Boom XB-1 Baby Boom

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XB-1 Baby Boom
Boom technology XB-1 baby boom.jpg
The XB-1 demonstrator design
Role Supersonic technology demonstrator aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Boom Technology

The Boom XB-1 Baby Boom is a one-third-scale supersonic demonstrator designed by Boom Technology, it should maintain Mach 2.2, with over 1,000 nmi (1,900 km) of range. Powered by three 4,300 lbf (19 kN) dry General Electric CJ610s, it should be flight tested in 2019.


The XB-1 Baby Boom one-third-scale supersonic demonstrator was initially intended to make its first subsonic flight in late 2017, powered by three General Electric CJ610 turbojets (a civilian J85), with subsequent supersonic flight testing at Edwards AFB.[1]

Its design was unveiled in Denver on November 15, 2016.[2] By April 2017, enough financing was secured to build and fly it.[3] Its preliminary design review was completed by June 2017, with a switch to the military version of the J85 to take advantage of the extra thrust; flight tests were then expected to start late 2018.[4] In 2017, the composite wing spar was load tested while being heated in an hydraulic testbed in an oven reaching 300 °F (149 °C), above the heat soak operational temperature. It should fly supersonically in 2019.[5]

By July 2018, the aerodynamic design was completed, the horizontal tail assembled and the engines received. Flight tests were delayed again for 2019 due to challenging aerodynamics and engines change from 3,500 lbf (16 kN) J85-21 to 4,300 lbf (19 kN) J85-15. The Spaceship Co., manufacturer of Virgin Galactic’s vehicles, will partner for flight tests in Mojave, California.[6]

The XB-1 design went through three wind-tunnel campaigns: a first for calibration, where predictions were off by 30%; a second to confirm calibration, which were accurate, and a third to confirm the design safety. Tunnel testing finished in November 2018, including takeoff and landing with gear doors impact on stability; and supersonic inlet testing, which took a decade on Concorde. The carbon-fiber layup of the fuselage halves was to begin in early 2019 for final assembly of the forward fuselage at the beginning of Spring. With total investment rising to $200 million, Boom is funded for all the XB-1 flight-test campaign, until 2020 ends.[7]


The XB-1 Baby Boom is 68 ft (21 m) long, has a 17 ft (5.2 m) wingspan and a 13,500 lb (6,100 kg) maximum take-off weight. Powered by three 3,500 lbf (16 kN), non-afterburning J85-21 engines with variable geometry inlets and exhaust, the prototype should be able to sustain Mach 2.2 with more than 1,000 nmi (1,900 km) of range. Constructed of lightweight composites, it has a two-crew cockpit, chined forebody and swept trailing edges.[2]


Materials for the hot leading edges and 307 °F (153 °C) nose, and epoxy materials for cooler parts, are provided by Dutch TenCate Advanced Composites, high-temperature materials supplier for the SpaceX Falcon 9. The airframe will be primarily intermediate-modulus carbon fiber/epoxy, with high-modulus fibers for the wing spar caps and bismaleimide prepreg for the high-temperature leading edges and ribs. The environmental control system will dump the cabin heat into the fuel, used as a heat sink.[5]


Data from Aviation Week[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 68 ft (21 m)
  • Wingspan: 17 ft (5.2 m)
  • Max takeoff weight: 13,500 lb (6,123 kg)
  • Powerplant: 3 × GE J85-15[6] turbojet, 4,300 lbf (19 kN) thrust each


  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.2
  • Range: 1,000 nmi (1,151 mi; 1,852 km)

See also[edit]

Related development


  1. ^ "Potential Mach 2.2 Airliner Market Pegged At $260 Billion". Aviation Week. October 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Guy Norris (15 November 2016). "'Baby Boom' Supersonic Demonstrator Unveiled". Aviation Week.
  3. ^ Aaron Karp (May 3, 2017). "Boom CEO sees market for 1,000 supersonic passenger jets by 2035". Air Transport World. Aviation Week.
  4. ^ Guy Norris (Jun 18, 2017). "'Baby Boom' Demonstrator Passes Design Review". ShowNews. Aviation Week Network.
  5. ^ a b Guy Norris (Dec 5, 2017). "JAL Options Up to 20 Boom Supersonic Airliners". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  6. ^ a b Guy Norris (Jul 10, 2018). "Boom Focuses On Derivative Engines For Supersonic Airliner Plan". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  7. ^ Graham Warwick (Jan 23, 2019). "Boom Advances Overture Supersonic Airliner As Demonstrator Takes Shape". Aviation Week & Space Technology.

External links[edit]