It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman! No wait, backtrack, it’s actually a plane – but with a supersonic twist!
Boom Technology recently unveiled a one-third scale prototype of its supersonic passenger jet, officially called the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator. This design is the next generation Concorde, a previous supersonic airliner that retired from flight in 2003.
Nicknamed the Baby Boom, the subscale prototype debuted at the company’s Hanger 14 at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado. Since the current design lacks the size of the production aircraft, it only has room for the pilot, but the commercial-ready version will seat around 45 passengers.
Looking to be fully operational by 2020, the XB-1 will significantly cut down on travel time. For instance, a normal flight from New York to London takes around seven hours. The XB-1 will complete that distance in just three hours and 15 minutes. Los Angeles to Sydney, which usually is a 15-hour trip, will be reduced to six hours and 45 minutes. The price for such quick travel is projected to reach at least $5,000 round trip.
According to Boom Technology, the XB-1 can reach a travel speed of Mach 2.2 (1,451 mph). This speed is about 10 percent faster than the Concorde and 2.6 times faster than the average airliner. In order to achieve this supersonic flight, the XB-1 needs an advanced aerodynamic design, an efficient super-cruise propulsion system, and light-weight components. The first flight tests are scheduled for late 2017.
Scroll through the concept images in the photo gallery below.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense