XB-1 Sets the Foundation for Overture

The XB-1 program provides the foundation for the design and development of Overture, while establishing a safety-first culture in engineering and manufacturing.

The Supersonic Blueprint

Designed in collaboration with its pilots, XB-1 demonstrates the technical innovations that enable Overture—and is born of an engineering and manufacturing culture where safety and quality come first.

Augmented Reality Vision System

Two nose-mounted cameras, digitally augmented with attitude and flight path indications, feed a high resolution pilot display enabling excellent runway visibility. This system enables improved aerodynamic efficiency without the weight and complexity of a movable nose.

Digitally Optimized Aerodynamics

Engineers used advanced computational fluid dynamics simulations to explore thousands of designs for XB-1. The result is an optimized design that combines safe and stable operation at takeoff and landing with efficiency at supersonic speeds.

Carbon Fiber Composites

XB-1 is almost entirely made from advanced carbon fiber composite materials, enabling it to realize a sophisticated aerodynamic design in a strong, lightweight structure.

Supersonic Intakes

XB-1’s engine intakes slow supersonic air to subsonic speeds, efficiently converting kinetic energy into pressure energy, allowing conventional jet engines to power XB-1 from takeoff through supersonic flight.

Supersonic Propulsion

Three General Electric J85 engines will propel XB-1 to breakthrough speeds, producing a combined maximum thrust of 12,300 pounds (lbf).

Safety First

XB-1 was designed with pilots in the loop and established the foundation of our safety-first culture. Pilots and engineers conducted exhaustive testing of flight hardware and software, including hundreds of hours in the simulator evaluating the aircraft, operations, and human factors.

XB-1 Program Developments

4.24 – XB-1 Receives Special Flight Authorization

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted XB-1 a first-of-its-kind Special Flight Authorization (SFA) to Exceed Mach 1 in airspace within the R-2508 Complex over Mojave. This SFA also extends to XB-1’s chase plane.


3.22.24 — XB-1 First Flight

XB-1 takes flight at the Mojave Air & Space Port, flown by Boom Chief Test Pilot Bill “Doc” Shoemaker.


3.24 — High-Speed Taxi Tests

In preparation for first flight, XB-1 completes four high-speed taxi tests, reaching speeds of 140 knots.

Fall ’23 – XB-1 Taxi Test Events

XB-1 progresses into taxi tests on the airfield and runway, resulting in successful events first achieving 60 knots, then 89 knots, and advancing to 94 knots during a medium-speed taxi test in November 2023.

8.23 – XB-1 Advances Flight Preparations

XB-1 progresses through extensive ground testing and receives an experimental airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), following a detailed aircraft inspection.


3.23 – XB-1 in Mojave

XB-1 arrives in Mojave to continue ground testing and preparations for first flight.

2021-2022 – Systems Integration & Engine Runs

XB-1 completes the activation and testing of all of XB-1’s internal subsystems and engine runs, culminating in the first low speed taxi test in November 2022.


10.20 – Rollout

XB-1 is fully assembled and revealed to the world for the first time.

9.20 – Weight on wheels

XB-1 stands on its own for the first time, with the full weight of the aircraft on wheels.


8.20 – Engines and inlets installed

Three J85-15 engines and supersonic inlets are installed to the aft fuselage.

8.20 – Aft fuselage install

The fully titanium aft fuselage is joined to the forward fuselage.


7.20 – Nose landing gear passed drop tests

The nose landing gear passed a series of drop tests at incrementally higher energy limits, verifying the landing gear’s performance up to an extreme of 184 kts (212 mph) at 15 feet per second decent rate.


6.20 – Forward fuselage closeout

The final significant bonding operation, closing of the forward fuselage, is complete.


3.20 – Wing testing

A simulation of the most extreme flight conditions verifying the wing design and approved the structure safe for flight.


3.20 – Lefthand fuselage skin install

The left hand skin install was the largest single bond operation, closing out the the left and right sides of the fuselage and providing a glimpse of the aircraft’s final shape.

2.20 – 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.


1.20 – Wing closeout

The wing structure transformed from a skeleton frame to a completely closed unit during this eight-hour bond event.


12.19 – 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.


