2023 Boom Supersonic in Review

With significant advancements on the Overture, Symphony™, and XB-1 programs, supported by an expanding global network of suppliers and partners, it was a year of milestones and progress on the road to sustainable supersonic flight

After ending 2022 by announcing SymphonyTM, the Boom-developed propulsion system for Overture, we entered 2023 by breaking ground on what would be a year marked by milestones for Overture, Symphony, and XB-1. In 2023, Boom secured several tier-one suppliers for Overture, progressed Symphony through Conceptual Design Review (CoDR), and completed extensive ground testing on XB-1, putting us just weeks away from high-speed taxi tests – a precursor to first flight. This while the Overture Superfactory rapidly progressed from construction start in January to a fully enclosed structure, well on its way to completion in mid-2024. Here is a look back at milestones achieved throughout 2023.

Overture Superfactory groundbreaking

On January 26, 2023, we celebrated the groundbreaking of the Overture Superfactory at the Piedmont Triad International Airport. The announcement event, led by Boom president, Kathy Savitt, included North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Senate Leader Phil Berger, and several other elected officials and community leaders instrumental to Boom’s decision to choose North Carolina as home for its final assembly line.

Dimensional Energy SAF agreement

In May, Boom announced a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) offtake agreement with Dimensional Energy, which produces carbon neutral fuels and products by recycling carbon dioxide. Boom will purchase up to 5 million gallons of SAF per year from Dimensional over the duration of the Overture flight test program. When paired with Boom’s offtake agreement with AIR COMPANY, up to 10 million gallons of SAF per year has been secured for the Overture program. Read more here.

Sustainability report

Published in June, Boom’s 2022 sustainability report highlights eight key actions taken to achieve our sustainability commitments, which include achieving net zero carbon by 2025 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. In addition to SAF agreements with Dimensional Energy and AIR COMPANY, Boom invested to help scale SAF through the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA), realized a 12% reduction in year-over-year net greenhouse gas emissions, and achieved carbon neutrality for the second straight year. Read more about Boom’s comprehensive sustainability efforts in the full report here.

Paris Air Show program advances

At the Paris Air Show in June 2023, Boom made several announcements and showcased significant progress across its key programs. This included signing structural supplier agreements with industry leaders Aernnova, Leonardo, and Aciturri, revealing a detailed view of Overture’s systems configuration, and unveiling Symphony’s engine architecture. Boom also expanded its relationship with engine design lead Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT) to include initial production of Symphony engines. Construction progress on both the Overture Superfactory and The Iron Bird was also on display at one of the world’s largest industry gatherings.

Three aerospace leaders joined Boom’s growing network of global suppliers with the signing of structural supplier agreements, including: Aernnova for Overture’s wings, Leonardo for the fuselage and wing box, and Aciturri for the empennage. Learn more here.

Boom shared a comprehensive look at the systems configuration for Overture including avionics, flight controls, hydraulics, fuel systems, and landing gear—all designed and developed for optimal performance, efficiency, and safety.

The engine architecture for Symphony, along with key specifications reflected in a 3D-printed ⅓ scale design model, was displayed in Boom’s air show chalet. The Boom-developed engine is optimized for sustainable supersonic flight and is designed to deliver 25% more time on wing and provide 10% operating cost savings to Overture airline operators. 

Additionally, we announced an expanded partnership with FTT to develop the initial production units for ground test, flight test and certification. We will leverage FTT’s considerable experience with supersonic engines, ensuring seamless continuity as Symphony transitions from design to production. 

Boom and Northrop Grumman progress collaboration

Also announced at the Paris Air Show, Boom will support Northrop Grumman on a NASA contract to deliver solutions for the “High-Speed Endo-atmospheric Commercial Vehicle Conceptual Design Study and Technology Roadmaps Development” program. Read more here. 

Boom and Northrop Grumman are continuing collaboration on a special mission variant of Overture, after ongoing identification and investigation of military use cases that will benefit the Department of Defense.

Scott Powell named SVP of Symphony

In August, Scott Powell joined Boom as the Senior Vice President of the Symphony program. Scott brings 38 years of expertise in some of the world’s premier aerospace programs, including the 787-8/-9, KC-46 Tanker, Joint Strike Fighter, and B-52J. In his role as SVP, Scott is responsible for leading the development, industrialization, certification, and integration of Symphony. Read more here.

