Lilium Jet, the electric plane
Lilium Jet. © Lilium GmbH.
German air taxi startup Lilium has completed its first phase of testing, with its five-seater electric plane prototype. The fixed-wing prototype has 36 tilting, electric jet engines that propel it at speeds of up to 100km/h (62mph). It has no tail, rudder or propellors. Its design allows it to take off vertically, then switch to conventional forward flight. This transition from vertical takeoff to forward flight is one of aerospace’s greatest challenges. Ultimately, the plane should reach a range of 300km (186 miles) and a top speed of 300km/h (186mph). The company says it’s on track to launch commercial passenger service by 2025. Lilium also announced the hiring of Airbus veteran Yves Yemsi as chief program officer. Yemsi worked as head of program quality for the highly successful Airbus A350 aircraft. At the same time, Lilium has just completed a new manufacturing facility, entirely dedicated to building air taxis, in southern Germany.
⇨ YouTube, “The Lilium Jet in flight.”
⇨ The Verge, Andrew J. Hawkins, “Lilium’s electric air taxi is finally actually flying in new video.”