Lilium flies five-seater VTOL

Munich-based VTOL jet manufacture Lilium has revealed its new five-seater air taxi concept and released footage of its maiden flight.

Lilium has been one of the most iconic VTOL designs over the last few years but aside from early footage of prototype flights, news has been quite slow. But after last weeks slew of prototype flight reveals, Lilium has joined the fray – announcing the maiden test flight of the five-seater Lilium air taxi.

The Lilium stands out from many other eVTOL designs – being a transitional fixed-wing aircraft and a top speed of 300km/h. The maximum range of 300km is far greater than many other VTOL prototypes.

Prior to this, the Lilium prototype was a two-seater prototype it originally unveiled in 2017. Now as it is branding the aircraft as an air taxi, it has upgraded the passenger capacity.

A short video of the aircraft’s take-off can be seen here.

Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, Lilium said: “Today we are taking another huge step towards making urban air mobility a reality. In less than two years we have been able to design, build and successfully fly an aircraft that will serve as our template for mass production. Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travellers.

“Whether its friends or families flying together or business travellers ride-sharing into the city, having five seats delivers an economy of scale you just can’t achieve with two. The Lilium Jet itself is beautiful and we were thrilled to see it take to the skies for the first time. With the perfect balance of range and speed, our aircraft has the potential to positively impact the way people choose to live and travel, all over the world.”

The aircraft took to the skies at 08:03 local time at Lilium’s HQ in Munich on 4th May. The aircraft was controlled remotely from the ground and has since started a full flight test campaign to lay the groundwork for certification of safety standards.

Alongside developing the aircraft, it is also planning a full on-demand air taxi service which it hopes to launch by 2025 – with trials runs starting earlier in several cities across the world. The Lilium App was

Commenting on the successful first flight, Leandro Bigarella, head of flight test, said: “While a maiden flight is always a moment of truth for a business, the Lilium Jet performed exactly as expected and responded well to our inputs.

“Our flight test program will now continue with increasingly complex maneuvers as we look towards our next big goal of achieving transition flight, which is when the aircraft moves seamlessly from vertical to horizontal flight.”

Lilium has raised approximately $101.4 million in funding according to Crunchbase figures. The most recent was a $90 million Series B round raised in 2017 with Chinese conglomerate Tencent as lead investor.

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