Four years after Boom Technology revealed its plan to develop a new supersonic jet, the Colorado-based aviation company introduces its first demonstrator, XB-1. Billed as the first independently developed supersonic aircraft, the XB-1 demonstrates the key technologies that will enable safe, efficient and sustainable supersonic travel.
The XB-1 is 1/3 scale of the eventual aircraft, dubbed Overture and has a fuselage that is nearly 71 feet (21.6 meters) long. The aircraft is composed of a variety of materials, including carbon composites, titanium, and aluminum, carefully selected for a balance in strength, weight and stability.
The streamlined design and so-called “high fineness ratio” i.e. the ratio between the aircraft’s length an d width, reduces drag and optimized in-flight efficiency while the delta wing strikes a balance between low-speed stability at takeoff and landing with high-speed efficiency.
The XB-1 is powered by three J85-15 engines designed by General Electric offers that provide over 12,000 pounds of thrust and fueled by environmentally-friendly fuel.
Like the Concorde, the XB-1 has a long, pointy nose that blocks the view when landing. While the Concorde used a drooping nose, the XB-1 uses a forward vision system comprising of a high-resolution video camera and cockpit display to give pilots a virtual window through the nose for landing.
After the rollout, which was held last week, XB-1 will complete its ongoing, extensive ground test program before heading to Mojave, California in 2021 for flight test and undergo a 100% carbon-neutral flight test program.
Boom Technology said it is on track in rolling out the Overture in 2025. That’s just the roll out, btw, and it will be some years later before supersonic commercial flight becomes a reality. Meanwhile, we have to be content with packing in more passengers and traveling at regular flight time. You watch the entire rollout event in the video embedded below.
Images: Boom Technology.