Lilium Jet, flying car takes off in tests in Germany

Lilium is a car that flies like an airplane but takes off like a helicopter, has 36 electric-powered propellers, and doesn't need a runway for landing

Science fiction movies promised us flying cars back in 2000. After several years of delay, however, these particular aircraft finally seem ready to make their appearance on the market. They will be a total revolution of the private and public transport system. And this is demonstrated by the first tests carried out by the Lilium car.

To see it at first glance the Lilium flying car you would not think it could fly. It has the shape of a large computer mouse, but in addition it also has 36 small propellers powered by electricity. Yet the hybrid car has passed every takeoff, flight and landing test. It combines the flying experience of an airplane with the landing and take-off of a helicopter. It is ideal for travel in large cities as it does not need a runway to take flight. The first inaugural flight, with an unmanned, ground-driven prototype, has already taken place in Munich, Germany.

The Flying Car

Before moving to mass production, of course, it will take a few more years, to improve all the small flaws that did not emerge in these early tests. But Daniel Wiegand, CEO of Lilium, declared himself satisfied: "All major issues have now been resolved". The project, assisted by the German Air Force, has the support and funding of the European Space Agency. Modifications will have to be carried out to improve the efficiency of the electric batteries. Also based on the passengers that will be able to be carried. Lilium was thinking of a maximum of five people per aircraft.

The problem of batteries

Batteries are also the big problem for several other companies and figures interested in designing cars capable of both flying and going on the road. These are technological difficulties that Airbus is also facing in its project. Uber, which is trying to create a fleet of flying cabs, is also involved in this discussion. The solution in the short term could be hybrid aircrafts, i.e. those that use fuel during flight to recharge the electric battery and extend the travel range of the flying car. In addition, other blocks are represented by the regulation, although in Europe it will be easier than in the United States, and the construction of control points for flying cars, to always ensure safety. In short, between competition, innovations on the battery and logistics for Lilium, the road ahead still seems long.

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