Elon Musk’s Take On How Planes Should Work

On The Colbert Report Thursday night, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, explained what he envisions the future of flight should be.

He derived his visions from his revolutionary automobiles and rockets. You can view a video of the SpaceX rocket taking off and landing vertically.

Elon Musk wants all planes to take off and land like the SpaceX rocket, as well as be completely electronic. The “Grasshopper” is not the only SpaceX rocket that’s been able to land safely. Earlier this week, SpaceX also did a successful test with the “Falcon 9,” which was reported to have a successful soft landing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday about the “Falcon 9”, “At this point we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment.”

On The Colbert Report last night, he explains his reasoning of why he wants aircraft to be this way:

“Aircraft should be vertical takeoff and landing, kind of like a Harrier, except that it’s better to move the fan than it is to duct the air. I think the Harrier’s a great plane, but I think there’s a real opportunity to have a vertical take-off and landing supersonic jet. You’d use an electric motor to drive a fan. Traditional jet aircraft are mostly fan driven, like when you see a high-bypass jet engine on a 777, it looks huge. That’s because most of the propulsion is really coming from the fan. So there’s some value to having ducts, but it’s actually more efficient to have an open fan if you just care about efficiency per mile. But you can go faster if you have a ducted situation.”

Obviously, this won’t be possible in the immediate future but hopefully it will be possible within this century.

Electronic planes that take off and land vertically aren’t the only things Elon Musk is planning for the future. On The Colbert Report, Elon Musk went on to discuss his efforts to encourage deep space travel, as well as making colonies on other planets.

Musk said, “It’s sort of life insurance collectively. That’s sort of the defensive argument. The one I find actually more interesting, or more motivating, is that it would be just the greatest adventure ever. And it would be really exciting and inspiring.”

Hopefully, Elon Musk’s innovation inspires others to be this innovative as well. Propelling humanity into a brighter and better future.

[Image via The Colbert Report]