A German company named Lilium have secured a $90 million dollar investment to build a five seat, all electric flying taxi. The start up company is using the investment to build the company’s team of 70 people and of course, development of the aircraft. The company have told us that a fully charged Lilium jet will be able to travel from London to Paris in under 1 hour – On a single charge.
They have also stated that the jet will be slicing through the air at not just a leisurely rate, but, you’ll be travelling in excess of 180mph.
This is how the all electric jets work – “The electric jet engines work like turbofan jet engines in a regular passenger jet. They suck in air, compress it and push it out the back. However, the compressor fan in the front is not turned by a gas turbine, but by a high performance electric motor. Therefore, they run much quieter and completely emission-free.” The aircraft will also be able to take off and land just like a helicopter, with the electric jet engines maneuvering from a horizontal position towards a vertical position, ready for landing. Hence why Lilium have decided to insert VTOL into the name of the aircraft.
The high flying team at Lilium have been hard at work to not just think of this as a dream, but are now heavily invested into the project, with investors coming in from all over the globe – They include, Tencent, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström’s Atomico, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams’ Obvious Ventures, and private banking group LGT.
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.