Opening A Door Of Opportunities With Supersonic Travel
Flights can take the same amount of time today, as they would in the 50’s. Seems crazy, doesn’t it? Luckily, times are rapidly changing. Supersonic flights are one of the four speeds of flight that allows people to travel faster than the speed of sound. Still seems crazy, right? Well, it’s possible. Supersonic flights reduce commercial flight time in half. It can save hours, if not days of travel time! An example of this would be being able to fly from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California, in 6 hours and 45 minutes compared to an almost 15 hour commercial flight.
The masterminds behind making supersonic passenger travel a reality is the hardworking employees at Boom Supersonic. This futuristic company’s goal is to make the world become more accessible. Boom wants the passenger to spend more time at their destination of choice rather than spending most of their time in an airplane for hours on end. Currently, the company is building the two-seat XB-1 demonstrator, otherwise known as the first independently constructed supersonic jet to try to make this vision become reality. Boom wants to be able to conquer 2.2 speeds, where commercial aviation has not been successful. Once perfecting the XB-1, the company will work towards creating a safe and efficient 55-seat passenger aircraft.
3D Printing Influence Production At Boom Supersonic
Stratasys spoke with Ryan Bocook, Manufacturing Engineer at Boom, to learn more about the operation of creating the XB-1. Ryan explained his role at Boom; being the person who brings the company’s vision to reality. He makes these visions come true by using Stratasys 3D printers.
3D capabilities assist Boom as they conquer and produce new products. Conceptual design, test plans, tools and aids, and flight hardware are only a few of the areas where 3D printing has made impacts at Boom. “Having direct access to the Stratasys machines on our shop floor has completely changed our approach to manufacturing,” Bocook said. “There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t look at the printers to solve a problem quickly and cheaply”.
Ryan described many benefits from the using 3D printing at Boom. “Because 3D printing is fast, economical and can make complex parts that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to fabricate, the world of production is changing rapidly.” Bocook mentioned how the production speed 3D printing supports allows the team to go from idea generation to part in hand, all in the same day, with very little hands-on work needed. The cost is efficient for how complex the parts are. Finally, additive manufacturing has few limitations to what can be produced versus traditional machining or casting.
“I feel that my biggest limitation now is just our imagination – If we can think it, we can print it and try it out.” Bocook said.
The Future of Flight
Aerospace OEMs, operators and suppliers all over the world are using additive manufacturing across their product development lifecycle. Additive is providing opportunities for cutting down development time for future generations of aircraft, as well as light weighting and supply chain consolidation. Take a look at what’s to come in additive for the aerospace industry.