Major assembly events mark key completed milestones along the path to supersonic flight. Each complete initiative serves to mitigate risk and maximize overall safety of the XB-1 program.
Nose landing gear and cockpit bond
This twenty hour bond event joined the nose landing gear bay and cockpit together, sealing the structure into the right hand fuselage skin.Read more
The wing structure transformed from a skeleton frame to a completely closed unit, during this eight-hour bond event.Read more
First flight of second-generation simulator
Assembly of the second-generation simulator enabled teams to finalize aircraft flight control design and enhance the pilot training program.Read more
Lefthand fuselage skin install
As the single largest-scale bond event, the left hand skin install completely closed the fuselage structure and set the final shape of the aircraft.
A simulation of the most extreme flight conditions validated the wing design and approved the structure safe for flight.Read more
Forward fuselage closeout
The final significant bonding operation, closing of the forward fuselage, is complete.Read more
Nose landing gear passed drop tests
The nose landing gear passed a series of drop tests at incrementally higher energy limits, validating this component’s performance up to an extreme 184 kts (212 mph) landing.Read more
Engines and inlets installed
Three J85-15 engines and supersonic inlets are installed to the aft fuselage.
Weight on wheels
XB-1 stands on its own for the first time, with the full weight of the aircraft on wheels.Read more
XB-1 is fully assembled and revealed to the world for the first time.
Systems Integration & Engine Runs
XB-1 completes key test points, culminating in its first low speed taxi.Read more
Flight testing begins