A civil aircraft capable of flying faster than Mach 2 – the dream project of Colorado-based startup Boom is already well underway. Latest images from CCTV show “Baby Boom”, a one third-size prototype of the future XB-1 supersonic jet. The two-seat aircraft is a technological demonstrator that should allow Boom to prove the project’s feasibility. Its first test flight is scheduled for late 2017.
When the full-sized XB-1, measuring 50m long and 18m wide, enters service in the 2020s, its three General Electric engines will allow it to carry 45 passengers at 2,300 km/h over a distance of 8,300 km. Fast enough to reach London from New York in just over 2H30. Its price tag is 200 million dollars, not including the cabin interiors.
By the time of its theoretical first commercial flight in 2023, the XB-1 will have a competitor. Fellow American company Aerion is developing another supersonic jet, the AS2. But it shouldn’t take the ‘bang’ out of Boom. With a maximum speed of 1800 km/h, and space for just 12 seats, it won’t be as fast, or as big.