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Aerospace start-up unveils first-ever independently developed supersonic jet © Boom Supersonic

In pictures: Aerospace start-up unveils first-ever independently developed supersonic jet

Published: 13th November, 2020 at 00:00
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The company aims to bring back commercial supersonic flight by 2025.

Boom Supersonic recently unveiled the XB-1 prototype at its headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The aircraft is a one-third-scale supersonic jet constructed as part of the development for the company’s planned Overture supersonic passenger jet that’s proposed to be rolled out by 2025.

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XB-1’s 21m-long fuselage has been optimally shaped for high-speed aerodynamic efficiency © Boom Supersonic

XB-1’s 21m-long fuselage has been optimally shaped for high-speed aerodynamic efficiency © Boom Supersonic

The carbon-composite airframe maintains its strength and rigidity, even under the high temperatures and stresses of supersonic flight © Boom Supersonic
The carbon-composite airframe maintains its strength and rigidity, even under the high temperatures and stresses of supersonic flight © Boom Supersonic
The delta wing balances low-speed stability at take-off and landing with high-speed efficiency when airborne © Boom Supersonic
The delta wing balances low-speed stability at take-off and landing with high-speed efficiency when airborne © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 is fitted with three J85-15 engines, designed by General Electric, which will provide more than 50,000 newtons of thrust, allowing the plane to fly at breakthrough supersonic speeds © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 is fitted with three J85-15 engines, designed by General Electric, which will provide more than 50,000 newtons of thrust, allowing the plane to fly at breakthrough supersonic speeds © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 is the demonstrator airplane for Overture and a critical step toward mainstream supersonic travel, the company says © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 is the demonstrator airplane for the planned commercial airliner Overture and a critical step toward mainstream supersonic travel, the company says © Boom Supersonic
The aircraft’s anti-skid brakes enable it to land safely at approach speeds of up to 340km/h © Boom Supersonic
The aircraft’s anti-skid brakes enable it to land safely at approach speeds of up to 340km/h © Boom Supersonic
The company already has 30 preorders for its Overture passenger jet from Japan Airlines and Virgin Group © Boom Supersonic
The company already has 30 preorders for its Overture passenger jet from Japan Airlines and Virgin Group © Boom Supersonic
The last commercial supersonic flight was made by Concorde's in October 2003 © Boom Supersonic
The last commercial supersonic flight was made by Concorde's in October 2003 © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 will undergo a 100% carbon-neutral flight test program in 2021 © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 will undergo a 100% carbon-neutral flight test program in 2021 © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 will complete its ongoing, extensive ground test programme before heading to Mojave, California, in 2021 for flight tests © Boom Supersonic
XB-1 will complete its ongoing, extensive ground test programme before heading to Mojave, California, in 2021 for flight tests © Boom Supersonic

Authors

Jason Goodyer
Jason GoodyerCommissioning editor, BBC Science Focus

Jason is the commissioning editor for BBC Science Focus. He holds an MSc in physics and was named Section Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors in 2019. He has been reporting on science and technology for more than a decade. During this time, he's walked the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, watched Stephen Hawking deliver his Reith Lecture on Black Holes and reported on everything from simulation universes to dancing cockatoos. He looks after the magazine’s and website’s news sections and makes regular appearances on the Instant Genius Podcast.

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