Lilium Startup’s Flying Taxi Prototype Finished Its First Take-off Test Successfully

Lilium’s new vertical-takeoff-and-landing prototype made its initial flight on May 4, the Munich-based startup revealed yesterday. Though Lilium says the flickering five-seat electric can fly 186 miles in 1 hour, its first flight, Similar as most such experiences, was modest. It lifted off, hovered a couple of meters above the ground, and landed, Operated by remote control.

It is made from aerospace-grade materials, as opposed to many different hand-built components usually made from prototyping techniques. Daniel Wiegand, Lilium cofounder, and CEO says the transfer from two seats in the model to five will help the fledgling system achieve efficiencies and economies of scale by offering transport to more passengers with every flight. The company is cautious with technical specifications, but it says that the battery is about the size of what you’d see in an electric car.

The wings are fitted with a total of 36 electrical jet engines that tilt up for vertical takeoff and then move ahead for flight. When it is complete, the Lilium Jet is going to have a variety of 300 km (186 miles) and a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), the business says.

Lilium will run its aircraft through progressively complex maneuvers, including the transition between vertical and horizontal flight, runs in actual cities, in inclement weather, and using a variety of degrees of automation. If all goes well, passengers will encounter the flights in trials ahead of the 2025 target for fully functional service.