Mar 30, 2021 / XB-1
Meet the technicians and engineers behind XB-1’s build
Boom team members share their personal excitement for the XB-1 program and what it means for the future of travel.
What’s the most important and direct way to benefit the success of an aerospace program? According to Boom’s Head of Manufacturing Mike Jagemann, the answer is to “get it right in the design.”
When engineers and technicians collaborate to ensure that build requirements are incorporated in the design phase of a program, a team can minimize the cost, time, and labor involved in the actual assembly. Boom prioritized bringing the disciplines of design and manufacturing together from the beginning to bring XB-1 together in the safest and most efficient way possible.
We talked to four of the individuals involved to learn their perspective on XB-1 , the aircraft supporting the future of high-speed travel.
Kevin Witte, Aircraft Technician
During his two years at Boom, Aircraft Technician Kevin Witte has worked on many aspects of XB-1, from laying up sheets of carbon fiber ply on the fuselage skins to fabricating the titanium aft fuselage. His son even worked with him on the shop floor.
“Supersonic flight is important to me because time is extremely valuable. If we can make travel times faster and more efficient, that means we gain time back in our lives.”
Ruslan Pshichenko, Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineer Ruslan Pshichenko — who began his career as a Boom intern — has been part of the XB-1 build since day one. Ruslan helped produce the 330+ unique 3D-printed parts that are now installed in the aircraft.
“Watching a supersonic aircraft go through the design and assembly process has been an experience like no other. By far, the most exciting aspect about working at Boom has been the involvement in the development of XB-1.”
Will Barrett, XB-1 Build Lead
As XB-1 Build Lead, Will Barrett contributed to nearly every step of XB-1’s assembly.
“I enjoy the challenge the most, the ability to employ everything I know and learn just as much along the way. Taking on this type of challenge with such talented teammates has been a pleasure.”
Steven Ripple, Manufacturing Engineer
Boom Manufacturing Engineer Steven Ripple was drawn to work on XB-1 by the unrivaled hands-on experience, as well as Boom’s vision for the future of air travel.
“Beginning on my first day in 2018, I was excited to work half the time on the shop floor. From an engineering standpoint, it’s a rare opportunity to play a role in the design, testing and build of an aircraft like XB-1 and follow through from beginning to rollout.”
Today, Boom is preparing for XB-1’s flight test and driving forward the finalized design of Overture, the world’s fastest airliner.