Remember those fascinating vehicles flying across futuristic cities in sci-fi movies? We may soon see those in front of us as a German company has successfully tested the prototype of an all-electric flying car!
Lilium Aviation, based in Munich, Germany, announced a successful test flight of its innovative flying vehicle. It was a remotely piloted flight, but the company claims that the first manned flight won’t take long to happen.
The two-seater aircraft is designed to take off and land vertically, just like a helicopter. It is powered by 36 jet engines attached to its 10-meter long wings through 12 movable flaps. These flaps point downwards to allow the craft to take off vertically and then move to a horizontal position to make it fly forward.
Patrick Nathen, co-founder of Lilium Aviation, says that their innovative flying car is very efficient, compared to other aircrafts, and has remarkably low power consumption. According to a press release in which Lilium announced its successful test flight, the electric battery the aircraft is equipped with consumes about 90% less energy in comparison with drone-style aircraft! This enables the craft to achieve the cruising speed of up to 183 mph (300 kph). In fact, today’s most advanced electric aircraft can reach the maximum speed of 99 mph (159 kph), given the fact that it doesn’t have the function of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL).
At the same time, the innovative aircraft is designed to have a very low impact on the environment and air quality as it is 100% electrically powered and releases no toxic emissions into the atmosphere.
The next step is to build a 5-seater aircraft and eventually use it in urban areas as a sort of a low-cost flying taxi, making the technology widely accessible to the public. This is the ultimate goal of the company, according to Nathen.
“The successful test flight programme shows that our ground-breaking technical design works exactly as we envisioned. We can now turn our focus to designing the five seater production aircraft,” the press release states.
At the same time, Lilium is not the only company which is working to design a real-life flying vehicle. Airbus, the Slovakian AeroMobil, the US Terrafugia are just to name a few. Is it a coincidence that so many companies all over the world envision to create a flying car? Maybe the future is already here and it’s time to welcome innovative means of transport.
“We are right now at the magical point. We have without a doubt started at the perfect time… This is why you can see a lot of different projects from all over the world,” Nathen told the Verge.
Image source: Lilium