US aircraft manufacturer Boom Supersonic has successfully completed the first flight test of its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator jet, marking the latest step in its development of the first commercial supersonic plane since Concorde. 

Piloted by Boom’s Chief Test Pilot Bill Shoemaker and test pilot Tristan Brandenburg, the flight from the company’s test centre at the Mojave Air & Space Port in California, US reached an altitude of 7,120ft and speeds of 238 knots/273mph and achieved all of its test objectives. 

Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom, said: “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.” 

Testing of the XB-1 aircraft is part of Boom’s development of its Symphony engine system and Overture passenger jet by demonstrating a number of key technologies including supersonic intakes, aerodynamics, carbon fibre composites, and an augmented reality vision system that overlays altitude and flight path data on a pilot display. 

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Despite not having yet built a prototype for the Overture, Boom has already received pre-orders for 130 of the aircraft from major airlines including United, American, and Japan, and has also received backing from investors such as Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Investment Fund.