Is this flying vehicle which takes off vertically the future of transport?

Above Lilium Jet Maiden Flight

The company is also now revealing plans for a 5-seater version of the jet in order to create an on-demand air taxi service. Lilium expects that users will hail the flying vehicle with an app, as people now do with Uber cars.

Lifting off from an airfield in Germany, Lilium Aviation's Jet Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL), zero-emission, electric Eagle prototype has completed its maiden flight. The company announced Thursday it has tested its all-electric flying vehicle, Lilium Jet, in Germany.

The prototype is a two-seater and it managed to execute "a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight".

Lilium's CEO Daniel Wiegand said the company had solved some of the "toughest engineering challenges in aviation" with the design.

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.

Powering the small jet are 36 small engines mounted inside the wings.

Developers of the Lilium Jet are hoping it could become the aerial equivalent of Uber. Lilium believes that it can obtain a range of around 186 miles from its battery and a top speed of about 186 mph as well. The Jet doesn't need much space to take off either, since it launches vertically, and will make less noise than a motorcycle.

To illustrate in real terms what kind of benefits the Lilium Jet could bring to urban transit times, the company provides the example of getting from Manhattan to JFK airport: a trip that's usually just south of an hour by auto would take about 5 minutes using the Lilium Jet.

A price tag for the Jet has not yet been revealed.

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