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A Return to the Supersonic Age

With the world upside and in a tizzy now seems like the best time to introduce a disruptive technology into the travel industry. We’re actually not joking, we love to see a return to the supersonic age.

Boom Supersonic, a plucky aerospace company hoping to build the world’s fastest airliner today announced that its supersonic demonstrator, XB-1, will roll out on October 7, 2020. This is a big milestone for a project we’ve followed for a while.

XB-1 is a one-third scale demonstrator airplane for Overture and is a critical step toward the return of commercial supersonic travel.

“Our experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic underscore for all of us the fundamental human need for personal connection. Faster travel enables us to experience the world’s people, cultures, and places, and XB-1 is the first step in bringing supersonic back to the world,” said Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO. “With XB-1, we’re demonstrating that we are prepared to bring back supersonic. We’re ensuring that the supersonic future is safe and environ- mentally and economically sustainable. We’ve learned that the demand for supersonic has grown even faster than we anticipated.”

To design and build XB-1, Boom has recruited a team of experts from around the industry, established supplier re- lationships, and built a strong safety culture. XB-1 is the first aircraft program to announce a 100% carbon-neutral flight test program. The company’s innovations include one of the highest-efficiency civil supersonic intakes ever tested, demonstrating Boom’s ability to deliver a breakthrough in propulsive efficiency for Overture. XB-1 will begin its test program later this year and is slated for first flight in 2021.

If the plane ever sees the light of day then Boom’s commercial aircraft, Overture, will be the fastest and most sustainable supersonic airliner, flying twice as fast as any commercial airplane today. That would cut the flying time of Seattle to Tokyo to 4:30 mins and Los Angeles to Sydney to just 8 hrs.

XB-1 is the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet and will demonstrate key technologies for Overture, Boom’s commercial airliner, such as advanced carbon fiber composite construction, computer-optimized high-efficiency aerodynamics, and an efficient supersonic propulsion system. XB-1 is the end product of years of development effort, including multiple wind tunnel tests, dozens of structural tests, hundreds of simulation iterations, and tens of thousands of work hours.

We wish them well and will keep you updated after XB-1’s test flight as we’d be excited to see a return to the supersonic age.


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