"The first plane just went the way it was supposed to be." [1
9659004] Compared to the other pre-production electric aircraft that we have seen so far, Lilium Jet stands out: it has an egg-shaped cabin located on the landing gear with a pair of parallel asymmetric angular rotor wings. The wings are equipped with a total of 36 electric jet engines that tilt up for vertical start and then shift forward for horizontal flight. There is no tail, rudder, propeller or gearbox. When finished, Lilium Jet will have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a top speed of 300 km / h (186 km / h), the company said.
It is much longer than many of its competitors predict of their electric aircraft. Remo Gerber, Lilium's Chief Compliance Officer, said this was due to Jet's fasting design, requiring less than 10 percent of his maximum 2,000 horsepower during cruise ships.
"We are very excited," Gerber said in an interview with
The Verge . "The first plane went exactly the way it was supposed to be."
The company has completed test flights before. Back in 2017, Lilium announced the first test flow of its all-electric two-seater vertical start and landing (VTOL) prototype. But while the prototype was able to demonstrate the shift from vertical to forward flight, full-scale Lilium jet did not. The force-to-weight ratio is a major consideration for electrical flight. It is also one of the major inhibitors. Energy density – the amount of energy stored in a given system – is the key value, and today's batteries do not have enough energy to get most of the aircraft off the ground. Weighing it: Jet fuel gives us about 43 times more energy than a battery that is equally heavy.
Gerber didn't want to give any details about Lilium Jet's weight capacity, but he insisted that it would eventually carry five passengers and one pilot plus luggage. Lilium's "payload is industry-leading, and that's what will make the difference," he said.
Unlike some of their competitors, Lilium plans to keep a human pilot on board the plane. This will allow for a simpler certification process, Gerber said. Lilium is in the process of securing certification for five-seat air taxi from the European Aviation Safety Agency, and it will also apply to the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Gerber had more to say about the company's business model, which includes an app-based, on-demand feature where customers can book a flight via a smartphone app, a la Uber. Think Midtown Manhattan to JFK International Airport in under 10 minutes for $ 70. (Currently, a company called Blade, which counts as "Uber for helicopters", offers the same trip for $ 195.)
Lilium is not it only company with design for flying taxis. There are over 100 different electric flight programs in the development world wide, with big names, including Joby Aviation and Kitty Hawk, whose models are electric rotor instead of jet driven, as well as scheduled offers from Airbus, Boeing and Bell, who are affiliated with Uber.