CNBC Musk Interview and electric plane??!!

CNBC Musk Interview and electric plane??!!

Maybe this is the use for air metal battery people were talking about regarding the frunk.... Electric supersonic flight was clearly the highlight of the interview this past afternoon...

grega | November 12, 2013

He's mentioned an Electric Plane several times as one of his other areas of interest. The battery technology isn't there yet (too heavy, not powerful enough), but I'm sure he's watching for the potential.

I'd be interested in watching the interview. How would I search for this on cNBC? Show name or something? (I know... wait for YouTube?)

Andrzej1 | November 12, 2013


To see the interview in full, see here,

Brian H | November 12, 2013

Didn't quite sound like he was going to open-source his electric plane ideas just yet ....

Timo | November 13, 2013

Electric planes already exist. Elon has a bit bigger idea: electric jet. Supersonic electric jet to be more precise. That's quite ambitious goal to have. All types of jet engines use some sort of air expansion as method of creating thrust. How you can achieve that efficiently enough using electricity alone is mystery to me.

alcassfast | November 13, 2013

Supersonic, vertical take-off and landing, electric jet, to be even more precise.

elephant in a bottle | November 13, 2013

He also mentioned about jetson's type of cars and how they would unfortunately land on someone's head .. I thought this was funny.
He also said about the noise it will make. That's not really gonna be feasible.

I wish Elon would also look into building a personal jetpack suit.. something like from the rocketman movie. That will not create too much noise, and worse case , person can parachute safely :).
Would be nice to someday fly!! Only Elon can do this kind of thing.

grega | November 13, 2013

Good interview, thanks for the link.
So what makes an electric plane 'particularly suited' to supersonic vertical take off and landing?

So internal combustion engines are naturally less powerful at altitude due to lower air pressure, and I assume they funnel air to increase pressure - which works to a point, and then electric has advantages. Are there other reasons?

And I think electric toy helicopters came before electric toy planes... but I'm not sure on that, and it may have been a practical consideration instead of them being particularly suited to helicopters. Is it just the better short term torque to get a plane started?

I'm all for electric planes, just wondering about those fundamentals he was referring to.

Brian H | November 13, 2013

MHD? I've seen SSTO designs, given enough on-board power.

Andrzej1 | November 13, 2013

You're welcome.

As for what makes an electric plane “particularly suited” for a V/STOL is efficient implementation of distributed vectored propulsion. In addition, it works particularly well with a circulation control wing giving the plane efficient high lift.

As for other reasons, there are many. Some are:

1. Distributed propulsion allows one to use many engines. A common rule-of-thumb for mini-engines is that the thrust-to-weight ratio increases as the engine size decreases. Very useful for VTOL operations!
2. Distributed propulsion increases safety considerably through redundancy and by simultaneously offering propulsion and control.
3. Life cycle costs are estimated to drop by at least 50%.
4. Significant reduction in noise profile.
5. One often overlooked advantage is in much more efficient ground operations for the plane.
6. Zero emissions.

For EADS take on the electric plane, see here, and here, . It certainly takes battery swapping to the next level!

Timo | November 13, 2013

I liked that video when Elon mentions teleportation, then for a brief second kind of zones out saying "that would be cool" and then like shaking it off saying not going to happen (or something like that).

It's like he's the guy with "hey guys! We can do THINGS!" attitude. It's refreshing. Someone that has not given up yet.

Brian H | November 14, 2013

"I don't know how to do that", is what he says. :D

Timo | November 14, 2013

EADS talks about superconducting motors. I believe we can reduce motor weight a lot without resorting to that if we get graphene production to mass scale. Graphene is best conductor we know and a lot lighter than copper (for example) so it should make perfect material for coils. It is one miracle material.

just an allusion | November 14, 2013

Yes, an electrically powered e-jet is a highly probable technology which could be implemented using todays' tech with mitigation of the typical battery weight impediment.

Something along these lines will surely surface within the near future.