We’re only two years off 2020. It seems rather matter of fact, but by movie standards, you’d expect we’d be riding around on hover boards, have robot assistants and be flying around in cars, right?
Actual technological advancements and ideas tend to live on separate timelines… but the realm of flying cars is becoming excitingly very close to being real.
The Lilium Jet is the world’s first electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) jet. This two-seater Eagle prototype, successfully flown recently for the first time, performs manoeuvres like a mid-air transition from hover mode to a wing-borne forward flight. The plan for Lilium now is to launch a five-seater jet that will act as an on-demand taxi, similar to Uber, only, erm… in the sky.
The Lilium Jet can travel up to 300km/h, projecting a travel time from London to Paris of just one hour on just a single charge. Lilium is environmentally conscious too, opting for an entirely electric approach – aiming for no carbon emissions and less noise pollution. A recently secured NZ$90 million funding injection will certainly help bolster Lilium’s bid to be the first taxi in the skies. Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO of Lilium says: “This is the next stage in our rapid evolution. From the idea, to the production of a commercially successful aircraft, Lilium Jet will revolutionise the way we travel in and around the world’s cities.”
The Space Race was an important element of the Cold War that saw the Soviet Union and the United States in a frantic dash towards the cosmos. Now there’s another race towards the heavens, this time names like Lilium, Uber, AirBus and Virgin are competing to get first go at the market. Keep an eye out for Lilium, they may very well come in first place.