Boom Supersonic’s recent rollout of its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator aircraft marked a milestone in an accelerating race to revive an era of civilian supersonic travel that ended when the Concorde jetliner was retired in 2003.
XB-1, aka Baby Boom, is set to begin flight tests next year from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The Mach 2.2 (2,717 km/h, 1,688 mph) vehicle is the precursor to Boom’s 55-seat Overture airliner, which is scheduled to begin carrying passengers in 2029.
EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — Mark the big one-of-a-kind engine, designed and built just for NASA, as delivered.
Nearly 13 feet long, three feet in diameter, and packing 22,000 pounds of afterburner enhanced jet propulsion, the F414-GE-100 engine is now at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe will be returning to Washington in June as GE Aviation’s top lobbyist, according to press reports. He will replace Tom Cooper, who is retiring after 21 years.
O’Keefe, who held the space agency’s top job from 2001-2005, recently announced his resignation as chancellor of Louisiana State University. Although business leaders campaigned to keep him, he had lost the support of LSU System President John Lombardi and some members of the Board of Supervisors.
“Sean brings a wealth of experience involving complex public policy issues as well as advanced technology,” Scott Donnelly, President and CEO of GE Aviation, said in a press release. “He takes over the helm of our Washington office at a very dynamic period in the aviation industry.”