Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Colorado startup lands dozens of orders for the supersonic airliner it's developing

Five airlines have ordered 76 planes from Boom Supersonic, giving the Centennial-based company developing a new supersonic passenger airliner some good news to announce Tuesday from the Paris Air Show.

Boom also unveiled the completed designs of its demonstration airplane meant to prove its technology to fly passengers on long routes at 1,451 mph.

Boom Technology's XB-1 test plane -- a smaller jet than the supersonic passenger plane it plans to build.

“We now have everything required to build history’s first independently developed, supersonic aircraft — the funding, technical design, and manufacturing partners,” said Boom CEO and founder Blake Scholl.

The startup’s passenger plane is designed to fly 2.2 times the speed of sound, making New York City to London flights just over three hours long.

But first it’s building the XB-1 Demonstrator aircraft, known internally as the “Baby Boom,” which will fly testing out the General Electric engines, Honeywell avionics, Tencate carbon fiber and 3D-printed components from Stratasys.

Boom is assembling the XB-1 at its headquarters at Centennial Airport in Arapahoe County.

The company, a graduate of the Silicon Valley startup accelerator YCombinator, first made its project public last year.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines pre-ordered 10 supersonic aircraft from Boom. The startup on Tuesday said that’s pre-orders have now grown to a total of 76 aircraft ordered by five airlines. The airlines collectively paid Boom tens of millions of dollars that isn’t refundable, the company said.

The airlines were not identified. Boom plans future events where the airline identities will be revealed, the company said.

The XB-1 Demonstrator will fly subsonic test flights locally in 2018. Boom plans test flights to follow that will break the sound barrier in the skies above California’s Mojave Desert near Edwards Air Force Base, the company said.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.bizjournals.com

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