Claimed to be the ‘world’s fastest civil aircraft ever made’, the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator is due to take off on its first test flight in late 2017 and journey from Sydney to Los Angeles to just six hours in total
– Crew: Two (pilot + optional flight test engineer or passenger)
– Length: 68′
– Wingspan: 17′
– Maximum Takeoff Weight: 13,500 lb
– Powerplant: 3X General Electric J85-21, non-afterburning; proprietary variable-geometry intake and exhaust
– Aerodynamics: Chine, refined delta wing with swept trailing edge
– Cruise: Mach 2.2 (1,451mph, 2,335 km/h)
– Nose Temperature: 307°F (345°F on ISA+20 day) Range: > 1,000nmi
The subsonic flight test will be conducted near Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California in partnership with Virgin Galactic’s The Spaceship Company.
The prototype was unveiled today at Centennial Airport in Denver.
The XB-1 is a technically representative ⅓-scale version of the future Boom Airliner.
‘Concorde’s designers didn’t have the technology for affordable supersonic travel, but now we do.
‘Today, we’re proud to unveil our first aircraft as we look forward to first flight late next year.’
The XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator is due to take off on its first test flight in late 2017 and could take passengers from London to New York in 3.5 hours. The jet is designed to carry two crew members.
The subscale XB-1 ‘Baby Boom’ jet (pictured top) is set to pave the way for the larger Boom Passenger Airliner (pictured bottom)
– Crew: Two
– Length: 170′, Wingspan: 60′
– Passengers: 45 standard (up to 55 in high density)
– Flight attendants: Up to 4
– Lavatories: 2
– Powerplane: 3X non-afterburning medium bypass turbofan; proprietary variable geometry intake and exhaust
– Aerodynamics: Chine, refined delta wing with swept trailing edge Long Range
– Cruise: Mach 2.2 (1,451mph, 2,335 km/h)
– Nose Temperature: 307°F (345°F on ISA+20 day) Maximum Design Route: 9,000nm (4,500nm unrefueled)
When created Boom will have 45 seats – with a ticket costing $5,000 (£4,020).
Speaking to Bloomberg earlier this year, Scholl, 35, said: ‘The idea is for a plane that goes faster than any other passenger plane built before, but for the same price as business class.’
According to the simulations, Boom’s design is quieter and 30 percent more efficient than the Concorde.
It will be split into two single-seat rows, so everybody has a window and an aisle.
To reduce weight, the seats are of the standard domestic first-class variety, so no lay-down beds.
To cut flight time, Boom’s plane will cruise at 60,000 feet, where passengers will be able to see the curvature of the earth, while going 2.6 times faster than other passenger planes.
Scholl said about 500 routes fit the craft’s market, including a five-hour trip from San Francisco to Tokyo and a six-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney.
The firm hopes London to New York could be one of its most popular routes, with a 3.6 hour saving on a normal flight
A concept image shows what the interior of the Boom passenger jet could look like. Test flights of the first subscale prototypes begin in late 2017
A concept drawing shows what the interior of the futuristic passenger jet could look like – all passengers would have a seat that sits both on the window and the aisle
Created by aerospace company Boom, the jet nicknamed ‘Baby Boom’ could pave the way for the larger Boom passenger jet (pictured) and usher in a new era of affordable supersonic travel
A mockup of the craft at Heathrow – its founders hope it will use existing airports once tests are complete
‘Boom was founded on the philosophy that we need to overcome the challenges to supersonic passenger flight, not surrender to them,’ the firm says.
The firm hopes London to New York could be one of its most popular routes, with a 3.6 hour saving on a normal flight.
The firm even has record breaking US Astronaut Scott Kelly as an advisor.
It added: ‘We’re making a supersonic aircraft affordable for business travel. Our ultimate goal is routine supersonic flight for everyone.’
Scholl said about 500 routes fit the craft’s market, including a five-hour trip from San Francisco to Tokyo and a six-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney
The first test flights will occur at Centennial Airport in Denver, with supersonic testing near Edwards Air Force Base in California
‘Today, international travel means jet-lag and days of lost productivity and family time. But imagine leaving New York in the morning, making afternoon meetings in London, and being home to tuck your kids into bed.
‘Unlike Concorde, flying Boom is affordable – the same price as business class,’ said Boom.
THE ICON THAT FLEW PASSENGERS FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK IN 3.5 HOURS
Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that was operated until 2003.
It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 k per hour at cruise altitude) and could seat 92 to 128 passengers.
It was first flown in 1969, but needed further tests to establish it as viable as a commercial aircraft.
Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued flying for the next 27 years.
The aircraft is regarded by many as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel, but it was also criticized for being uneconomical, lacking a credible market, and consuming more fuel to carry fewer passengers than a Boeing 747
Twenty aircraft were built including six prototypes and development aircraft
It is one of only two supersonic transports to have been operated commercially.
The other is the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144, which ran for a much shorter period of time before it was grounded and retired due to safety and budget issues.
Concorde was jointly developed and manufactured by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty.
Concorde’s name, meaning harmony or union, reflects the cooperation on the project between the United Kingdom and France.
In the UK, any or all of the type are known simply as ‘Concorde’, without an article.
Twenty aircraft were built including six prototypes and development aircraft.
Air France (AF) and British Airways (BA) each received seven aircraft.
The research and development failed to make a profit and the two airlines bought the aircraft at a huge discount.
Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York-JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados.
It flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners.
Over time, the aircraft became profitable when it found a customer base willing to pay for flights on what was for most of its career the fastest commercial airliner in the world.
The aircraft is regarded by many as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel, but it was also criticized for being uneconomical, lacking a credible market, and consuming more fuel to carry fewer passengers than a Boeing 747.
Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the commercial aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the September 11 attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor to Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.