Supersonic travel could return by 2023

Boom Technologies supersonic airliner (Image: Boom Technologies)

When Concorde was retired in 2003 it marked the end of supersonic flight but if a company based in Colorado has its way, supersonic travel could return by 2023.

XB-1 Demonstrator (Image: Boom Technologies)
XB-1 Demonstrator (Image: Boom Technologies)

Boom Technologies of Denver, Colorado have unveiled the demonstrator for their supersonic airliner project. The XB-1 nick-named “Baby Boom”  is a 1/3rd scale aircraft that will be used to test the technologies required to build the full-scale supersonic airliner.

Designed to operate at Mach 2.2 and with a range of over 1000nm the 70ft long aircraft shares features many will recognise from Concorde such as variable air intakes, required to “slow down” the supersonic air that enters the jet engines and a delta wing.

The XB-1 is powered by 3 non-afterburning engines provided by General Electric (GE) with each engine providing around 3500lbs of thrust.

Established in 2014 Boom Technologies aim is to create a supersonic airliner that offers affordable travel. One of Concorde’s biggest drawbacks was its cost. The operating cost made the ticket price so high that only the elite were able to fly on her.

Boom expects a flight from New York to London to be completed in around 3hrs 20mins and cost around £4000.

The project has already gained significant support including from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group which has options for 10 aircraft. Boom also claim they have options from another “European carrier” for 15 aircraft.

Many regarded 2003 as a landmark year for aviation, as it is the only time in history that aviation technology has gone backwards. Boom Technologies it would seem, are out to reverse that trend.



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