Elon Musk’s vision is for airplanes to vertically take off and land like rockets
Elon Musk, the founder and architect of Tesla Mostors and SpaceX believes that airplanes should be electric powered and be able to launch and land like rockets. That way he says, airplanes would be more efficient in terms of fuel use.
In an interview at The Colbert Report, he explains his vision to Stephen Colbert;
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 triple-7, 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.
In case you haven’t watched SpaceX’s amazing footage of a rocket taking off and landing, check out the video below;
The video showcases vertical landing and vertical take off, something CEO Elon Musk believes is possible to implement for the airplanes, which would possibly eliminate the runway.