Lilium raised $90 million (Tencent led the round) which will be used for the development of the five-seat Lilium Jet that will fly commercially. Lilium will grow their current team of more than 70. In April they achieved a world first when the full size prototype successfully performed its most complicated manoeuver – transitioning between hover mode and horizontal flight.
In April, Lilium announced a world-first test flight of its all electric, two-seater, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) prototype. Lilium expects the first functional crewed jet to take off in 2019, and the on-demand feature to go live in 2025.
The five-seat all-electric will have vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL). The funding will shift Lilium into accelerated development mode, bringing the company’s vision of ubiquitous and affordable zero-emissions air taxis – summoned at the tap of a smartphone – closer to realization.
The jet requires no significant infrastructure and they will be able to bring high speed transportation services to small cities and villages as well as large city centres for the first time.
The Lilium Jet will be able to travel at up to 300 km per hour for one hour on a single charge – meaning an example 19 km journey from Manhattan to JFK Airport could last as little as five minutes. The jet’s economy and efficiency means flights are predicted to cost less than the same journey in a normal road taxi.
They envision low-cost, easy-to-use and highly efficient ‘air taxis’ travelling at 5x the speed of the average car, and with a range of up to 300km, will bring swathes of underdeveloped land to within commuting distance of major cities, thereby increasing supply.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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