First Flight Up‑Close

Fully meeting its objectives, XB-1 safely and successfully achieved an altitude of 7,120 feet and speeds up to 238 knots (273 mph).

238 KTS

(273 mph) MAX AIR SPEED

12 MIN

Time in air

7,120 FT


62.6 FT

Nose to tail


Lbs of thrust


Independently developed
Supersonic jet

Together as One

Meet the team that built the world’s first independently developed 
supersonic jet.

“Today, XB-1 took flight in the same hallowed airspace where the Bell X-1 first broke the sound barrier in 1947. I’ve been looking forward to this flight since founding Boom in 2014, and it marks the most significant milestone yet on our path to bring supersonic travel to passengers worldwide.”

Blake Scholl


Bill ‘Doc’ Shoemaker

For Chief Test Pilot, Bill “Doc” Shoemaker, the road to Boom and XB-1 encompassed graduate study in Aeronautics and Astronautics, military service, and the first flight of several prototype aircraft as a civilian test pilot. A former U.S. naval aviator, he’s a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School who has flown more than 5,000 flight hours in 50 aircraft types, including the first flight of the Block II Super Hornet.

“Everyone on the XB-1 team should be incredibly proud of this achievement. It has been a privilege to share this journey with so many dedicated and talented professionals. The experience we have gained in reaching this milestone will be invaluable to Boom’s revival of supersonic travel.”

Bill ‘Doc’ Shoemaker

Chief Test Pilot

Tristan ‘Geppetto’ Brandenburg

Geppetto is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School and TOPGUN Adversary. He has completed 2500 total flight hours in 30 different aircraft and executed over 200 carrier arrested landings. He tested new systems on the F/A18 Super Hornet before they were released to the fleet. Gepetto will be at the controls for XB-1’s maiden supersonic flight.

“Being in the air with XB-1 during its maiden flight is a moment I will never forget. The team has been working hard to get to this point, and seeing today’s flight through mission completion is a huge accomplishment for all of us.”

Tristan ‘Geppetto’ Brandenburg


“The most rewarding aspect of my role is seeing XB-1 grow out of nothing more than an idea into what’s almost a living, breathing thing. Testing XB-1’s systems, first individually and then together as an integrated vehicle, is like breathing life into an elegant, albeit very complex machine. It’s my life’s passion.”

Nick Sheryka


Returning Civil Supersonic Flight to The Skies

Two decades after Concorde’s retirement, the first flight of XB-1 marks the return of a civil supersonic aircraft to the skies and paves the way for the return of mainstream supersonic travel onboard Overture, Boom’s sustainable supersonic airliner.

“Boom Supersonic is the first civil business entity to create its own X-plane, a supersonic demonstrator. This milestone is on the critical path to deliver Overture, the first supersonic transport aircraft to enter service in over half a century. It is such an exciting time to be involved!”

Ric Parker

Chair of Singapore Aerospace Programme, former Rolls-Royce CTO and Boom Advisory Council member

“I’ve been waiting over 20 years for an environmentally friendly successor to Concorde and XB-1’s first flight is a major landmark towards my dreams being realized. When I last flew Concorde in 2003 I knew that this day would come. The first flight of the XB-1 supersonic demonstrator is a significant achievement toward making sustainable supersonic flight a reality, aboard Overture – my #1 choice as the successor to Concorde.

Congratulations to Blake Scholl, all at Boom and especially its pilot, Bill “Doc” Shoemaker. Having been Concorde’s Chief Pilot I envy his role in this exciting return towards mainstream supersonic flight.”

Captain Mike Bannister

former Chief Concorde Pilot for British Airways

“Boom Supersonic’s remarkable achievements are a testament to the power of dreaming and doing. Like Sir Frank Whittle, Blake and Boom, achieved what others tried and no other could with XB-1. Congratulations to the XB-1 team, including Chief Test Pilot, Bill “Doc” Shoemaker! The National Aeronautic Association looks forward to celebrating your milestones in the historic fashion of the shoulders on which we all stand.”

Amy Spowart

President & CEO of The National Aeronautical Association

Stay up to speed

Subscribe to the newsletter for Boom news and insights straight to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.