What Would Elon Musk Do Without SpaceX?
Elon Musk is famous for coming up with moonshot ideas that seem crazy at first glance. His latest idea is no different. At a recent competition sponsored by SpaceX, he pitched the idea of an electric jet plane.
Musk is currently CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Inc., while also serving as chairman of SolarCity Corporation. The guy has his hands full, but that doesn’t stop him from pitching revolutionary ideas.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Musk proposed an improvement to rail transportation. It would allow a passenger to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in roughly 30 minutes. He called it the “Hyperloop.”
He had no time to spare, so the idea was open-sourced. Engineers from around the world have crafted their own designs since then and SpaceX recently held a competition to test out the various designs.
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It was at this event that Musk pitched his next vision: the electric jet.
Elon Musk Turns an Eye Skywards
One of the contestants asked Elon Musk what his next great idea was. His response drew huge cheers from the audience.
“I have been thinking about the vertical take off and landing electric jet a bit more,” he said. “I think I have something that might close—I’m quite tempted to do something about it.” (Source: “Elon Musk keeps hinting at what his next big project will be,” Tech Insider, February 5, 2016.)
Moreover, his remarks at the SpaceX contest reveal that Musk is thinking about this subject a lot. He’s brought the idea up several times before. One such occasion was in an interview with Marketplace.
“I do like the idea of an electric aircraft company,” he said. “I think one could do a pretty cool supersonic, vertical, take-off and landing electric jet… I have a design in mind for that.” (Source: “Tesla CEO Elon Musk: The future runs on batteries,” Marketplace, October 12, 2015.)
Musk still believes the Hyperloop is a good idea for intercity travel—anything within 500 miles. An electric jet would be ideal for longer distances. In fact, he believes that is the guaranteed endgame.
“Aircraft and ships and all other forms of transport will go fully electric,” he said. “Not half electric, but fully electric. No question.”