Defense Advisory Group announcement

Boom announced the formation of the Defense Advisory Group in September, bringing together top military and defense experts to progress the development of defense variants of Overture. The seven founding members ranging from retired General Officers to Department of Defense civilian senior executives with expertise in mobility operations, executive airlift, Air Force acquisitions, and research and development within the defense community. Together, Boom and the Defense Advisory Group will determine how to best optimize Overture for government customers.

Construction underway on Overture facilities 

Boom commemorated a significant construction milestone in September by “topping out” the Overture Superfactory. The final structural beam was raised into place, completing the building’s frame. The team also finished the decking on top of the structure, began installing the metal side panels which make up the walls, poured the concrete flooring slabs, and installed the metal side wall panels.

November 2023: View of the Overture Superfactory hangar.

With a significant portion of the exterior building constructed, the Superfactory continues to take shape and remains on track for completion in 2024. Follow along at our live blog to see the construction progress from January to now.

In 2023, we progressed build out of The Iron Bird, the facility housing a full-scale Overture test model in Centennial, Colorado. The completed work at the facility includes digging pits to house the Overture landing gear assemblies and building the iron bird substructure to support the engineering test lab, which will allow engineers to test various Overture systems to ensure they function properly together. Learn more here.

Symphony Conceptual Design Review completed

In November, Boom announced that its propulsion system, Symphony, has successfully completed its key 2023 engineering milestone, known as the Conceptual Design Review (CoDR). This important achievement paves the way toward Symphony’s first hardware rig tests planned for 2024.

Boom and Latecoere sign strategic supplier agreement for Overture and Symphony

In November, Boom selected tier-one aerospace leader Latecoere to develop the complete electrical wiring interconnect system (EWIS) architecture of both Overture and Symphony. The EWIS will comprise over 103 kilometers (64 miles) of wiring, requiring more than 45,000 electrical connections, guaranteeing optimal safety and system reliability for Overture and Symphony. Read more here.

Boom selects Honeywell Anthem integrated flight deck for Overture

On December 14, Boom announced the selection of Honeywell Anthem Integrated Flight Deck for Overture. Honeywell’s next-generation avionics will enable optimal efficiency and safety for Overture. Boom and Honeywell will work together to realize one of the most advanced flight decks in the sky, with state-of-the-art technologies that reduce pilot workload and increase safety. Read more here.

XB-1 2023 program progress

December 2023: XB-1 engine test resulting in all three General Electric J85 engines brought to full afterburner.

Boom’s supersonic demonstrator aircraft, XB-1, is now preparing for high-speed taxi tests, which will take place once the aircraft is fully cleared to fly — now planned for early 2024. 

“While we didn’t get to see XB-1 take flight this year, that historic moment is now imminent,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. “We always knew building the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet would be challenging, and I remain proud of our progress towards supersonic flight.”

XB-1 Vice President, Jeff Mabry details XB-1’s progress in this video.

In 2023, XB-1 completed several pre-flight milestones, including:

  • Receiving its airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration 
  • Conducting an extensive Flight Readiness Review (FRR)
  • Successfully executing a series of integrated ground and taxi tests
    • Taxi test events up to 94 knots (108 mph) 
    • Ground vibration tests
    • Fuel system tests
    • Engine operability tests 
    • Drag chute tests 
    • Multiple engine test events, including thorough exercising of XB-1’s three J85 engines
  • Identifying and resolving three significant safety enhancements
    • Upgraded the landing gear for increased reliability
    • Optimized the engine intakes for improved resistance to engine stall
    • Adjusted XB-1’s dampers for improved stability and control

These learnings reflect the core purpose of XB-1: each represents technical advancements that pave the way for a smooth and successful delivery of our Overture supersonic airliner. Learn more about XB-1’s recent progress here. 

In 2023, Boom achieved several key program milestones while greatly expanding our roster of global suppliers and partners who share our vision for a sustainable supersonic future. 2024 promises to be a year of significant progress as Overture and Symphony continue to advance toward production, the Overture Superfactory build comes to completion, and XB-1 readies for its historic first flight.


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