Lilium Makes First Flight Of Its Electric Lilium Jet

Lilium also marked the occasion by announcing a new 5-seater design, which it envisions will be used for on-demand flying taxi and ride-sharing services in the future.

Lilium's flying auto, which it thinks is likely to have legs (or wings) as a taxi service, can fly at 300kmh and across a 300km range.

The jet is unique in its use of electric power for both the vertical take-off, and the jet-powered components of its engine system, and Lilium believes this is a key ingredient in terms of making a sustainable vehicle that people will actually use in cities, thanks to its minimal ecological impact. The company announced Thursday it has tested its all-electric flying auto, Lilium Jet, in Germany.

The two-seater prototype, controlled remotely by a pilot, performed a successful in-flight transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight, Lilium said.

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

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Brain-child of four engineers and doctoral students from the Technical University of Munich, Lilium is an all-electric VTOL jet that is powered by rechargeable batteries and a retractable landing gear that make it possible for it to take-off without requiring a large runway.

The company claims the plane would be particularly beneficial to those living in cities, and predicts it would be at least five times faster than travelling by auto.

The lightweight flying-car is powered by 36 electric jet engines mounted on its wings via 12 moveable flaps. They give the example of a flight from Manhattan to New York's JFK Airport in about 5 minutes, compared to 55 minutes by auto.

Slovakian firm AeroMobil said at a vehicle show in Monaco on Thursday that it would start taking pre-orders for a hybrid flying auto that can drive on roads.

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