The Supersonic Age

An Interview with Blake Scholl of Boom Technology

Supersonic flight is both a technology of the future and a technology of the past. The sound barrier was first broken in 1947, and the Concorde started offering supersonic passenger flights in 1976. But the Concorde was mothballed in 2003, ending the era of commercial supersonic flight—for now.

Boom Technology is one of a handful of startups trying to change that. I recently talked with Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl, an engineer who started out at Amazon and worked on several Silicon Valley startups before taking on the problem of supersonic flight.

Editor’s Note: This is the full version of our interview. A shorter version has been posted at RealClearFuture.—RWT

Rob Tracinski: What is Boom Technology trying to accomplish?

Blake Scholl: You know, the funny thing is humans have walked on the planet for 200,000 years, and for most of that time we’ve only walked. In the last sliver of human history, the last couple centuries, we’ve had incredible progress in our ability to access the planet with steamboats, railroads, prop planes, jet planes, but the weird thing is 60 years after the dawn of the Jet Age, we’re still living in the Jet Age. We had a supersonic airplane that was twice as fast, but we never took it mainstream. We believe at Boom very strongly that faster travel matters—the ability to do more things in a day, go more places in a day, and yet be home with loved ones—and so we’re working on the first supersonic aircraft that a lot of people are going to be able to afford to fly.

The full interview is available only by e-mail to paying subscribers.

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