German start-up firm Lilium broadcasted, the maiden flight of its all-electric pilotless jet-powered ‘air taxi’ which it anticipates to operate in various cities around the world ‘by 2025′.
The prototype is which could encounter skies crowded with competition, like other start-ups and giants like Airbus, Boeing or Uber are also playing away on their own projects — with the aim of revolutionizing urban transport.
But with challengers’ rotor-powered fliers giving just a limited range, Lilium trusts its jet-style aircraft can set itself apart from the pack.
Whilst it can take off vertically like a helicopter, it also had wings for horizontal flight, permitting a top speed of 300 kilometers (186 miles) per hour and a range of 300 km.
The models that have a range of up to 50 miles are both Airbus and Boeing
Controlled from the ground, the Bavaria-based firm’s test airplane first flew in Munich at the beginning of May — although Lilium did not say exactly how long it was airborne.
The five-seater jet trails on the heels of the firm’s two-seater prototype, which effectively flew in 2017.
Lilium expects to provide “on-demand air taxi service” in “several cities around the world by 2025”, with trials starting sooner.
Considering they’ll encounter “demands for urban air travel that is noiseless, safe and environmentally viable,” the company will provide an app to let passengers look for nearby landing pads for a flight they claim will be “similar in price with a taxi, however, four times faster”.
The US-based Aerospace Industries Association projected in March that with potential artificial intelligence at the controls, the aircraft “will be a part of everyday commutes” by 2050.