Boom Technology has unveiled its completed technology demonstrator, the XB-1, which is essentially a scaled-down version of its future supersonic passenger carrier.
The Denver startup aircraft manufacturer is already making history with the construction of the XB-1, called the “Baby Boom”, the first supersonic type in the world to be developed entirely from private capital. Millions of dollars have already been spent on its design and construction, but all obstacles have been overcome with one of the best engineering teams in the civil aircraft industry, whose members came from all over the world, the company said in a statement.
One year later than the original schedule, in 2021, the XB-1 could rise into the air, and then a test program to be implemented in a carbon-neutral manner will begin. Prior to that, extensive ground tests are now underway, and in parallel, Boom Technology is already working on a full-fledged passenger wind tunnel test and finalizing the propulsion system parameters. Interestingly, the test program not only has to test the properties of the kite structure and the operation of the onboard equipment in the usual way for new models, but also to be adapted to the engines, as the XB-1 still has J85-15 from General Electric. resource is working, which, however, is not suitable for commercial application. The demonstrator is an important milestone in achieving the ultimate goal of making flight above the speed of sound widely available and sustainable within years, with a number of innovations, said Blake Scholl, founding CEO of Boom.
These include, for example, that the XB-1 is made entirely of carbon composite materials that are more resistant to extreme high temperatures when flying above the speed of sound. And the cockpit has been ergonomically designed and tested with the suggestions of future test pilots in mind – its big brother will have similar features. Boom strives to eliminate all the practical difficulties it once experienced at Concorde. For example, the better view required for landing was solved with a “virtual window” based on a high-resolution camera image, helping the future passenger carrier called Overture, capable of speeds up to Mach 3, to operate more safely.
Meanwhile, Boom’s rivals, though, are also making progress in developing their own supersonic passenger carriers, with much smaller budgets and currently lower readiness. The biggest rival, Aerion, is still only in the first wind tunnel tests and refining plans. However, even the authorities need to convince developers to set realistic and enforceable requirements for the new generation of supersonic aircraft, and most importantly, how the sonic explosion will allow them to fly at supersonic speeds across continents.