Supersonic aircraft completes landmark U.S. flight marking milestone for supersonic air travel

  • The XB-1 is being developed by Boom Supersonic
  • The company is also developing the world’s fastest passenger jet, the Boom Overture
  • The XB-1 passed every test, pointing to a bright future for supersonic air travel

Published on Mar 25, 2024 at 5:01 PM (UTC+4)
by Tom Wood

Last updated on Mar 26, 2024 at 8:11 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

A supersonic aircraft has just been successfully tested in the USA, which could be massive news for the future of faster-than-sound aviation.

The plane in question is called the Boom XB-1, and it uses state-of-the-art technology to reach incredible speeds, and will eventually be designed to run on sustainable aircraft fuel.

READ MORE! NASA wants supersonic jet X-59 to fly at Mach 4

The company creating this incredible supersonic aircraft, as well as the world’s fastest passenger jet, is called Boom Supersonic, and they’ve recently announced that an XB-1 test flight at the Mojave Air & Space Port in California was a success.

The XB-1 has been in development for a long time, and a lot of hard work has led to this point.

Blake Scholl, the CEO and founder of Boom Supersonic, said in a statement: “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.”

Cool stuff, right?

Imagine having a supersonic jet like Concorde back again – it would change the way people approach long-haul air travel.

Of course, there are other supersonic jets under development at the minute, too.

XB-1 is just that little bit further along than some.

The XB-1 took to the skies under the control of Boom’s chief test pilot Bill ‘Doc’ Shoemaker,  with test pilot Tristan ‘Geppetto’ Brandenburg piloting another aircraft – the T-38 chase aircraft – that monitored the flight.

As mentioned in the Boom statement, this site in Mojave is the place where the Bell X-1, the North American X-15, and the Lockheed Blackbird were all tested.

They all went on to do pretty incredible things in the skies after their time in Mojave, but the Air & Space Port in California was where they earned their wings, so to speak.

While the XB-1 didn’t quite get up to the speeds it is expected to be capable of, this early test – and it is early days – was a great success for the team.

It passed every objective, taking off and successfully achieving an altitude of 7,120 feet and a speed of 439km/h (273mph).

After the flight, pilot Shoemaker said: “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.”

Two decades after the retirement of Concorde, surely it is time to see supersonic aircraft making a comeback.

After all, everything tends to come back around eventually, doesn’t it?


Tom Wood

Tom started his journalism career soon after completing a Masters degree at the University of Salford. Since then, he’s covered a bit of everything – sport, celebrity and world news.