New Delhi: A new supersonic jet prototype, Concorde's purported successor XB-1 prototype, will be unveiled to the public on October 7, said a report published in express.co.uk. The industry insiders reportedly believe that the cutting-edge tech could pave the way for a return to ultra-fast supersonic air travel.
The jet's designers Boom Technology have announced that the XB-1 prototype will undergo testing in the coming months and if successful, it will pave the way for the Boom Overture – a proposed passenger jet with 55 seats, said the report.
Denver-based Boom Technology, which has so far raised $141m (£107m) to build the XB-1, has already attached the craft’s wings to its fuselage, built its vertical stabiliser and completed landing gear tests, according to Flight Global reports.
XB-1, which is believed to boast a top speed of Mach 2.2 – almost 1,700mph, will only have room for one pilot – an experienced US Air Force recruit. It will reportedly go through testing at California's Mojave Air and Space Port in 2021.
Boom is quoted as saying, “With XB-1, we’re demonstrating that we are prepared to bring back supersonic. We're ensuring that the supersonic future is safe and environmentally, and economically sustainable," adding "We’ve learned that the demand for supersonic has grown even faster than we anticipated.”
“If we can fly twice as fast, the world becomes twice as small, turning far off lands into familiar neighbours,” the company's mission statement further stated.
According to Boom Technology, if the company's XB-1 has a successful test flight, the company will reportedly shift its focus to the Boom Overture.
Simple Flying reports that Richard Branson and Japan Airlines have already made investments, and both the companies have pre-ordered a total of 30 aircraft.
Boom is said to be hopeful that the Overture will fly in the mid-2020s and sell for $200 million each.
Blake Scholl, CEO of Boom Supersonic, is quoted as saying, “You’ll be able to fly Overture for a quarter the price of a Concorde ticket, or about the same price you’d pay in business class today. That’s the most important thing.”
Notably, the wait for supersonic passenger flight is almost over after 17 years. For over three decades, supersonic commercial travel was dominated by the Concorde, the only successful supersonic passenger jet.
Concorde was known for swiftly shuttling passengers across the Atlantic in record time. Concorde embarked on its final commercial flight from New York JFK to London Heathrow on October 24, 2003. The supersonic aircraft was then put into retirement after 27 years of service.