FINN Flashback: Boom to start test flights in 2020

XB-1 demonstrator of business jet Overture will fly at Mach 2.2 and will enable supersonic flight with zero carbon emissions

Supersonic start-up Boom is set to move from build to testing phase with the first demonstrator flights to take place in 2020.

XB-1 is the subscale prototype for Boom’s supersonic 75-seat business class jet Overture. XB-1 will demonstrate the same key technologies for safe, efficient travel which will be used on Overture at Mach 2.2.

Boom’s partnerships with JPA Design will create a high end passenger experience and Prometheus Fuels will supply fuel during the flight test programme, which would enable XB-1 to become the world’s first supersonic flight with a zero carbon footprint.

XB-1 to become first zero carbon supersonic flight

Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl explained the partnership with Prometheus: “They have incredible technology that literally sucks carbon out of the atmosphere and we are partnering with them to turn it into jet fuel. This will allow us to fly zero carbon with XB-1 next year and also to bring it to Overture, so supersonic flight can not just be economical, but also environmentally sustainable for the first time.”

Scholl also reiterated earlier claims by Boom that Overture’s supersonic jets would be able to match business class airfares. He said: “Our long range goal is to be for the fastest flight to be the cheapest one, so that anyone who flies can afford to fly supersonic with Overture. the operating costs are 75 per cent lower than Concorde which means tickets will now be available to anyone who can afford to fly business class today.”

As the aircraft moves towards certification, Scholl explained that only technologies which were already proven would be used in XB-1 and Overture. XB-1 will share the same key technologies as the full scale business class aircraft which include advanced carbon fibre composites, a refined delta wing planform and an efficient variable-geometry propulsion system.

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