Flying Taxi: Lilium’s world’s first all-electric passenger jet unveiled

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Moupiya Dutta
Moupiya Dutta
She finds it interesting to learn and analyze society. she keeps herself updated, emphasizing technology, social media, and science. She loves to pen down her thoughts, interested in music, art, and exploration around the globe.

German startup Lilium aims to provide on-demand “air taxi” service. The world’s first all-electric vertical take-off and landing passenger jet have been unveiled after completing its first flight.

It is not the first time a Lilium Jet company’s all-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) device has taken to the sky, but it is the first time the new five-seater has taken off and landed, following extensive ground testing. Lilium has published a video of a two-seater version’s inaugural flight just over two years ago.

The flying taxi will have a 300-kilometer (186-mile) range, allowing it to link New York and Boston. A short hop between John F Kennedy International Airport and Manhattan will cost about $70 per passenger, making it cheaper than a helicopter and competitive with top-end limousine services, Chief Commercial Officer (COO) Remo Gerber said in an interview.

The new five-seater is a full-scale, full-weight prototype that is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines to allow it to take-off and land vertically while achieving “remarkably efficient horizontal or cruise flight,” says Lilium.

In a call, Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand described the test flight, which was a little behind schedule, as a massive step towards making urban air mobility a reality. The new jet performed in the sky as the company’s models and ground testing had predicted, providing much-needed validation for the Lilium team.

The craft is powered by 36 jet engines that swivel after take-off to provide forward flight in the manner of a standard plane, using only 10 percent of the energy of multi-rotor drones based on helicopter technology. Lilium isn’t the only company with designs for flying taxis – there are more than 100 different electric aircraft programs in development worldwide.

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