Lilium, the Munich-based startup developing an on- demand air taxi service, today revealed its new five-seater air taxi prototype for the first time. 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. The design features a platform with no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine.
Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, said: “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. The Lilium Jet itself is beautiful and we were thrilled to see it take to the skies for the first time.”
The Lilium Jet first took to the air on 4 May 2019, having completed extensive ground testing at Lilium’s HQ in Munich, Germany. The prototype aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, has since begun a 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.
According to a company press release: “With a top speed of 300 km/h and a range of 300km, the Lilium Jet is capable of completing much longer journeys than the majority of its competitors. This is, in part, thanks to the fixed wing design of 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. This efficiency, which is comparable to the energy usage of an electric car over the same distance, means the aircraft would not just be capable of connecting suburbs to city centres and airports to main train stations, but would also deliver affordable high-speed connections across entire regions.
“Lilium plans to manufacture and operate the Jet as part of a revolutionary 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 plan their journey with ease. Choosing from a network of pads across cities and regions, passengers will enjoy journeys that are comparable in price with a taxi, yet four times faster. 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. The five-seater prototype will now enter a rigorous flight test campaign to demonstrate its full range of capabilities.”
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