Thursday, July 18, 2024

Boom’s supersonic XB-1 prepares for its first flight

An American company that designs a supersonic airliner, Boom, has announced it has completed several important milestones for XB-1. Now, the supersonic jet is progressing towards its first flight.

Earlier this year, XB-1 was moved from the company’s hangar in Centennial, Colorado, to the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, to continue preparations for flight. Now Boom prepares for flight for the supersonic XB-1.

Boom XB-1 aircraft is powered by the three General Electric J85 engines and produces a combined maximum thrust of 13,300 pounds of force (lbf). The aircraft is equipped with a carbon composite and titanium fuselage that is 71 feet long in measurement. Its modified delta wing, ogive, enables safe operations at takeoff and landing and supersonic speeds.

The Boom XB-1 aircraft has undergone extensive ground testing since its arrival. In ongoing testing, XB-1 recently received an experimental airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after inspecting aircraft in detail.

“The recent progress made towards XB-1’s first flight reflects the team’s collective efforts to build and safely fly the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet,” said Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic’s founder and CEO.

Boom also secured letters of authorization for Chief Test Pilot Bill Doc Shoemaker and Test Pilot Tristan Geppetto Brandenburg to allow them to fly the XB-1. In addition, letters of agreement with the Airspace Authority allow aircraft flights over the Mojave Desert.

The Boom XB-1 aircraft provided the company with valuable learning in these tests, including developing a strong safety culture.

During its development, the XB-1 validated Boom’s approach to aircraft design and enabled engineers to take advantage of advanced tools such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that were critical components of the Overture’s development.

Boom’s test pilots have completed hundreds of hours in simulators for aircraft evaluation, operations development, training, and human factors evaluation to achieve the highest level of safety.

Test pilots also maintain flight proficiency in the T-38 trainer aircraft, the same aircraft that will be used as the chase aircraft for all flight tests of the XB-1. To further enhance safety, test pilots will use the T-38 to practice formation flying.

“It’s fitting that XB-1 is now progressing toward first flight at the Mojave Air & Space Port, home to more than 50 first flights and other significant aviation events,” said Bill Doc Shoemaker, Chief Test Pilot for Boom Supersonic. “I’m looking forward to flying XB-1 here, building on the achievements of other talented engineers and pilots who inspire us every day to make supersonic travel mainstream.”

The Boom XB-1’s historic first flight will occur in the same airspace where Capt. Charles Chuck Yeager first flew the Bell X-1 and the Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance SR-71 Blackbird in 1964.