How long until Elon Musk’s electric jet?
I just finished reading Ashlee Vance’s Elon Musk biography, and the final chapter has an interesting anecdote about a time when investor George Zachary was hanging out in a secret Google-owned Palo Alto apartment with Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Elon Musk (how cool is that?).
In their conversation, the idea of an “electric jet” came up: a vehicle that should be able to land on ski slopes as well as dock in the middle of Manhattan. Zachary asked if Musk is going to build something like that, and he replied “yes.”
Vance’s book is full of little stories like that, but this one stands out because Elon keeps lowkey teasing he wants to build an electric jet — everywhere.
Remember his cameo in Iron Man 2? Just before Tony Stark decides he wants to race in the Monaco Grand Prix, Pepper Potts introduces Elon to him:
Tony: Those Merlin engines are fantastic.
Elon: Thank you — I’ve got an idea for an electric jet.
Tony: You do? Then we’ll make it work.
Then, a few months ago, Elon made a surprise appearance at the Hyperloop Pod Award ceremony (shoutout to my university’s team, who came in second). And what did he say when asked about his next big idea?
Well I have been thinking about the vertical takeoff and landing electric jet a bit more. I think I have something that might close. I’m quite tempted to do something about it.
Iron Man 2 premiered in 2010, Vance’s biography came out in 2015, and the Hyperloop speech was in early 2016 — Elon has been teasing this idea for about a half dozen years, and I have so many questions about it.
Will the electric jet be a SpaceX side project? Will it become the Tesla Model F(ly)? Or will it be a whitepaper release with a university competition like the Hyperloop?
From the teases it sounds like we’re getting closer and closer to hearing more about it — so, if you’re reading this, Mr. Musk: anything to say about your electric jet idea?