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Could This Be The Future Of Travel?

25 Oct 09:00 by Jamie Silman

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In May, Lilium unveiled its on-demand air taxi prototype to the world after it completed its maiden flight in Germany.

Now, just six months later, the company has released new footage of the all-electric Lilium Jet after it successfully completed its first phase of flight testing.

According to a press release from Lilium, the jet, which will have zero operational emissions and is slated to cover journeys of up to 300km in one hour on a single charge, “has now been flown at speeds exceeding 100 km/h, in increasingly complex maneuvers. [sic]”

The company have released a video of the five-seater jet, showing it making the transition from vertical take-off to forward flight and completing turns above an airfield in Germany.

 

 

The footage comes as the company celebrated completing their first manufacturing facility, which they hope will enable full-scale production of the jet when the test phase has been successfully completed.

Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO said: "It's been thrilling to watch the Lilium Jet progress so rapidly and to see our first flying taxi manufacturing facility. We are taking tangible and concrete steps towards making our vision of regional air mobility a reality and we're doing it on time.”

"We believe that regional air mobility has the potential to be a remarkable force for good in society and we can't wait for what comes next."

 

A Travel Breakthrough?

If it can live up to expectations, the Lilium Jet has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel.

Unlike other flying taxis, which have relatively short flight time due to the need to generate lift constantly, the Lilium Jet only uses 10% of the engines’ available 2000hp when in flight, meaning it will be able to make journeys of 300km in around an hour, and on a single charge.

To put that into perspective, the jet would allow passengers to travel from London to Manchester in just 54 minutes.

But Lilium isn’t planning to target the ultra-wealthy, saying on their website that their aim is to deliver “journeys that are four times faster than going by taxi, yet competitive in price.”

But the company still has a long way to go before we start seeing taxis flying up and down the country.

After their first test flight back in May, Leandro Bigarella, Head of Flight Test, said: "The Lilium Jet continues to meet our expectations, delivering excellent in-flight performance and remarkably smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

"That said, we take a relentless approach to improvement and, like any good testing program, we have had the chance to implement a number of refinements to the aircraft along the way.

"We are now moving into a critical stage of testing as we prepare for high speed operations and eventual certification by the relevant authorities."

 

With the company aiming to begin commercial operations in 2025, there’s still a long way to go for Lilium.

But, as the company puts it, the jet “will not only change the way people choose to live and travel but will also connect communities at a fraction of the cost of conventional high-speed infrastructure such as road and rail.”