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Tesla boss wants to build an electric plane

Elon Musk says he's 'tempted' to do vertical takeoff and landing electric jet

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Tesla boss Elon Musk has announced he is ‘quite tempted’ to do something about an electric aeroplane. Yup, the brains behind an electric saloon that’ll do 0-60mph in 2.8s (the P90D) wants to do an electric jet.

Musk arrived as a surprise special guest at the Hyperloop Pod Award ceremony a few days ago at Texas A&M. Speaking at a Q&A, he was asked what his next great idea would be.

“I have been thinking about the vertical takeoff 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,” he added, prompting a round of applause from the audience.

On the following question - how does he convince people his ideas aren’t crazy - Musk said: “That’s generally what they thought. In starting SpaceX, they definitely thought I was crazy. One of my best friends compiled a long video of rockets crashing and made me watch the whole thing. Some other friends of mine who were involved in rocket startups said it was a terrible idea, but I kind of thought we had a really tiny chance of succeeding anyway.

“It was very close, we just barely made it with the fourth launch of SpaceX,” he added. “But I think, ultimately, seeing is believing, doing useful things is what convinces people.”

It’s not the first time he’s kicked about the notion of an electric vertical takeoff and landing jet. We first got wind of the idea late last year when he noted that, were he not in charge of Tesla and SpaceX, he’d love to create an electric aircraft company.

Naturally, the idea is still a way off, but it appears he’s putting more thought behind it than before. That is of course, unless he gets sidetracked making even faster versions of the Model S, or indeed, getting his Hyperloop public transportation system off the ground.

What do you make of the plan?

Image: David Rawcliffe

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