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Flights as cheap as a taxi


Getting around urban spaces in a small plane could be as cheap as jumping in a taxi and travelling the same distance thanks to a pioneering Munich-based startup.

The Lilium Jet trialled last week in Germany is a zero emission electric plane. It doesn’t need a big runway due to its Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) technology.

On the successful trials, Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said: “Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated maneuvers with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our amazing team. We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point.

“The successful test flight programme shows that our ground-breaking technical design works exactly as we envisioned. We can now turn our focus to designing the five seater production aircraft.”

The costs are reduced thanks to the ease with which the Lilium Jet can take off and land in a small space. The plane uses 90% less energy than a drone equivalent and is five times faster at getting around than a car.

“A flight from Manhattan to New York’s JFK Airport will take around 5 minutes, compared to 55 minutes driving,” Lilium said.

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