Travel | October 7, 2020 1:56 pm

Boom Technology Ushers in the Second Age of Supersonic Travel With the XB-1

The startup hopes to launch its Overture passenger jet next

Boom Technology's new supersonic jet XB-1
Boom Technology unveiled its new XB-1 supersonic jet on October 7.
Boom Technology

Back in 2016 when we first wrote about Boom Technology, a startup looking to usher in the second age of supersonic travel after Concorde, the company wanted to get its first jet in the air by 2017. The reason you didn’t hear about it is because it didn’t happen. But Boom never gave up, and today, it’s unveiling the XB-1 supersonic jet — and paving the way for a future of faster business-class travel.

Bloomberg Businessweek got the first look at the XB-1, which the outlet describes as a “a demonstrator prototype.” Yes, that means you, the jetsetter, won’t be flying in one of these one-person planes, but as the first independent, privately developed supersonic jet, even the creation of a working prototype marks a huge advancement in the field.

Here’s what Boom’s plan is, in short: start testing the XB-1 in early 2021 and gather information for the development of the Overture, the company’s proposed passenger jet; finish the design of Overture, then build the 65- to 88-person jet and begin test flights in 2026; start shuttling paying customers in 2029 twice as fast as today’s planes (e.g., New York to London in 3.5 hours instead of 6.5) at the same business-class prices, and in roomier accommodations (where everyone gets a seat that’s both a window and an aisle).

Now that Boom has actually built a jet, founder and CEO Blake Scholl, described by Bloomberg as “an aerospace outsider,” is forthcoming about his early doubts. “Six years ago, I didn’t think we had great odds of ever getting here,” Scholl told the outlet. “It took longer than I thought it would, but it actually happened.”

Want to learn more? Watch Bloomberg’s first look of the XB-1 below, or head to Boom for today’s unveiling event.

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