Colorado Company Plans The Return Of Supersonic Air Travel

Listen Now
Photo: Boom Tech
A computer mock-up of a Boom Technology plane at Heathrow Airport. The company plans to revive the dream of supersonic passenger flight.

This story originally aired on May 4, 2016.

It's been 13 years since the last supersonic Concorde airliner landed at Heathrow Airport in London. Now a Colorado company want to put the dream of faster-than-sound travel back into the air.

Blake Scholl, CEO and founder of Boom Technology in Centennial, thinks he's solved Concorde's economic problems. He's working toward a plane that is 30 percent more fuel efficient than the French-British white elephant. He also wants to always fly the airplane full, so the new plane seats fewer than half the passengers the Concorde did.

Photo: Boom Tech 2
Boom Technology says its future plane could get passengers from New York to London in 3.5 hours.

Airlines seem interested -- at least in theory. Richard Branson's Virgin Group wants the first 10 jets from Boom. An unnamed European carrier has signaled interest in the next 15.

Now it's up to the company to turn Colorado into a manufacturing hub for supersonic jets. Scholl plans to smart small. His company says it'll test-fly a one-third scale prototype by the end of next year.

Scholl spoke to Colorado Matter's Nathan Heffel about his plan to give more people than ever the chance to break the sound barrier.