The first flight of supersonic XB-1 will take place later this year

The American company Boom Supersonic gave the date of the first test flight of its supersonic aircraft. XB-1 will start on October 7.

The test flight XB-1 is the first stage of a larger plan, the goal of which is to create a new, supersonic passenger plane called Overture. According to the assumptions of Boom Supersonic, Overture will be able to take 55 to 75 passengers on board and deliver them to any airport in two times less time than currently available passenger planes.

Boom Supersonic XB-1

Before this happens, however, the technology needed to build the Overture will be tested on the smaller, experimental XB-1 model. Boom Supersonic wants to revive the idea of ​​supersonic passenger flights, which ended in 2003, when Concorde aircraft were withdrawn from service.

The American company boasts that the XB-1 was refined during a coronavirus pandemic. Among others, wing loads were tested, their connections with the titanium fuselage were refined, and the aircraft's vertical stabilizer was designed. The XB-1 also underwent extensive chassis testing on earth. Company representatives say that by October 7, when the first test flight was scheduled, their design will be fully functional and ready for airborne testing.

XB-1 is not the only supersonic aircraft design

NASA and Lockheed Martin, who are working together on the design of the X-59 aircraft, are also participating in the race, whose stake is the return of commercial supersonic flights. The project received green light at the end of 2019.

According to the design assumptions, the cruising speed of the X-59 is to be 1.4 mach, or 1,700 km / h - it's almost twice as fast compared to current passenger aircraft, but slower than Concorde, whose cruising speed was 2,158 km / h. The lower speed of the X-59, however, means no major problem has been faced by the French construction.

It's about the noise generated by the so-called sonic boom when crossing the sound barrier. In X-59 this thunder is supposed to propagate at high altitude, thanks to which it will be heard from the ground as a gentle blow - at least NASA engineers say. This theory will certainly be verified during the announced tests.

The specific date remains a mystery for now. NASA has already suggested several times that the first test X-59 may be created this year, but so far none of NASA's representatives or Lockheed Martin has boasted any specifics.

Work on two new supersonic aircraft that will be used for commercial flights is great news. There is also the question of when both projects will receive the green light to appear at passenger airports. Shortening intercontinental routes by half would certainly be enthusiastically received. There is also the question of the price of tickets for this supersonic ride.

The first flight of supersonic XB-1 will take place later this year


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