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Boom to go supersonic

The first recognized aircraft to exceed the speed of sound was a Bell X-1 research rocket plane piloted by Chuck Yeager on 14 October 1947.  On 1 October 1969 Concorde passed Mach 1 for the first time.

We move on.

Boom, the American supersonic aircraft developer, has now secured the first-ever Special Flight Authorization (SFA) to Exceed Mach 1 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with its XB-1 prototype.

XB-1’s SFA follows a thorough review and Environmental Assessment, and extends to specified chase plane aircraft, which will trail XB-1 to observe, monitor, and record safety of flight.

The test flights will be conducted in the Black Mountain Supersonic Corridor and in a portion of the High Altitude Supersonic Corridor which has been used extensively for research and military supersonic aeronautical operations in the Mojave Desert, California.

Now that XB-1 has successfully completed its first flight and received authorization to fly supersonic, the team will systematically expand the flight envelope to confirm its performance and handling qualities through and beyond Mach 1. This includes in-flight checks of all systems, as well as multiple test points demonstrating safe margin to flutter (vibration) boundaries. There are a total of 10–20 flights planned before reaching supersonic speeds.

When XB-1 is ready for its first supersonic flight, Test Pilot Tristan “Geppetto” Brandenberg will be at the controls. Geppetto flew the T-38 chase aircraft which monitored XB-1 in the air during its inaugural flight. 
Boom will be exhibiting at Farnborough where Captain Mike Bannister, British Airways final Concorde Fleet Captain will be in attendance.


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