Lilium Jet's First Test Flight Is Proof We Live in the Future

Germans Test Flying Car

Economy Sci & Tech Saturday

AeroMobil announced Thursday that it planned to take pre-orders for the "limited first edition" of its flying cars.

Lilium is now developing a larger, five-seater version of the Jet, designed for on-demand air taxi and ride- sharing services.

The prototype is a two-seater and it managed to execute "a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight".

AeroMobil said deliveries to customers of the flying vehicle, which Vadocz said would comply with air and road regulations, was expected to start by 2020. Governments are still grappling with regulations for drones and driverless cars.

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 early prototype has a range of about 186 miles (300 kilometers), and its top speed is estimated at 300 km/h (186 mph).

"Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated maneuvers with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our wonderful team", Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said in a statement.

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

It raised $11.4 million (10.6 million euros) in 2016 from Zennstrom-led venture firm Atomico Partners and e42, the investment arm of entrepreneur Frank Thelen, a juror on the German investment reality TV show "Lion's Den".

Uber, Google and Airbus have reportedly been working on flying cars, but the Munich startup Lilium has beat them to it.

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