Denver-based start-up Boom Supersonic has successfully mounted the wings to the fuselage of its XB-1 demonstrator aircraft. The process is the next step in the company’s journey to develop a scale version of its production supersonic passenger airliner Overture.
The wings of the jet were completed in January this year after being transformed from a skeleton frame to a closed unit, during an eight-hour bond procedure. Weighing in at 329kgs (725lbs) the XB-1’s wingspan will be 21ft (6.4m).
The company posted the news on Twitter, along with an impressive time lapse of the operation:
XB-1’s wings are ready to soar.— Boom Supersonic (@boomaero) May 14, 2020
We've successfully installed the wings on XB-1, our supersonic demonstrator. Here, the team positions the 725-pound wings into place, making them look as light as air. #aerospace pic.twitter.com/2FZ63XCgAy
The installation has come after a comprehensive wing testing scheme which validated the design under the most extreme flight conditions. The test saw the team apply 60,000lb of force to both sides of the wing. In the end, the demonstrator was cleared for positive 3.8 and negative 1.5G in upright flight.
Powered by three GE Aviation J85-15 turbofan engines, the XB-1 is a one third scale model of the Overture. The demonstrator is being used to prove key technologies that are set to be included in the production aircraft. Boom Supersonic says the Overture, which is expected to begin flight testing in the mid-2020s, will seat between 55 and 75 passengers and will be capable of flying Mach 2.2 at altitudes up to 60,000ft.
The US firm says that the seat-mile costs for the jet will be similar to most subsonic business class operations. There has been some interest in the aircraft from companies such as Virgin Group and Japan Airlines who have together, ‘pre-ordered’ 30 of the aircraft.