Hey, do you ever fantasize of having your own airplane? And by that I mean one of those miniature electric or jet airplanes that you can land anywhere? Just imagine; you can fly to work and just land it on the parking loot. Thanks to company called Lilium this fantasy is becoming a reality…
So, if you like drones, then you will definitely like this electric airplane developed by Lilium. Undoubtedly, influenced by current drone technology because it features vertical take-off and landing, VTOL in short-this airplane shows a lot of promise.
The first two seated prototype testing was performed on April 20th, 2017 in Munich which showed impressive results.
Keep in mind, this was an unmanned prototype test; however, according to Lilium, manned testing will commence sometime in 2019. Also, a 5 passenger version is in development which can be used as part of taxi service, much like Dubai’s Ehang 184 drone taxi.
Speaking of taxi service, Lilium has some interesting plans and ideas when to comes expanding the use of this technology. One of those things is Uber like features; “Now, I can use my app to call air taxi”.
To me, one of the most curious and impressive aspects is the use of multiple fan engines that allow for vertical take-off and landing. This electric airplane will have a top speed of 300km (186mph) and travel distance of 300km as well. Also, by watching test video, it appeared that airplane was very stable; which is definitely something I’d want for day to day travel.
Taxi Airplane Specifications:
Number of passengers: 5
Number of engines: 36
Range: up to 300 km (186miles)
Cruising velocity: 300 km/h (186 m/h)
Wing span: 10 m
Concept: Canard with powered lift
Take-off and landing: vertically
Flight Envelope Protection (Fly-by-wire)
Whole aircraft parachute
Thanks to battery development over the years, I have no doubt that this type of transportation will be in our future. This is largely thanks to required advancement pushed by mobile technology and electric cars.