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Technology

Boom XB-1 Is The True Successor Of Commercial Supersonic Jet Concorde

Mayukh Bari13 July 2020 2:52PM IST
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Boom Technology took the game of supersonic transportation to the next level. The Boom XB-1 is one-third-scale trijet supersonic demonstrator designed by the company as part of development of the Boom Overture supersonic transport airliner. It is planned to maintain Mach 2.2, with over 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km) of range. The XB-1 will roll out on October 7 this year.

British Aircraft Corporation's (BAE Systems) Concorde was the first supersonic jet which was operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound, at Mach 2.04, with seating for 92 to 128 passengers. This jet travelled New York to London in less than four hours. However, it's most remembered for the the tragic Air France Flight 4590, in which everyone onboard was killed due to an explosion after take-off from Paris.

Boom plans to start conducting test flights of the XB-1 in 2021. The Baby Boom is 68 ft (21 m) long, has a 17 ft (5.2 m) wingspan and a 13,500 lb (6,100 kg) maximum take-off weight. This supersonic machine is powered by three 3,500 lbf (16 kN), non-afterburning J85-15 engines with variable geometry inlets and exhaust. It has a two-crew cockpit, chined forebody and swept trailing edges. For thermal control, the environmental control system uses the fuel as a heat sink to dump cabin heat.

On the company's website, founder and CEO Blake Scholl said in a statement:

XB-1 is the first step in bringing supersonic travel back to the world. Flights at twice the speed mean we can travel twice as far - bringing more people, places, and cultures into our lives.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. With XB-1, we're demonstrating that we are prepared to bring back supersonic.

Boom had already received lots of preorders for the Overture. At $200 million a piece, Virgin Group and Japan Airlines, which invested $10 million in the company in 2017, have made purchases, along with several other companies.

The larger sibling Boom Overture will begin commercial passenger flights in 2030, transporting between 55-75 people at Mach-2.2 speeds across more than 500 transoceanic routes; for example, London to New York will take three hours and 15 minutes. Scholl added,

We're ensuring that the supersonic future is safe and environmentally and economically sustainable. We've learned that the demand for supersonic has grown even faster than we anticipated.
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