AFMC Command News

Air Force visits Boom Supersonic

  • Published
  • By Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate

DENVER, Colo. – Members of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Vector Initiative team recently visited Boom Supersonic in Denver, Colo. to see the progress that Boom has made on its development of their XB-1 aircraft.

Boom was recently awarded a $7 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to provide research data and test results from the development of their supersonic demonstrator aircraft, XB-1.  Boom is an equal partner in the contract bringing the output value to $14 million of a $60 million ceiling.

The engagement with Boom is part of a larger effort to fuel the burgeoning commercial resurgence of high speed passenger travel, dubbed the “Vector Initiative.” The initiative aims to partner with commercial sector leaders to accelerate their development and advance enabling technologies that could provide the Air Force options for a variety of missions.

As part of the contract, Boom will advance their XB-1 demonstrator through flight test and develop a foundation for Overture, which is Boom’s supersonic commercial airliner. Upon maturation, Overture could potentially allow Boom to compete to support Air Force executive transport; cargo transport; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

During the visit, members of the Vector Initiative team, including Brig. Gen. Jason Lindsey, the Program Executive Officer for Presidential and Executive Airlift, were able to get an in-depth look at the design and maturation of the XB-1 aircraft, as well as fly the aircraft in the simulator.

“We are charged to accelerate change, and to do that we must enable tech advancement and incentivize competition,” said Lindsey. “We had a great visit with Boom, and we’re excited to see the progress they make on the aircraft.”
The Overture aircraft will cruise at mid-supersonic speeds, providing an increase in the pace at which personnel and material can be transported to and from areas of interest, disrupting both the military battlespace and political landscape, offering a unique strategic capability to the Air Force, and providing a distinct advantage over foreign adversaries. 

“Accelerating innovation requires more than just big ideas.  It requires a shared commitment to bring resources in the form of knowledge, infrastructure, requirements, and funding to bear in order to bring about change, faster,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Burger, Vector Initiative Director. “We will continue to look for and develop the technology needed to ensure we maintain our edge in the area of personnel transport and mobility.”

High-speed transport provides the U.S. military one more technological advantage over adversaries and will shrink the military battlespace and political landscape, forcing adversaries to respond faster in situations when hours matter and face-to-face interaction is of the utmost importance.

“By partnering to accelerate the high-speed transport resurgence, we set U.S. companies on a path to be first to market, and maintain our status as a world leader in aviation exports,” Maj. Matthew Bleckman, Vector Initiative Program Manager added.