Air travel is one of the easiest and most convenient means of traveling long distances. But the same cannot be said about short distances, such as going from one place to another within the same city, with the exception of the people who can afford the luxury of helicopters. However, an ambitious startup named Lilium aims to make intra-city air travel possible with their very own miniature jets. What’s even better is that the jets made by Lilium are completely electric and are even capable of vertical take-off and landing.
The company has just unveiled a 5-seater prototype and also successfully tested it. The new jet is powered by 36 all-electric engines and can achieve top speeds of 300 km/h. It has a range of about 300 km. The prototype is a full-scale one and represents a giant step towards making affordable urban air taxis a reality. The concept is definitely appealing, especially in light of worsening traffic hassles in big cities.
The successful round of testing was carried out remotely from the ground. The next phase of testing would gauge the aircraft’s ability to transition from vertical take-off to horizontal flight. Such testing would go on to pave the way for commercial certification from governmental bodies which is a necessity for operations.
The startup has raised $100 million till date from Tencent, Atomico, Obvious Ventures, etc.