Boom Supersonic’s prototype jet sets off on first flight

The race to reboot commercial supersonic travel is well underway, and one company just took a major step forward. On Friday, Boom Supersonic announced the successful first flight of its XB-1, a prototype jet built to test the plane’s construction materials and aerodynamic designs meant for the company’s eventual full-size passenger aircraft, Overture.

XB-1 took off from Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California on March 22—near the site where the Bell X-1 became the first plane to break the sound barrier in 1947. Boom’s test craft flew for about 12 minutes at a maximum altitude of 7,120 feet, achieving a top speed of 238 knots (273 mph) with 12,300-pounds of thrust in the process.