fbpx

Bladerunner’s flying cars gets one step closer with Lilium’s maiden flight for air taxi.

May 19, 2019 | By | 1 Reply More

Lilium, a Munich-based startup developing an on-demand air taxi vehicle, has now revealed its new five-seater prototype. The unveiling of the new Lilium Jet came as the all-electric aircraft completed its maiden flight in the skies over Germany earlier this month.

The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically, while achieving efficient horizontal, or cruise, flight. The simplicity of the aircraft design, with no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine helps contributes to the safety of the flying car.

Daniel Wiegand, Lilium CEO, told SFcrowsnest, “Today we are taking another huge step towards making urban air mobility a reality. In less than two years we have been able to design, build and successfully fly an aircraft that will serve as our template for mass production. Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travellers. Whether its friends or families flying together or business travellers 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.”

With a top speed of 300 km/h and a range of 300km, the Lilium Jet has a fixed wing design for the aircraft. While drone-based aircraft consume much of their energy keeping an aircraft in the air, the Lilium Jet can rely on the lift generated by the fixed wing to do this, meaning it will require less than ten percent of its maximum 2000 horsepower during cruise flight.

Commenting on the successful first flight, Leandro Bigarella, Head of Flight Test, added, “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 manoeuvers 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 plans to manufacture and operate the Lilium Jet as part of a planned on-demand air taxi service. At the push of a button, passengers will be able to use the Lilium app to locate their nearest landing pad and choose from a network of pads across cities and regions. 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.

Commenting on Lilium’s vision for urban air mobility, Wiegand told SFcrowsnest, “We dream of a world where anyone can fly wherever they want, whenever they want. We’ve invested a tremendous amount of thought and care into designing an aircraft and a service that will let us deliver this, meeting society’s demands for urban air travel that is quiet, safe and environ- mentally positive. Getting to this point has meant tackling some of aerospace’s greatest challenges, but now we’re here we can focus on bringing our vision to life and connecting communities in ways they have never been connected before. Whether it’s reducing the need for investment in ground-based infrastructure like road or rail, or opening up new areas to economic opportunities, we believe that urban air mobility has the potential to be a remarkable force for good in society and we look forward to working across our sector to achieve this.”

Tags:

Category: Science

About the Author ()

Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jimbert says:

    No propeller? I think it’s a ducted fan and I would say that the “fan” is considered a propeller. From the pictures, it looks to be a many-bladed propeller. Still impressive though.

Leave a Reply

error

Enjoy scifi? Please spread the word :)

SFcrowsnest