Aircraft

Lilium locks in $90 million in funding for five-seater flying taxi

Lilium locks in $90 million in...
Lilium says its electric VTOL jet could take travelers from Manhattan to JFK Airport in five minutes, compared to 55 minutes by car
Lilium says its electric VTOL jet could take travelers from Manhattan to JFK Airport in five minutes, compared to 55 minutes by car
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Lilium says its electric VTOL jet could take travelers from Manhattan to JFK Airport in five minutes, compared to 55 minutes by car
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Lilium says its electric VTOL jet could take travelers from Manhattan to JFK Airport in five minutes, compared to 55 minutes by car
Lilium, the German aviation firm developing an audacious electrical VTOL jet, has edged closer to its goal courtesy of US$90 million in new funding
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Lilium, the German aviation firm developing an audacious electrical VTOL jet, has edged closer to its goal courtesy of US$90 million in new funding
We first caught wind of the Lilium Jet back in 2016
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We first caught wind of the Lilium Jet back in 2016
Riding on more than US$100 million of funding, Lilium is a leading candidate in the race to the vertical commute
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Riding on more than US$100 million of funding, Lilium is a leading candidate in the race to the vertical commute

Lilium, the German aviation firm developing an audacious electrical VTOL jet, has edged closer to its goal courtesy of US$90 million in new funding. Following successful test flights earlier in the year, the company says the cash will be key in making its vision of a five-seater aircraft that will take travelers from Manhattan to JFK Airport in five minutes a reality.

We first caught wind of the Lilium Jet back in 2016. The company sprung out of a business incubator at the European Space Agency (ESA), and with engineers and doctoral students from the Technical University of Munich at the helm, it was established to change urban travel with a quiet, all-electric flying taxi that can be summoned with a push of a smartphone button.

In its early stages, the Lilium Jet was designed to carry two passengers at speeds of up to 400 km/h (250 mph), using retractable landing gear and fly-by-wire controls to take off and land in rather confined spaces of larger than 15 x 15 m (49 x 49 ft), like gardens, for example.

Lilium, the German aviation firm developing an audacious electrical VTOL jet, has edged closer to its goal courtesy of US$90 million in new funding
Lilium, the German aviation firm developing an audacious electrical VTOL jet, has edged closer to its goal courtesy of US$90 million in new funding

The team flew its two-seater prototype earlier this year, successfully testing some of its maneuverability, including its ability to transition from hovering to horizontal flight. Following those tests, the team turned its attention to a larger five-seater production version, which will have a range of over 300 km (186 mi) and a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). It claims that because of the jet's efficiency, flights will cost less than the same journey by road taxi, while traveling five times faster than a car.

And investors seem to be liking what they are seeing from Lilium. Among those to throw cash its way are Chinese holding company and internet giant Tencent, and investment firms Atomico and Obvious Ventures. Along with further developing the aircraft, the money will also be used to expand the team behind it as it targets 2019 for its first manned flights.

"We are continuing to recruit the very brightest and best global talent in aeronautical engineering, physics, electric propulsion and computer science to join us on this extraordinary aviation journey where the only limits are the laws of physics," says Daniel Wiegand, Lilium co-founder and CEO.

Source: Lilium

4 comments
ikarus342000
At last, a new type of flying machines which can have a future. The transition from vertical to horzontal flight works perfect. No open rotors and ungainly multi rotors. Great, I wish them success
Douglas Bennett Rogers
One can assess this by looking at the AV 8-B Harrier and the human powered helicopter. The low powered aircraft has huge, slow moving blades. The high powered aircraft has small, fast moving blades. This aircraft is essentially an electric Harrier.
PrometheusGoneWild.com
Too complicated. They need to get rid of the vectoring wings. They just add complexity and failure points.... Latitude Engineerings VTOL aircraft is a much simpler design.
WolfeSA
This meets such a need. Our provincial capital is 50 minutes and 63km drive away from our port city. Hundreds of wealthy businessmen drive themselves to meetings there daily. And charter light plane flights are expensive here.