low power consumption and is also more resistant to extreme temperature and force conditions during supersonic flight.
According to the manufacturer, the sound explosion will also be much quieter than the Boom, but the Overture is planned to fly only above open water at speeds above the speed of sound. Because no afterburner is used, the Overture will be much quieter than the Concorde during takeoff, and perhaps most importantly, the company claims the machine will be completely carbon neutral thanks to the special fuel. At a speed of 2.2 machos, more than double the speed of sound, Boom Supersonic says it will be able to accommodate 55 passengers and cover the London-New York distance in just three and a half hours.
Tests of the XB-1 now unveiled will begin next year in the Mojave Desert, California, and if all goes according to plan, Overture could be ready to begin testing within five years. To be sure, supersonic aviation is gaining more and more attention in aircraft manufacturing, with several other companies besides Boom Supersonic, including Spike Aerospace, Aerion Supersonic and Virgin Galactic, announcing similar plans recently. The latter airline was also interested in Overture, so much so that they had already ordered ten of the $ 200 million aircraft. In addition to them, Japan’s largest airline, Japan Airlines, showed more serious interest in the aircraft, placing orders for twenty pieces from Overture.