Electric ‘flying taxi’ mock-up disclose by German start-up

A new “flying taxi” has been unveiled by German start-up Lilium, which claims the vertical take-off craft could be the basis for an on-demand air service within six years.

Electric 'flying taxi' mock-up disclose by German start-upThe electric jet-powered five-seater aircraft is designed to travel up to 300km, a journey that would take it an hour at top speed.

The firm, which has attracted more than €100m (£87m) in investment since its founding in 2015, has set a target of offering Uber-style, app-based air taxis in multiple cities by 2025.

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The latest iteration, with room for a pilot and four passengers, will be the template for Lilium’s mass production model. With sufficient economy of scale, Lilium believes fares would be around $70 (£55) per head for a cross-city hop.

Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and chief executive, said: “We are taking another huge step towards making urban air mobility a reality. The Lilium Jet itself is beautiful and we were thrilled to see it take to the skies for the first time.”

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Remo Gerber, chief commercial officer, said the jet made around 20% of the noise of a helicopter: “You could utilize this in cities where people live, it’s totally electric powered … This is very different.”

The flying taxi design is simple, beyond the 36 electric jet engines needed for vertical take-off and landing, make it more safe and affordable than other planes.

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Once in the air, the power needed in cruise is little more than that of an electric car, Lilium says. The fixed wing design gives a longer range than competitors with drone-based aircraft, which consume much more energy keeping airborne.

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