Five seater self-flying air taxi unveiled

Five seater self-flying air taxi unveiled

Five seater self-flying air taxi unveiled

Although they are technically known as "vertical take-off and landing vehicles", many people have labeled these new machines something far simpler: "flying cars".

The Munich-based Lilium released a video on Wednesday of its five-seater air taxi's first test flight.

It said the craft, which is electric powered, is capable of travelling up to 300km in just 60 minutes.

"Today we are taking another huge step towards making urban air mobility a reality".

The taxi runs on battery power to operate 36 all-electric jet engines that face downward at take-off but then swing to power horizontal flight. "Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travelers". Commuters will be able to book rides from their nearest landing pad through the Lilium smartphone app.

Lilium launched the test version of the electric air taxi on Thursday, May 16, as the company said the flying taxi will begin full service around the world in 2025, CNN reports. "Choosing from a network of pads across cities and regions, passengers will enjoy journeys that are comparable in price with a taxi, yet four times faster".

Other big names that are working on flying cars include Boeing and Rolls Royce.

The 36 engines also mean that there's plenty of redundancy if one happens to fail, and there's a triple-redundant flight control too, and the jet is being built to standards set by the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the US Federal Aviation Authority.

Uber, Airbus, and Audi are just a few of the big names who have already announced plans to develop some type of flying machine, capable of transporting people to and fro in urban environments and beyond. That's an ambitious plan, and there's still plenty of work to be done before Lilium realizes that dream, but it's clear that some major progress is being made. The company did not say exactly how long the aircraft was airborne.

Controlled from the ground, the five-seater jet follows on the heels of the firm's two-seater prototype, which successfully flew in 2017.

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