This startup just unveiled world's first all-electric, jet-powered 5-seater air taxi
Lilium, a startup that is based in Munich, Germany, has unveiled the world's first all-electric, jet-powered five-seater air taxi. The starup unveiled a new prototype on Thursday and announced that the vehicle had completed its first flight earlier this month.
Lilium, a startup that is based in Munich, Germany, has unveiled the world's first all-electric, jet-powered five-seater air taxi. The starup unveiled a new prototype on Thursday and announced that the vehicle had completed its first flight earlier this month. Lilium also published a video of the taxi which was announced two years ago. The new five-seater is a full-scale, full-weight prototype that is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines to allow it to take-off and land vertically, while achieving "remarkably efficient horizontal or cruise flight," says Lilium.
On its website, the startup claims "Nothing like the Lilium Jet has ever existed before. Its iconic design and pioneering technology brings the vision of fully-electric transition flight to reality. It’s the new mobility service for the modern, urbanized age." With a top speed of 300 km/h and a range of 300 km, Lilium claims its jet is capable of completing much longer journeys than the majority of its competitors.
Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, Lilium said that this prototype will serve as a template for mass production. "Whether its friends or families flying together or business travelers ride-sharing into the city, having five seats delivers an economy of scale you just can’t achieve with two. The Lilium Jet itself is beautiful and we were thrilled to see it take to the skies for the first time. With the perfect balance of range and speed, our aircraft has the potential to positively impact the way people choose to live and travel, all over the world," he said.
The startup confirmed that Lilium Jet first took to the air at 08.03 local time on 4th May 2019, having completed extensive ground testing at Lilium’s HQ in Munich, Germany. Since then, the prototype aircraft which is controlled remotely from the ground, has begun a rigorous flight test campaign that will prove its capability and lay the foundations for certification of the aircraft to safety standards comparable to those of large commercial aircraft.
Talking about the successful flight, Leandro Bigarella, Head of Flight Test, said, "While a maiden flight is always a moment of truth for a business, the Lilium Jet performed exactly as expected and responded well to our inputs. Our flight test program will now continue with increasingly complex maneuvers as we look towards our next big goal of achieving transition flight, which is when the aircraft moves seamlessly from vertical to horizontal flight."
Lilium claims that with its jet, passengers will be able to use the Lilium app to locate their nearest landing pad and plan their journey with ease. Lilium expects to be fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025, although trial services will start earlier than this in several locations.