XB-1 is a critical step toward mainstream supersonic travel
This two-seat demonstrator—affectionately known as “Baby Boom”—will prove in flight the key technologies for safe, efficient travel at Mach 2.2.
We are building XB-1 to validate technologies for Boom’s airliner. The data we collect from XB-1 test flights will help us refine our design and engineering, test key supersonic technologies, and ensure efficiency, safety, and reliability.
Commercial aviation hasn’t yet reached Mach 2.2
XB-1 is the first independently developed supersonic jet—and history’s fastest civil aircraft. It will give us valuable experience with the forces, temperatures, and aerodynamics at these speeds.
Proving key technologies
Refined through 1,000+ simulated wind tunnel tests, the aircraft’s design employs three major aerodynamic advances: an area-ruled fuselage, a chine, and a refined delta wing.
Compared to aluminum, carbon composites can be manufactured efficiently in almost any shape, allowing us to implement the ideal aerodynamic design in a strong, lightweight structure.
XB-1 is powered by three General Electric J85 turbojet engines, fed by three variable geometry supersonic intakes. Each engine has a variable geometry nozzle system.
Progress: Full speed ahead
In the last year, Boom has completed the conceptual and preliminary designs, high-temperature structural tests, as well as wind tunnel testing.
We are now building XB-1 in our hangar at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado.
Flight test will be conducted from Mojave Air & Space Port in Southern California, with supersonic flight tests in the historic R-2508 corridor near Edwards Air Force Base.
A closer look at our aerodynamics
Subtle advances in aerodynamics give more lift for less drag, yielding improved fuel efficiency and allowing supersonic flight at lower fares.
The chine is a wing extension that stretches towards the nose. It generates more lift at supersonic speeds than subsonic, contributing to natural balance across a wide range of speeds. At takeoff and landing, the chine generates a stable overwing vortex, increasing lift and reducing takeoff and landing speeds.
Supersonic performance is highly sensitive to changes in cross-sectional area. Our aircraft feature a gentle tapering in the aft cabin, where the wings are thickest, reducing the rate of cross-sectional change and disturbances to the surrounding air.
Refined Delta Wing
Our wing features high-efficiency airfoils, a gentle camber and a swept trailing edge—which reduces supersonic induced drag and helps quiet the sonic boom.
XB-1 is just the beginning
The lessons from XB-1 help us refine our airliner design, ensuring a passenger aircraft which is efficient, reliable, and safe.