Lilium, the Munich-based startup developing an on-demand “air taxi” service, has unveiled a new five-seater prototype and is announcing to the world that a maiden flight for the new device was successfully completed earlier this month.

It’s not the first time a Lilium Jet — the 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 published a video of a two-seater version’s inaugural flight just over two year’s ago.

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 huge 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 significance of getting to five seats shouldn’t be underestimated, either, as Lilium isn’t in the aircraft design and manufacturing …read more

Source:: TechCrunch – Startups

      

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