Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink… and soon a new aircraft manufacturer? Elon Musk is certainly a hyperactive entrepreneur, but even his own abilities have limits. Investor Peter H. Diamantis took to Elon Musk fans on Twitter to ask them what the next project they would like the entrepreneur to tackle is. And to suggest, right on target, a foray into aviation.
“Elon Musk has played a massive role in transforming payments, space exploration, cars and the adoption of green energy. Which industry would you like to see him tackle next? My choice is aviation, and you? ”, says Peter H. Diamantis. Amidst many comments from fans of the Entrepreneur, Elon Musk himself decided to respond. We thus discovered a strong interest in civil aviation.
Elon Musk wants to tackle aviation, but he’s already got his hands full
“I’m dying to make a supersonic electric VTOL plane, but adding more work is going to do 💣 my 🧠”, concedes Elon Musk. An electric supersonic plane? In VTOL? This requires some explanation. First on the question of switching to electric aviation. Experimental solutions exist, but it is indeed a real field to be revolutionized. No aircraft manufacturer currently offers a convincing proposition to push kerosene towards the exit.
However, Elon Musk goes much further, since what he proposes is the bonus of creating a truly supersonic aircraft driven by electric motors. In theory, everything remains to be developed, since the only supersonic engines available in 2021 are turboprop, or rocket engines. A third type of heat engine, the Ramjets, have been in development for decades, but no aircraft are yet to exploit the technology in 2021.
On top of that, Elon Musk would like his device to be a VTOL. Namely an airplane capable of taking off and landing vertically before flying horizontally exactly like a conventional airplane. Creating a VTOL involves extremely complex systems to orient the thrusters, air outlets, as well as to stabilize the vehicle. Which makes a lot of parameters that come into consideration.
Still, this is not the first time that Elon Musk talks about it. You probably remember that 2018 show in which Elon Musk shot a joint live – behavior that caused a lot of inkling. However, many other subjects were discussed in the show. Including the idea of making a throw. Elon Musk said at the time: “I have a design for an airplane. I have devoted a lot of thought to it, it is something to which I reflect intensely ”.
And Elon Musk to continue: “The problem is, it takes a transition to balance the flight. However, the device that would be used for vertical take-off and landing is unsuitable for high-speed flight ”. But Elon Musk was already warning then: “It won’t necessarily be for now. Electric cars are important, solar power is important, energy storage is important, these things are much more important than creating an electric supersonic VTOL ”.
Still, the fact that Elon Musk talks about it again makes us think that the idea was not completely abandoned. Elon Musk could also quite propose the project a bit like the hyperloop – by making his designs available to the public, by organizing contests and by distributing funding. It remains to be seen whether the game is really worth the candle. Especially since this would undoubtedly compete with another project of the entrepreneur: use Starship to melt the distances between various points on the globe.
I’m so dying to do a supersonic, electric VOTL jet, but adding more work will make my 🧠 🧨
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 7, 2021