Lilium unveils five-seater air taxi prototype after a successful maiden flight for its latest jet

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Electric air taxi startup Lilium completes first test of its new five-seater aircraft

German air taxi startup Lilium announced the first test of its full-scale, all-electric five-seater aircraft. It was the latest in a series of successful tests for the nascent electric flight industry, which aims to have “flying cars” whizzing above cities within the next decade.

the aircraft is characterized by a simple design which features no tail, no rudder, no propellers, and no gearbox. the wings are fitted with a total of 36 electric jet engines allowing it to take-off and land vertically, while achieving horizontal, or cruise, flight.

images courtesy of lilium

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 thanks to the fixed-wing design of the air craft which requires less than 10 percent of its maximum 2,000 horsepower during cruise flight.

images courtesy of lilium

lilium says it will now undergo a more rigorous flight test campaign to lay the foundations for certification of the aircraft against commercial aircraft safety standards. the next big milestone will be achieving transition flight where the aircraft moves from vertical takeoff to horizontal flight.

images courtesy of lilium

lilium plans to manufacture and operate the lilium jet as part of a revolutionary on-demand air taxi service. the company is developing an app, similar to uber, that would let passengers locate their nearest landing pad and book a taxi to fly them on short haul trips.

images courtesy of lilium

the aircraft took off at 08.03 local time on 4th may 2019. 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.

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