This could prove valuable in the air taxi space, where Lilium envisions customers ordering an aircraft similar to other ride-sharing services. "Lilium passengers of tomorrow are the people using ride-hailing and vehicle sharing apps today, not private jets".
Lilium Aviation announced today the first ever vertical takeoff and landing of a personal-use electric vehicle near Munich.
Potential competitors to Lilium Jet include much bigger players such as Airbus, the maker of commercial airliners and helicopters, which aims to test a prototype self-piloted, single-seat "flying car" later in 2017.
Celebrating the landmark moment, Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said: "Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated maneuvers with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our incredible team". "We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point".
The company claims the plane would be particularly beneficial to those living in cities, and predicts it would be at least five times faster than travelling by vehicle.
The Lilium Jet is, ironically, not actually a jet.
Because of the dual flight modes that can employ jet power when needed, the machine uses 90 percent less energy than a traditional drone-style aircraft. Though CEO Daniel Wiegand has stated the two-seater will be able to go 185 mph and travel for a range of 185 miles, testing limitations prevented Lilium for hitting the aircraft's limits.
Powering the small jet are 36 small engines mounted inside the wings.
Flying cars are ready for take off. To put into perspective, it only takes 5 minutes for the Lilium Jet to travel from JFK International Airport to Manhattan, New York, which ordinarily takes about an hour in a taxi or a auto.
A price tag for the Jet has not yet been revealed.