Boom Supersonic marks several significant milestones for its XB-1

Boom Supersonic, the visionary company behind the groundbreaking Overture supersonic airliner, has marked several significant milestones in the development of its technology demonstrator aircraft, XB-1. This aircraft embodies 60 years of aviation advancements, including carbon fiber composites, advanced avionics, and digitally optimized aerodynamics, all aimed at enabling sustainable supersonic travel. In early 2023, XB-1 was transitioned from Boom’s hangar in Centennial, Colorado, to the Mojave Air & Space Port in California. Since its arrival, extensive ground testing has taken place, culminating in recent taxi tests that showcase the aircraft’s readiness for its inaugural flight.
In addition to the ongoing testing, XB-1 has received an experimental airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after undergoing a thorough aircraft inspection. The aircraft is now authorized for flight with Chief Test Pilot Bill “Doc” Shoemaker and test pilot Tristan “Gepetto” Brandenburg at the helm. Letters of agreement with airspace authorities have also been established, enabling XB-1 flights over the Mojave desert – the same airspace that witnessed historic moments in aviation, such as the sound barrier-breaking flight by Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager in the Bell X-1.
Blake Scholl, the founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic said, “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.”
The lessons learned during XB-1’s development have been invaluable to Boom Supersonic. These encompass the establishment of a robust safety culture and intensive pilot training. The company’s test pilots have dedicated countless hours to aircraft evaluation, operations development, training, and human factors assessments to ensure the utmost safety. Additionally, the pilots maintain flight proficiency in a T-38 trainer aircraft, which will serve as a chase plane for XB-1’s flight tests and will facilitate formation flying practice.
Bill “Doc” Shoemaker, Chief Test Pilot, Boom Supersonic said, “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. 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.”
XB-1 boasts a 71-foot carbon composite and titanium fuselage, equipped with an ogive (modified delta) wing that ensures safe operations at various speeds. Its three General Electric J85 engines provide a combined thrust of 12,300 pounds. As XB-1’s development continues, it has confirmed the effectiveness of Boom’s aircraft design philosophy, as well as the utility of advanced tools like computational fluid dynamics (CFD). These learnings are being harnessed in the development of Overture, Boom’s sustainable supersonic airliner, which aims to fly at Mach 1.7 and run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.