MIAMI — Everyone’s concept of air travel is about to change forever as XB-1 test-plane, the world’s smallest supersonic jet, is now in the final stage of preparations before the takeoff. The transport of the future will be capable of closing the gap between New-York and London in a mere 3 hours.
Boom Supersonics, the plane’s manufacturer, is claiming, that XB-1 has enough power to reach an unimaginable speed of 2715 km/h or 1687 mph, which will make it the fastest passenger aircraft in history. Furthermore, the vehicle will not only ferry people from point A to point B, it will also make a huge impact on science as a bonus.
Using the data gathered by the jet, scientists will be able to better understand various aerodynamics, forces, and temperature phenomena.
The planes designed for extremely fast travel are usually made of aluminum; however, the new ultra-fast vehicle will be made of a special carbon material which is a lot more durable and reliable. The insights of the jet will include the three scaled-down versions of J85 engine manufactured by GE. These unique turbojet engines are capable of producing up to 5,000lbf of thrust.
The test-aircraft will have a wingspan of 5.2m and will be 20.7m in length. Such a compact size, together with the powerful engines, will allow the plane to travel two times faster than sound. The transport will travel between San Francisco and Tokyo in less than five hours. Moreover, the seats for this vehicle won’t have a sky-high price – they will have a similar to average business class ticket cost. However, the company considers adding budget seats as well.
According to the jet manufacturer, the building cost of a single vehicle amounts to 293 million US dollars. However, the company has already got enough funding and is ready to start the production of a next-generation transport. The test-version of XB-1 is being constructed in Colorado and is planned to be tested in Southern California soon. The first non-test flight is expected to be made in 2020.