Lilium Jet: the world's first electric "air taxi" unveiled in Germany
Move over Uber, Lilium Jet is nearly here! Developed in Munich, the world’s first jet-powered, 5-seater air taxi is entirely powered by electricity and is capable of travelling up to 300 kilometres per hour. It’s just successfully completed its maiden flight, and it looks set to revolutionise the world of on-demand transport!
Lilium Jet prototype completes first flight
It only lasted a few seconds, but it was a breakthrough: the Lilium Jet prototype took off, hovered momentarily, and then came back down to land. It was the first time the Munich-based start-up’s brainchild had been tested, and it was a grand success.
The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 electric jet engines and 12 “flaps” that allow it to take off and land vertically. Once in the air, the flaps are tilted into a horizontal position to allow the aircraft to cover distances of up to 300 kilometres per battery charge. Initially, the Lilium Jet will be flown by a pilot, but there are plans for it to operate autonomously in the future.
Revolutionising on-demand travel in Germany and beyond
The Lilium Jet is faster and has a bigger range than the majority of its competitors. Its efficiency - comparable to that of an electric car over the same distance - means that it would be capable of not just connecting suburbs to city centres, but also delivering high-speed connections across entire regions. For instance, the journey time between Munich and Frankfurt could be reduced to a mere 61 minutes.
Long-term, the Lilium Jet’s creators envision a wide-reaching, on-demand air taxi service. Using the Lilium app, passengers will be able to locate their closest landing pad and plan their journey at the push of a button. A network of pads across cities and regions will allow passengers to complete journeys at a price comparable to taxis, only four times faster.
The Lilium Jet is now being subjected to a rigorous flight test campaign, including trying out some flying manoeuvres to demonstrate its full range of capabilities. The company expects to be operating in at least two cities by 2025, with some trial services starting earlier than this in several German cities.