Lilium’s flying car prototype takes its first successful test flight

Article by Christian A., on April 25, 2017

The future is near. You’ve probably heard that line thousands of times in the past decade. But this time, I have got some pretty awesome news that will make you believe me.

Germany-based company Lilium Aviation just released a video of its newest, and coolest development, a “flying car”. Yes, you heard me right, a car that can fly! Imagine having the ability to fly your own plane (or should I say car?) anytime you want.

In the video, you would see the first flying car take off vertically (for the first time) in an airfield just by Munich. The first prototype was developed and produced by 40 international designers, engineers, and enthusiasts with the same vision. Daniel Wiegand, Co-Founder and CEO of Lilium says that it is all about connectivity. This is the future of on demand air transportation.

The electric two-seater is powered by 36 jet engines installed on both of its wings. It was made with special “flaps” that let the car take off and land vertically without the need for a long runway. When in the air, they act to enhance aerodynamics, providing forward thrust. This aircraft can even transition in mid-air, and at the same time it has modes including hover mode, and forward flight mode.

Lilium made sure that their new invention is good for the environment by using electric batteries. They company stated that the flying car’s batteries “consume around 90 percent less energy than drone-style aircraft”. For every charge, it can reach 186 miles (300 kilometers) of range with a max speed of 183 miles per hour (300 kilometers per hour). The first flight it took was remotely piloted, but they are planning to have the next flights flown/driven by a human being.

Patrick Nathen, another Co-Founder of Lilium, said in an interview with The Verge that the flying car has the same battery you can find in a Tesla vehicle. And instead of a normal takeoff that requires so much space and power, the prototype uses power from its wings to pull off a vertical takeoff. It then uses velocity once it is in the air - this technology makes the flying car very efficient.

According to some sources, Lilium is already developing a five-seater version of the flying car - like a mini van, that flies. The zero-emission aircraft will be an alternative way of transportation in congested areas. In fact, the company’s plan is to do Uber-like service with the flying cars. But Nathen insists to make it more affordable so anyone can make use of it.

Source: TheVerge.com

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