When Boom Technology in a virtual event last week rolled out its tri-engine XB-1—a one-third scale version of the company’s future supersonic Overture passenger aircraft—it proved the Denver company was serious about developing a worthy follow-on to the Mach 2 Concorde whose last flight took place nearly 17 years ago. Boom Technologies first announced its supersonic flight aircraft plans in 2014.
Like Concorde, the supersonic Overture will only exceed the speed of sound during over water routes such as New York to London and San Francisco to Tokyo. Decades ago the FAA banned supersonic flight over the Continental US because of the annoying effects of the sonic booms these flights can create.
Last month, Boom’s Overture also captured the attention of the US Air Force as a possible military transport, because the USAF and the Defense Department manage transportation for senior members of the US government. The USAF, in fact, awarded Boom a contract to help fund innovations with future Air Force applications.
The XB-1′s maiden flight—powered by three General Electric J85-15 engines—is expected during the summer of 2021. Completed Overture airliners are expected to come rolling off the assembly line by 2025, with supersonic service to begin by 2029. The Overture is currently listed at $200 million in 2020 dollars.