The American company Boom Supersonic involved in the creation of supersonic passenger aircraft of the Overture concluded with the British company Rolls-Royce agreement on the joint development of a new engine for the aircraft. According to the message Supersonic Boom, in the first stage, the companies intend to determine whether it can be used in the future aircraft of any of the existing engines or generators.
Currently, Supersonic Boom is create a small demonstrator of a supersonic passenger plane. This device is called XB-1 Baby Boom. The length of the XB-1 is 20.7 meters, and the wingspan is 5.2 metres. The estimated cruising speed of the new plane is 2.2 Mach number and the flight range is 1.9 thousand kilometers. Maximum takeoff weight of the demonstrator is 6.1 tons. The aircraft is equipped with only a two-seater cockpit. On the XB-1 will be equipped with three turbojet engine J85 General Electric.
With the help of XB-1, the developers intend to test several technologies that can then be used to project a full-size prototype flight model aircraft, Overture. Among these solutions, a special streamlined shape of the airframe with smooth transitions, long sharp nose and a Delta wing with a very large sweep on the leading edge. It is expected that this will reduce the number and intensity of shock waves generated by the airframe during supersonic flight.
As expected, flight tests of the XB-1 will begin in late 2020 or early 2021. They will be carried out in a supersonic air corridor over the Mojave desert.
Today’s existing technology can make a supersonic aircraft with respect to economy, so the transportation is not expensive. In addition, ongoing today, the development in the future will allow to design “quiet” supersonic aircraft, which will be allowed to fly over populated land. Read more about the prospects of civil supersonic aircraft, read our article “Turn on the afterburners”.
In early April this year, the Federal office of civil aviation USA added rules for certification of supersonic aircraft and requirements for noise, introducing into the document a new category — “Supersonic Level 1”. Under it will be subject to aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of not more than 68 tons, capable of flying at speeds no more than 1.8 Mach.