AEROSPACE GLOBAL NEWS

VELO3D to Manufacture Flight Hardware for Boom’s Mach-2.2 Supersonic Demonstrator Aircraft XB-1

metal 3D printing
metal 3D printing
Image Credit: Boom Supersonic

VELO3D, one of the leaders in metal 3D printing, announced last week that it has entered into a partnership with Boom Supersonic, a Colorado company building history’s fastest supersonic airliner, to manufacture the flight hardware for Boom’s Mach-2.2 Supersonic Demonstrator Aircraft XB-1.

Boom will be leveraging VELO3D’s Intelligent Fusion technology, which powers the Sapphire™ 3D printing system and Flow™ software. The Intelligent Fusion™ technology optimizes the metal 3D printing process by combining thermal process simulation, print prediction, and closed-loop control during print execution.

Boom Supersonic Demonstrator Aircraft XB-1

metal 3D printing
Above: Boom’s Mach-2.2 Supersonic Demonstrator Aircraft XB-1/Image Credit: Boom Supersonic

Boom’s supersonic demonstrator aircraft XB-1 is the first independently-developed supersonic jet that will prove the key technologies in-flight for safe, efficient travel at Mach 2.2 (1,687mph). XB-1 combines over 3,700 parts and some of the most advanced technologies including advanced carbon fibre composites, a refined delta wing planform, and an efficient variable-geometry propulsion system.

XB-1 has unique and demanding functional, performance, and precision requirements, so Boom turned to VELO3D to leverage its deep market expertise and customer support partnership. Current 3D printing solutions are design restrictive, resulting in poor quality and inconsistent idea-to-build success. VELO3D’s Intelligent Fusion technology provides a level of control, design freedom, and quality assurance that is critical in challenging design environments such as supersonic aircraft performance. With VELO3D, Boom hopes to use metal additive manufacturing to accelerate aircraft development and improve system performance.

Speaking on the partnership with VELO3D, Mike Jagemann, Head of XB-1 Production, Boom Supersonic said, “High-speed air travel relies on technology that is proven to be safe, reliable, and efficient, and by partnering with VELO3D we’re aligning ourselves with a leader in additive manufacturing that will print the flight hardware for XB-1. VELO3D helped us understand the capabilities and limitations of metal additive manufacturing and the positive impact it would potentially have on our supersonic aircraft. We look forward to sharing details about the aircraft development and improved system performance once XB-1 takes flight.”

Excited about the collaboration, Benny Buller, CEO of VELO3D said, “Boom is reimagining the entire commercial aircraft experience, from the design, build, and materials used. Our technology is designed to help innovators like Boom rethink what’s possible, empower advanced designs with little or no post-processing, and enable an entirely new approach to production. Boom needed more than just prototypes and we’re thrilled to help them create the first 3D-printed metal parts for an aircraft that will move faster than the speed of sound.”

Recent trials jointly conducted by VELO3D and Boom has turned out to be successful and now VELO3D is working on developing two titanium flight hardware parts for XB-1, which will be installed on the prototype aircraft in early 2020. These parts will be 3D printed and will be installed as part of the ECS system and ensure the aircraft can achieve safe flight at all conditions.


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