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FAA Grants Historic Authorization for Boom Supersonic’s XB-1 Flight Tests

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In a groundbreaking decision, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued its first-ever special flight authorization for the testing of a civil supersonic aircraft, the Boom XB-1. This milestone paves the way for Boom Supersonic to commence flight tests, marking a significant advancement in the development of faster-than-sound travel. (www.airguide.info) More...

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induna
David Huntley 11
A little comment from an old-timer. I worked on the Fairy Delta, the British Experimental delta wing of which only 2 were made. It held the world speed record for a short time flown by test pilot Peter Twiss. The American Sabre took back the record a few months later. I mention this in context because the Fairy Delta came up with the retractable snoop nose which eventually was used on the Concorde. I was around during the Comet era and one thing I do know, it's always harder than you think. David E. Huntley-Author "The B-17 Tomahawk Warrior: A WWII Final Honor."
Lneward
Lance Neward 1
Wasn't it Fairey Delta 2, the supersonic test aircraft? Somehow I don't think the mythical fairies need supersonic travel. :-) Great airplane, though.
Budlake
Mike Monk 6
BOOM is hardly a pioneer!
All that work was done by BAe and Aerospatial more than 60years ago!
bahalana
Keith Brown 4
Some commenters, I think, are missing out on the fact that Boom claims their design will reduce the sonic boom to levels where they can fly supersonic over land, which to this day is still prohibited for all but military aircraft in special use airspace, which surely the tests will be conducted in anyway, so kind of a tempest in a teapot. The key will be whether they prove that's possible or not. Personally I've heard several sonic booms and if you've been through ONE thunderstorm, it's no different, so I never saw the big deal. Sure at low altitude, it's a problem, it can break windows, but at higher altitudes, I wouldn't care.
stratofan
stratofan 4
It is SAD that there will always be naysayers and pusilanimous beings that will not give credit where credit is due. What if Ferdinand and Isabella told Columbus he could not go because it was too dangerous and Spain was in an economic depression at the time?
dlwmiami
D. W. 2
Oopsie. Somebody is trying to sound erudite and educated. One is always better off either (a) using words whose true meanings are known or (b) looking words up in a real dictionary before including them in attributable commentary.

"Pusilanimous?" Mis-spelled AND mis-used. Check it out.
stratofan
stratofan 0
Okay, Okay so I missed a correct spelling. I don't see the MSM calling out certain Revs and political figures for their gaffes. At least I am not sitting in my parents house, rent-free, in my underwear, in front of the computer, with two degrees, and no job!
Lneward
Lance Neward 1
Ferdinand did tell Columbus he couldn't go; it was Isabella who hocked some of her jewelry to pay for the trip, because she was a devout Catholic and saw a lot of opportunity to win new souls for the church, in addition to whatever pelf might result.
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 1
Actually old Chris was just good in the sack and Isabella was rewarding him on a kid well done.
GeorgeDinius
George Dinius 3
I saw the Bugs Bunny cartoon. It didn’t happen that way.
NeilPostlethwaiteItsAllBroken
Neil Postlethwaite -9
Columbus, Magellen, Da Gama, Cook, Cortes, Erickson or any of the other explorers were not grossly and wastefully polluting the planet to save a few hours.

In the same objectionable bucket as carbon-footprint/purposelessness space-jolly’s for the offensively Rich (and William Shatner).
g8rben
Ben Eige 5
Feel free to go whine about human achievement somewhere else. Would you prefer that we still lived in caves and all human progress ended before the mastery of fire?
Lneward
Lance Neward -5
But all was not good with those guys, either--e.g. Cortez and his crowd introduced diseases heretofore unknown to the Aztecs or any of the rest of North America and were therefore capable, among other reasons including technical superiority, of subjugating them; Columbus began a hundreds-of-years-long subjugation of peoples in North and Central America, to say nothing of opening up the importation of hundreds of thousands of people from Africa into slavery, all in the name of grossly and selfishly trying to gain wealth; Da Gama was also searching for a faster way to get to Asia so that the people of Europe could enjoy the benefits (and profits) in what Asia had to offer; Cook did have some problems dealing with the Pacific Islanders, ending up in his death. It's all a matter of point of view/perspective.
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 4
Different times. Your Trying to understand history through the lens of the modern age. If you were alive back then you would have either owned a slave or been one.
stratofan
stratofan 7
Another great chapter in the human endeavor of manned flight! I wonder what Chuck Yeager and Orville and Wilbur Wright would think if they were with us today. A tip of the hat to those that making this a reality. Also to "Gepetto" Brandenberg for being named pilot for the first supersonic flight test!
GeorgeDinius
George Dinius 1
It’s a great time to be alive!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

musocat
James Patterson 2
This is intriguing. I wonder if there really is demand for supersonic flights in this age of spacious First Class suites, inflight internet, and extensive entertainment choices. Does it really matter if one arrives a few hours earlier? For me, no, but for some, maybe.

Nevertheless, if they can make supersonic flight economically viable, sign me up!
HansViergever
Hans Viergever 2
Could have read: In a window-breaking decision...
mbrews
mbrews 2
Look at the photo. No resemblance to a commercial airliner. Underwhelming
MarkWishart
Mark Wishart 2
The image you refer to is a one-third-scale demonstrator of the Boom Overture supersonic transport airliner being developed.
mbrews
mbrews 2
Looked into the history of Boom. This XB-1 is prototype of supersonic rear-engined tri-jet that Boom teased some while ago. The newest concept is a quad-jet with underwing engines. Rolls-Royce terminated their involvement as a possible engine supplier.
CHRISMORGAN
CHRIS MORGAN 3
The fastest ever crossing New York/London was 2hrs 53mins by Concorde in February 1996. In Feb 2020 a subsonic BA flight (Boeing747) made the crossing in just 4hrs 56mins assisted by a 200mph tail wind. One wonders what how much extra Concorde passengers, had it still been flying, would have had to pay to save those 2 hours.
dtgriscom
Daniel Griscom 7
Where can I get tickets for a 747 with a 200MPH tail wind? And can I take it round-trip?
bchandl13
Brian Chandler 2
Sure, the return trip just has a 200mph headwind lol. You're never going to watch a W to E wind at altitude over the north atlantic.
jamespryne
James Pryne 3
Once upon a time at an industry conference the BA gang talked of a subsonic pax flight that forgot some bags. Next available flight was via Concorde. When the pax disembarked their luggage was waiting for them.
bchandl13
Brian Chandler 1
The fastest ever Concorde trip also came with a massive helping tailwind. It's not uncommon for fierce W to E jet stream over the north atlantic especially in the winter months.

The Concorde undoubtably flew through very similar conditions at some point.
CHRISMORGAN
CHRIS MORGAN 4
I think the jet stream is mainly confined to an altitude of roughly 23,000 to 39,000 feet and then weakens until a maximum height of some 52,000. Concorde operated above this (55,000 to 60,000 ft) so I would guess that the help that Concorde got from the tail wind would have been relatively small.
Massive power at massive cost was the real driving force and looking to the future one has to wonder how the aviation industry will be able to overcome the cost implications in their quest for higher speeds.
speedbird9
Marty Martino 1
Still a long road to prove Overture isn’t vaporware, but promising.
bentwing60
bentwing60 0
'If' there is ever an operational mach+ aircraft in GA, I predict that the occupants will be the 1%ers' whom grow weary of .92 mach in their GeeWhizzes, Globals and whatever Dassault is offering as the latest "Speed Queen". Oh, you know who they are.

So, for the uber rich, a once poor white guy wrote their theme song,

https://genius.com/James-taylor-traffic-jam-lyrics

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