The German air taxi took off

  • Reading Time:5Minutes

An air taxi development startup has already flown a prototype of its five-seater electric plane, promising $ 70 travel between cities by 2025.

In an April article in Nature magazine, researchers at the University of Michigan and Ford examined how viable it could be to use flying cars for general transportation purposes in the foreseeable future. It compared the consumption of vehicles that existed at most as prototypes with the energy demand of petrol and electric cars, also taking into account that aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing consume batteries with completely different dynamics. The comparison shows that new types of vehicles are not yet a viable alternative for shorter distances, and that their use would be important in such journeys within cities or agglomerations.

The study, of course, measured a technology in an experimental phase for existing solutions and did not take into account the full cost of production or operation, nor did it measure cost-effectiveness for rail or other options as opposed to conventional driving. Special experience and speed, on the other hand, are definitely a factor that can appeal to the richest in the first place. The authors of the study also point out that in certain circumstances a flying car is the least burdensome solution for the environment and, when charged with the right number of passengers, can become available to a wider audience on trips of a few hundred kilometers between cities.

In any case, it is certain that after the distribution of freight, electric scooters or bicycle public transport, the next trend in the industry is about flying vehicles: we also often report attempts such as NASA and Uber, Audi and Airbus, Boeing , developments by Chinese Ehang or other startups. Recently, the news revolves around a German company called Lilium Aviation, which has so far raised more than $ 100 million in investor funds and has had regulatory approvals for testing in the U.S. and Europe since last year.

In addition, Lilium is already flagging concrete plans that will help interpret the ideas, regardless of their validity. In an interview with Business Insider on Thursday, startup commercial director Remo Gerber spoke of a service that could travel between London and Manchester for $ 70 in Lilium’s five-seater electric aircraft by 2025. The company is thinking not only in the development but also in the operation of the vehicles, ie in addition to the production, it would also enter the air taxi business as an operator.

According to the plans, it will be possible to order vehicles from the appropriate telephone application at least 10 minutes, but up to a day in advance, and the company usually tries to map the taxi user experience as accurately as possible – only with the involvement of electric planes. they should also successfully address a number of regulatory and technological barriers. By the way, Gerber came to Lilium from Uber and seems to have brought with it a significant portion of Uber’s business model, which is currently experiencing its toughest test to date.

Uber, who recently went public, has to start delivering results: as long as investors accept from a startup that he is focused on growth instead of profit, the expectations of a listed company are different. Lilium’s commercial director said the new service doesn’t wrap around a similarly negative business model, as it breaks away from Uber’s practice from the very first minute of its operation.

It is true that air taxis will be ordered in the same way via a telephone app, however, vehicles will not go to the address but will pick up a handful of passengers at a pre-arranged location, at the same time. It actually models passenger transport on a completely different scale, but at the same time it is cheaper, more efficient and safer than, say, the use of helicopters. At the same time, although formally it is still about freight sharing, it is not about the extremely personalized user experience of traditional taxiing, while customers can travel much more comfortably.

Of course, this is reflected in the prices: Lilium expects $ 350 per trip for five-seater planes, which would mean a fare of $ 70 per passenger. Taxi drivers don’t have to pay for it, but pilots do, which is much more expensive, and manufacturing and operating fleet vehicles is quite an expensive thing – this is somewhat mitigated by the 25-year design life of aircraft, which is well above that of a taxi. Lilium would also turn to the right self-driving technology in the future to save pilots ’salaries, but that’s really something that is more obscure at the moment than the service’s launch in 2025.

In any case, an important milestone has just been left by the company: successful flights have already been made near Munich with a prototype of the vehicle called the Lilium Jet. The aircraft reportedly performed the take-off and landing perfectly, and the 300-kilometer range sounds much better on paper than the design of Uber’s similar but five-fold shorter-range aircraft. According to Lilium, the prototype in question is already so advanced that it is actually ready for official authentication of security, redundant systems or other specifications. This certainly sounds good when you consider that the German company works with an order of magnitude smaller budget than multis or even startups trying air taxis.

Recent article

Flying Cars News & Articles

Switchblade Flying Car Soars to New Heights with Groundbreaking Design

Samson Sky is taking the aviation world by storm with its revolutionary Switchblade flying sports.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

EHang’s Pilotless eVTOL Air Operator Certificate Application Accepted by CAAC

In a groundbreaking development for the aviation industry, EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH) has taken.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

What international standards and collaborations need to be developed for the global uptake of eVTOLs ?

The concept of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has captured the imagination of.......... READ MORE

more

Air taxi News & Articles

Embraer subsidiary unveils prototype of its flying taxi

In a landmark moment for the burgeoning urban air mobility industry, Eve Air Mobility, a.......... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

New solar-powered drone is lighter than paper

In a groundbreaking development that promises to reshape the landscape of aerial robotics, researchers at.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

EHang Partners with KC Smart Mobility to Advance EH216-S Pilotless eVTOL Sale and Operation in Hong Kong and Macau

In a bold move that promises to reshape urban transportation, EHang Holdings Limited has inked.......... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

UAVs can triple range with hydrogen storage solution

In a groundbreaking development that promises to revolutionize the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry, Polar.......... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

What are the upcoming technological innovations in drone design and capabilities ?

The integration of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing drone capabilities. Modern drones are increasingly.......... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

ELTE Researchers Pioneer Safe Self-Organization of Dense Drone Traffic Based on Bird Flock Flight

Researchers at the Department of Biological Physics at ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University) have been working.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

What are the challenges in designing hybrid EVTOLs ?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of aviation technology, hybrid Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (EVTOL).......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

A startup developing hydrogen propulsion has gone bankrupt

The board of directors of Universal Hydrogen has decided to liquidate the company after failing.......... READ MORE

more

Electric airplane News & Articles

When can electric planes become widespread ?

