Denver-based company celebrates successful first supersonic jet flight

DENVER (KDVR) — There’s a supersonic aircraft company based out of Denver hoping to get passengers in the sky as early as 2029.

Boom Supersonic, headquartered at the Centennial Airport, looks to be one of the closest companies to that goal, too. It’s been over 20 years since the first supersonic passenger-carrying commercial jet was grounded. Officials grounded the Concorde in October 2003 due to many factors, not least of all the noise caused by the plane breaking the sound barrier.

Boom Supersonic reported that on March 22, the company’s independently developed supersonic jet, XB-1, had a successful first flight at the Mojave Air & Space Port in California. The company, in a release, said that this flight marks “the return of a civil supersonic aircraft to the skies and paves the way for the revival of mainstream supersonic travel.”

The XB-1 is the foundation for the company’s goal of building the world’s fastest airliner, currently dubbed Overture. The Overture, once completed, would be able to carry passengers from New York to Frankfurt in just 4 hours and 15 minutes, instead of the standard 7 hours and 20 minutes.

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The company said Overture has an order book including 130 orders and pre-orders from American Airlines, United Airlines and Japan Airlines. The airliner will carry 64-80 passengers at Mach 1.7, which the company describes as “twice the speed of today’s subsonic airliners.”

“Everyone on the XB-1 team should be incredibly proud of this achievement,” said Bill “Doc” Shoemaker, chief test pilot for Boom Supersonic in a company release. “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.”

Boom has started building a “superfactory” in Greensboro, North Carolina, to build the Overture crafts that’s slated to be finished in 2024. United Airlines has committed to purchasing 15 of Boom’s airliners once the crafts meet the airline’s safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with goals to begin carrying passengers in 2029.

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