The world’s first all-electric vertical takeoff and landing passenger jet has been unveiled after completing its first flight.
German startup Lilium aims to have a fleet of the five-seat aircraft — which can operate with a pilot or in drone mode — flying in cities worldwide by 2025, providing a pay-per-ride service that will be emission-free, five times faster than a car and produce less noise than a motorbike.
Lilium has $100 million in funds and must raise at least the same amount again to bring the model to market, while adding hundreds more jobs to its payroll of 300
people, CEO Daniel Wiegand told Bloomberg TV.
The plane will have a 300-kilometre range, allowing it link New York and Boston. A short hop between John F Kennedy International Airport and Manhattan will cost about $70 per passenger, making it cheaper than a helicopter and competitive with top-end limousine services, Chief Commercial Officer Remo Gerber said.
A full-scale prototype made its debut flight from Lilium’s base near Munich and has commenced flight tests. The Lilium has begun seeking approval from European and US regulators, making the model the first electric jet in history to enter certification.