In recent years, the aviation industry has begun to pivot towards more sustainable alternatives, with.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

In which cities are vertiports built?

In the realm of urban planning and transportation, a revolutionary concept is taking flight—quite literally........... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

Revolutionary drone protection: Affordable solution reshapes battlefield dynamics

In the ever-evolving landscape of drone technology, a groundbreaking device is set to revolutionize the.......... READ MORE

more

Air taxi News & Articles

eVTOL Titans: The Race for Sky-High Capital

In the rapidly evolving landscape of urban air mobility, a select group of eVTOL (electric.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Aviation

In the quest for cleaner, more sustainable energy sources, hydrogen fuel cells have emerged as.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion is proven

In a landmark achievement for clean aviation, Joby Aviation has demonstrated the extraordinary potential of.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

Pulsating Engine Transforms UAV Technology

The realm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has witnessed a groundbreaking development with the introduction.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

Air Taxis to Transport Visitors to the Paris Olympics

The 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris are set to showcase not only world-class athletic performances.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

What steps are aviation regulators taking to integrate eVTOL vehicles into the existing aviation system ?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States and the European Union Aviation Safety.......... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

THOR: The Autonomous Combat Drone Enters Mass Production

The US defence industry has taken a significant step forward in autonomous combat technology with.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

What training will be required for eVTOL pilots and how much human intervention will be needed to operate them ?

As we stand on the precipice of a revolution in urban air mobility, the emergence.......... READ MORE

more

Electric airplane News & Articles

China’s battery advantage: promoting electric aviation

China has emerged as a formidable force in the global battery industry, earning its moniker.......... READ MORE

more

Electric airplane News & Articles

Pioneers of Electric Aviation

As the world grapples with climate change, manufacturers are vying to become the Tesla of.......... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

Agricultural Drones Redefining Farming

The verdant fields stretching as far as the eye can see have long been a.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

AI’s Role in Greening eVTOL Transit

Before we soar into the realm of AI optimization, let's touch down on the basics.......... READ MORE

more

Flying Cars News & Articles

What are the potential military and emergency response applications of flying cars ?

In the realm of technological innovation, few concepts capture the imagination quite like flying cars........... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

First horizontal flight with Archer Aviation’s Midnight eVTOL

The successful flight of Archer Aviation's Midnight eVTOL represents a significant milestone in the development.......... READ MORE

more

Electric airplane News & Articles

Energy consumption of electric aircraft

In an era where climate change looms large and the aviation industry faces mounting pressure.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

What cybersecurity measures are needed to protect eVTOL networks and prevent possible hijacking ?

As we stand on the brink of a transportation revolution, electric vertical takeoff and landing.......... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

DJI drones are everywhere in the world, America and Taiwan fear it

DJI, a Chinese drone manufacturer, has become ubiquitous across the globe. This article explores the.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

How are regulatory bodies adapting to the rapid advancements in eVTOL technology, and what hurdles remain ?

In recent years, the aviation industry has witnessed a remarkable surge in the development of.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

EHang and China Southern Airlines General Aviation Forge Strategic Partnership to Pioneer Pilotless eVTOL Collaborative Operations for Low-Altitude Economy

In a groundbreaking move set to reshape the future of urban transportation, EHang Holdings Limited.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

China’s Homegrown Aircraft Achieve Milestone with Sustainable Aviation Fuel Test Flight

In a significant step towards greener aviation, China's domestically developed aircraft have successfully completed their.......... READ MORE

more

Electric airplane News & Articles

CATL’s Breakthrough in Battery-Powered Flight

In a groundbreaking development that could revolutionize the aviation industry, CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co........... READ MORE

more

Drones News & Articles

What are the capabilities of combat drones ?

In recent years, the landscape of modern warfare has been dramatically reshaped by the rapid.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

What are the opportunities for integrating electric aircraft and renewable energy ?

The sector, known for its significant carbon footprint, is exploring innovative solutions to reduce its.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

Autonomy in eVTOL Development

The concept of autonomy in aviation is not entirely new. For decades, commercial aircraft have.......... READ MORE

more

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

What are the key aerodynamic challenges facing eVTOL designers and how do different propulsion systems affect the overall design of these aircraft ?

At the heart of eVTOL design lies a fundamental aerodynamic conundrum: how to achieve efficient.......... READ MORE

more

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

How do electric planes handle thermal management, given the significant heat generated by high-capacity batteries ?

As the aviation industry grapples with the urgent need to reduce its carbon footprint, electric.......... READ MORE

more
More articles you may be interested in...

News & Articles Points of interest

Yet the engine that could go very far is not working

If the concept of EmDrive works, it would have redefined not only our view of space travel, but of physics as a whole. Except that the latest research shows that it really is impossible to drive anything with an "impossible drive".

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

Air taxi to assemble at home

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

Rolls-Royce’s microreactor is a new dimension in propulsion

Drones News & Articles

In Romania, a drone is already taking samples from hospitals to the robotic laboratory

If the drone transportation system proves successful in Bihor County, it will be used more frequently in Romanian healthcare institutions. One example of a drone on display is capable of traveling at 40 km/h and reaching its destination in just six minutes.

Air taxi News & Articles

NASA tests air taxi
more

Drones News & Articles

Drones can learn from bees

The researchers took inspiration from nature to improve the movement of robotic aircraft. Staff at Delft University of Technology and Westphalian College studied and copied the movements of small insects such as bees in order to significantly improve the flight skills of unmanned aircraft.