Germany's Lilium says successfully tests 'flying taxi' prototype

Above Lilium Jet Landing

Today, Lilium announced that their full-scale prototype had its maiden flight and they released some impressive footage of the achievement.

"Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated maneuvers with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our incredible team", said co-founder and chief executive Daniel Wiegand.

The success of the prototype is making way for a larger five-seater design better suited for ride (or should that be sky?) hailing.

The jet, whose power consumption per kilometer is comparable to that of an electric vehicle, could offer passenger flights at prices comparable to those of normal taxis but with speeds five times faster, Lilium said.

Lilium Aviation has successfully tested its all-electric vertical take-off-and-landing (VTOL) jet, stealing a march on rivals in the race to deliver the world's first 'flying auto'.

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Once airborne, the flaps gradually tilt into a horizontal position, providing forward thrust.

The test paves the way for Lilium to achieve its ultimate goal of developing an on-demand air taxi. The trick lies in its electric jet engines.

To illustrate in real terms what kind of benefits the Lilium Jet could bring to urban transit times, the company provides the example of getting from Manhattan to JFK airport: a trip that's usually just south of an hour by auto would take about 5 minutes using the Lilium Jet. That could get you from Manhattan to JFK airport in just five minutes, compared to a 55 minute auto ride.

The new five-seater is claimed to use only 10 percent of the energy of a quadcopter-style aircraft and has a range of over 300 km (186 mi) at a speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), allowing it to travel from JFK Airport to Manhattan in five minutes instead of the 55 minutes by road - all with zero local emissions. Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page launched two startups working on VTOL electric aircraft.

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