The Lilium Jet Could Be The Flying Car Of The Future
Lilium Aviation has recently completed its first test flight of its two-seater VTOL (aka vertical take-off and landing) prototype. It’s an all-electric machine and is actually quite the engineering masterpiece.
The Munich-based company tested their Eagle prototype and it provided a glimpse into the future of flying cars. 36 individual jet engines are mounted on the 10-meter long wings across 12 movable flaps. When you see the Jet take off, the engines are pointed directly downward to provide vertical lift, much like a drone. Once airborne, the movable flaps tilt to allow the jets to provide forward thrust.
It was an unmanned test flight, but the first manned flight could be coming soon. The company has stated that their battery is much more efficient than a drone-style aircraft – consuming about 90% less energy. The Eagle is able to travel up to 300 kilometers (183 miles) and can cruise up to speeds of 300 kph (183 mph).
Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ take its first test flight.
Posted by The Verge on Thursday, April 20, 2017
In terms of safety, the aircraft will have parachutes on board and will have a system called the “Flight Envelope Protection System” in place to prevent pilots from performing unsafe maneuvers or flying it in a way that’s beyond safe flight parameters.
There’s many more things that need to happen before these become commonplace and even practical, but things are looking exciting for the future.