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Boom’s first test flight could signal the return of supersonic air travel

Boom XB-1 demonstrator supersonic test flight
Boom’s XB-1 demonstrator took off for the first time last week. | Image: Boom

Aviation startup Boom Supersonic took a major step today toward its goal of returning commercial supersonic aviation to the skies, after the company’s prototype aircraft, the XB-1, left the ground for the first time this week. The short, subsonic flight over the Mojave Desert came years later than expected, but it shows that Boom is at least still making progress.

The XB-1 took off Thursday at 7:28AM PT, reached a maximum altitude of 7,120 feet, and a top speed of 246 knots (283 mph). It landed 12 minutes later at 7:40AM.

Boom’s overall mission is to launch Overture, the first supersonic commercial aircraft since the Concorde ended operations 20 years ago. The company has secured contracts with major airlines like American and United,…

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