Elon Musk Unveils Tesla VTOL Electric Aircraft: Did you know that Elon Musk is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If not, you should go back and watch the second Iron Man movie. Elon Musk’s acting skills are not the subject of today’s article; we will talk about his idea, something he envisions for Tesla.
In the cameo, we watched Tony Stark, the character played by Robert Downey Jr., walk up to Elon Musk to shake his hands and compliment him about the Merlin engines. Musk smiled and replied, saying he’s got an idea for an electric jet, and Tony replied, saying they would make it work.
Elon Musk has finally revealed an aircraft concept proposed by Tesla, and we have to say, the design is insane. The designers and engineers at Tesla are obviously not satisfied building just cars; they want to take their talents to new heights.
Musk is a visionary who isn’t satisfied with limited focuses, which we can see from the many projects he has embarked on; he doesn’t do small scale. The tech billionaire, the engineers and the designers at Tesla always dream of doing things on a grand scale. But how much of a grand scale are we talking about? Join us today as we talk about everything you need to know about the Tesla VTOL electric aircraft.
Elon Musk has spoken about extending Tesla’s business beyond electric cars and trucks. He wants to construct an electric supersonic plane. The planes Musk wants are not like the conventional airplanes; they will soar to high heights, using vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) technology, before utilizing battery power to get to speeds of over 768 miles per hour.
Musk has always spoken about developing an electric VTOL aircraft. He floated the idea in 2009, speaking at a TechCrunch interview, he said, “an electric plane only gets more feasible as battery energy improves.” Musk is the richest tech guy in the world; money isn’t a problem.
As the CEO of two multibillion-dollar firms: SpaceX and Tesla, he is also the brains behind The Boring Company, Neuralink, and OpenAI. He is also the father of six children; he could only do so many things at once.
The only thing stopping him from developing the next-generation airplane is the amount of work on his desk. Musk tweeted back in 2021, saying, “I’m so dying to do a supersonic VTOL electric jet! But I already have way too much on my plate. Any more work and my brain would explode.”
When quizzed about the subject of the VTOL electric aircraft, he commented that there is already enough on his plate and Tesla’s. Musk confessed that building a prototype for the VTOL electric aircraft would be very easy, but a volume production with high reliability and low cost plus passing all the regulations would be a hundred times harder.
Musk noted that he had discussed this idea with some of his friends and girlfriends. On the Joe Rogan podcast, he said, “The most interesting thing about an electric plane is you want to go as high as possible, so you need a certain energy density in the battery pack because you have to overcome gravitational potential energy.”
From his statements, Musk has really put a lot of thought into the project. He went on to point out that “The energy you use in cruise is very low, and then you can recapture a large amount of your gravitational potential energy on the way down, so you really don’t need any kind of reserve fuel because you would have the energy of height.”
He also explained that the higher you go, the faster you will go for the same amount of energy, and at certain altitudes, you can go supersonic with less energy per mile. Less energy than an aircraft at 35,000 feet. Musk has expressed interest in the Tesla Model V.
The Model V is a VTOL electric concept designed to utilize the best electric car technology in an aerial platform. From computer-generated images culled from the internet, we can’t help but talk about how the concept looks so much like a flying saucer. The idea wasn’t Tesla’s.
It was designed by an industrial designer from the United Kingdom, Tom Abbot-Davies. Musk saw the design and commented on it on Twitter, saying it looks pretty cool. The design of the Model V isn’t based on a flying saucer, according to eVTOL News, it is based on the look of a manta ray, and it would be able to carry more than one passenger.
The design is very detailed; it features titanium turbine blades that can fly vertically, with the rear fan on a gimbal to transition to forwarding flight. To ensure a smooth flying experience, the aircraft is gyroscopically stabilized.
It has three lithium-ion battery-powered motors: a 1250-kilowatt motor and dual 650-kilowatt brushless motors geared with rotor blades. All of that adds up to provide the distributed electric propulsion needed for flight. This means that if one part of the aircraft fails, it can still land safely.
On the exterior of the Model V, there is a retractable landing gear hidden away under a carbon-fiber underbody. It has a titanium shell, a magnesium fuselage, and a wide canopy that can be modified to fit two people.
Abbot-Davies started sketching the Tesla Model V by hand in 2014 while he was still attending Stowe School. During his undergraduate studies at Loughborough University, he used the 3D CAD program in the 2017 school year, Solid works to finalize the design, and Keyshot to render the CAD files.
Abbot-Davies graduated from the institution in 2019; his goal was to intern at Tesla; this design was included in his Tesla internship application process. But Abbot-Davies didn’t get the internship and is looking to work as an industrial designer for an eVTOL or hybrid-electric VTOL manufacturer.
If you think that’s all we have for you, you’d be wrong. The Tesla Helicopter is also on the way. Designer Antonio Paglia seems to believe that the Tesla Helicopter is on its way. This design embodies the virtues of Tesla as a company.
Like the supersonic electric VTOL, Tesla doesn’t have the time or immediate need to build electric helicopters. Antonio thinks the helicopter would be built when Tesla has improved battery technology that can power flying machines.
The futuristic-looking flying machine would be designed for efficiency and speed. Antonio anticipates that the Tesla Helicopter would be able to perform duties like safety and patrol. It might even be able to offer assistance in times of emergency, which makes it perfect for departments such as safety and patrol, making air and ground patrol easier, cheaper, and more efficient.
Compared to conventional helicopters, the Tesla Helicopter has a five-bladed rotor; most helicopters have three or two-bladed rotors. The rotors help the helicopter achieve lift force very smoothly and reduce turbulence during ascension and descent.
The Tesla Helicopter features an exo-skeleton-like structure that is there to maintain stability. The two small fins on either side of the helicopter also serve the same purpose. The fins are similar to what you might find on fixed-wing aircraft, but they are much smaller.
The concept features a completely closed cockpit. We don’t know if that’s an oversight on the part of the designer, but we think Tesla would want to include functionality to toggle a covering or shield on top of the cockpit, which would allow the operator of the aircraft to shift from direct view to a video connected view.
While flying in bad weather like snowstorms, sandstorms, or extremely heavy rain, this kind of feature can come into use. Tesla has commented or said anything about this design concept, and it is not the only company looking to build an electric aircraft.
In 2017, Eviation showed us its prototype called the Alice Aircraft. Alice drew more attention compared to Tesla, it was the first all-electric plane that could be used commercially, and it boasts a range of up to 600 miles and can carry up to nine passengers.
These features and specifications make Alice viable for some short-haul regional airlines. Eviation plans to release manufactured copies, which came with a range downgrade, that could still be useful on some routes.
Eviation plans to hold an inaugural flight, but the certification process for the Alice Aircraft is going to take a while, and Alice is not expected to begin operations as a commercial aircraft till 2024. If another company doesn’t beat it to the punch, it would be one of the first all-electric planes in commercial aviation.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, is also looking to build electric aircraft. This venerable company is responsible for some of America’s most successful helicopter designs. Their project is the Sikorsky Firefly, an all-electric helicopter developed solely for research reasons.
The FireFly is a Sikorsky 300-C helicopter that had its engines replaced with an electric motor and two lithium-ion battery packs. It is dubbed as the first fully electric helicopter in the world.
The helicopter is still very primitive; it can only carry the pilot for no longer than 12 to 15 minutes at a top speed of 92 miles per hour. If the battery loses its power, the helicopter’s blades can still auto-rotate, so the pilot can land it in any open space.
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Information Source: Elon Musk Live