Meet Lilium, the world’s first all-electric Vertical Take of and Landing (VTOL) vessel. An electric flying car, to put it simple. A car than can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, and fly horizontally like a plane. This plane has just been successfully tested a few weeks ago in Munich, Germany. And the results look promising. And what is extra special about it? The plane is, unlike similar initiatives, fully electric.
The test was done with a prototype with two seats (with nobody in it yet), controlled from the ground. At the same time Lilium announced a five seater design. Is this the flying car our children wil fly in? Lilium is serious, they have backup from the European Space Agency and millions in funding.
The plane itself has 36 small propellors, has a range of 186 miles and reaches a top speed of 186 miles per hour too. Lilium envisions to take out traffic congestion in cities, take out air pollution form cars and speed up traveling time enormously. For example: instead of traveling an hour by car, the same trip will now last only five minutes. Can you imagine?
What is unique about Lilium?
Contrary to other similar initiatives, which have a hybrid system, Lilium is fully electric. Unlike competition, it has no fuel-burning generator to recharge batteries while flying. The fact that it is fully electric results in the fact that it has a minimal ecological impact, making it a sustainable vehicle that is optimal to be used in cities.
Barriers to be taken
Before you will see Lilium fly in your city, a few barriers need to be taken. First of all there is competition. Airbus has a similar initiative, eFan, which has a range of 60 miles and a speed of 137 mph through a 350 pound battery. And they are also working on The Pop.up together with Italdesign. Next this, China is working on the eHang, and there is Aeromobil in SLovakia with similar plans. But again….Lilium is fully electric.
Another huge barrier will be certification and regulations, traffic control and the necessary infrastructure for take off and landing zones. But if the vision is there, the means will follow.
You want so see it fly? Have a look at the video below: