Lilium is designing and building vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The German startup plans to run in its own taxi fleet. Its fleet of planes will be all-electric five-seaters. The jets are powered by 36 electric engines attached to the helicopter-like flaps. It has no tail, rudder, propellers, or gearbox.
“While the concept of an air taxi may have been around for decades, Lilium is tantalizingly close to turning what was once science-fiction into a reality.”Oliver Walker-Jones, Head of Communication, Lilium
In 2019, Lilium released a video showing how their unpiloted aircraft operates. The aircraft takes off vertically, hovers briefly, and then lands. This a big step for the company, which hopes to launch a fully operational flying taxi service in multiple cities by 2025. Oliver Walker-Jones, Head of Communications at Lilium said “while the concept of an air taxi may have been around for decades, Lilium is tantalizingly close to turning what was once science-fiction into a reality”.
The jets will have a top speed of 300 km per hour (186 mph).
It latest round of funding took place in March. The investment was raised so that the startup could keep developing its aircraft. In addition to building manufacturing facilities to produce more of them for an expected launch date in 2025. Lilium has raised a total of a total of $340 million in funding.
The Flying Taxi Industry Takes Off
There are a number of other companies that are creating their own flying taxi fleets. Major brands like Toyota, Uber, Hyundai, Airbus and Boeing are on the path to transport passengers through the skies in flying taxis. Uber has partnered up with Hyundai Worldwide to introduce flying taxis as early as 2023.
The business has the potential to significantly disrupt the landscape of urban mobility. Investors are eager to take part in the nascent market. The main goal of flying taxis is to link urban centers with suburbs while leapfrogging traffic.
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