The Lilium jet powered air taxi, with fully electric engines and zero operating emissions, has just completed its maiden flight. This German start up aims to take passengers 300kms in just 60 minutes.
Imagine being on holidays in London in the near future, and you decide in the spur of the moment that you’d like to see an English Premier League game in Liverpool (288km from London). There’s a new German start up that might be able to get you there in approximately 58 minutes, skipping the traffic in the most dramatic of ways.
Enter the Lilium Jet, a five seater, fully-electric aircraft (fitted with 36 pioneering, all-electric engines) that takes off and lands vertically in even densely populated urban areas, removing the need for complementary infrastructure on the ground.
Their vision is to provide an on-demand air taxi service city-to-city or suburb-to-city, with prospective passengers using an app to locate their nearest ‘landing pad’ and then booking their trip.
The ducted engine design of the jet doesn’t produce the same level of noise as a helicopter or commercial jet. According to Lilium, there’s ‘no tail, no rudder, no variable pitch, no folding propellers, no gearboxes, no oil circuits’ and there will also be zero operational emissions, making them the first ever electric jet engines with commercial certification.
It’s expected to be fully operational by 2025 and available to the public in various cities around the world. Lilium has described their service as ‘combining the remarkably efficient Lilium Jet with digital scheduling and smart operations, we will deliver journeys that are four times faster than going by taxi, yet competitive in price’.
The German company is committed to sustainable principles, recognising that nearly a quarter of all carbon emissions are caused by transportation, and aims to become 100% CO2 neutral.
With the recent announcement of Uber Air and their plans to trial a shared air transportation service in Melbourne (in addition to Dallas and Los Angeles) by 2023, the future of city-to-city air travel looks set to get disrupted in a significant way. And what impact will these technologies have on electricity grids globally? We will continue to closely monitor these exciting developments.
* Copyright and image courtesy of Lilium
*As the system and market operator, we are fuel and technology neutral. The products, services and providers in this content are for illustrative purposes only and are not endorsed by AEMO.