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Fri, Apr 19, 2024

Boom Supersonic Gets Authorization for Supersonic Flights

XB-1 Now has a Date with the Black Mountain Supersonic Corridor

Boom Supersonic got the first instance of Special Flight Authorization to go supersonic, planning to push their XB-1 aircraft beyond the sound barrier.

The FAA granted the authorization for them to test fly at Mach 1+ in the R-2508 Complex and part of the R-2515 High Altitude Supersonic Corridor. The FAA says that it completed a thorough review and Environmental Assessment, paving the way for future supersonic flight testing in the commercial sphere. The testing will see the XB-1 push the limited with a T-38 chase plane tagging along, monitoring, recording, and adding some extra safety of flight assurance. Naturally, the authorization extends to the chase plane, too. The R-2508 Complex is managed by Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, and Edwards Air Force Base, offering developers plenty of room to push the limits without affecting the civilian world below. It's the old stomping ground of legacy X-planes, too, with the X-1, X-15, and SR-71 once proving their mettle in its skies.

The news comes pretty fast after the XB-1's first standard subsonic flight, which occurred near the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California at the tail end of March. With a successful test flight in their pocket, and authorization to go beyond the sound barrier, the Boom Supersonic team is excitedly checking once and checking twice in the lead to the moment of truth. They'll systematically expand the flight envelope during the campaign, sussing out any discrepancies between expected and actual performance. As they go through the list of checks and tests, they expect to take about 20 subsonic flights before actually attempting to go beyond Mach 1.

"Following XB-1's successful first flight, I'm looking forward to its historic first supersonic flight," said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. "We thank the Federal Aviation Administration for supporting innovation and enabling XB-1 to continue its important role of informing the future of supersonic travel."



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