Impossible Aerospace founder and CEO Spencer Gore hopes to make self-flying electric planes that would make jet fuel — and the pollution from burning it — obsolete.
But he’s starting small by building battery-powered electric drones.
The company’s flagship product, dubbed the US-1, can fly for about two hours on a single charge, about as long as a helicopter can fly on a full tank. Gore describes the small unmanned aerial vehicle half-jokingly as “a battery with propellers attached.”
More than half of the mass of the US-1 is made of battery cells and the entire structure serves as one big battery pack.
Impossible Aerospace shares DNA, and a clean energy mission, with Tesla.
Before he caught the start-up bug, Gore worked as an intern at two Elon Musk-led companies, SpaceX and Tesla. He was offered an internship at the electric vehicle maker in 2014, and and later became a full-time battery engineer there. He accepted the internship even though he was still working on an engineering degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Rather than dropping out of college like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, Gore decided to lead a double life. He convinced his professors he would be able to mail in his assignments, and travel back and forth between Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California and their campus for exams.
To save money and eliminate commute time, Gore even lived in an RV in the parking lot at Tesla for six months while finishing up his de...