The German company Lilium and its air taxi may already be well known to those involved in the future of aeronautical vehicles. The company has recently unveiled a brand new eVTOL design and announced that they are going public.
Munich-based startup Lilium is building air taxis in its 3,000 square metre production facility. For years, they have been developing eVTOL vehicles, which are equipped with electric propulsion. The market for three-dimensional commuting is growing nicely, with players such as Volocopter, Joby Aviation, Kitty Hawk, and the multicopter air taxi of Vahana or Alakai Skai, in addition to Lilium.
The new Lilium will have seven seats, a cruising speed of just over 280 kilometres per hour and a range of around 240 kilometres. The air taxi’s small electric jets are arranged on tilting surfaces along the wings, and when these rotors are turned downwards, more than 2,000 horsepower is available to lift the aircraft vertically or land it. The aircraft’s power consumption is then at its highest, dropping to just 10 per cent in flight.
With its power, the new Lilium air taxi can now be used not only for local but also for larger inter-city hops. The service is planned to be launched in 14 cities in Florida in 2024, and is also under discussion in Europe. The planned service concept is similar to what taxi companies are doing today. The new aircraft will outperform its predecessors in terms of payload, aerodynamic design and noise levels.
“Our vision is to create a high-speed sustainable and accessible mode of travel and bring it to every community. Transport infrastructure is broken. It costs a lot in terms of personal time, space and carbon emissions. We are developing a unique electric-powered technology because it is the key to higher capacity aircraft with lower cost per passenger seat, noise and emissions,” Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO of Lilium, said in a company statement.
Lilium also announced that it will enter into a partnership with Qell Acquisition, after which the two combined companies will go public on Nasdaq. The deal is expected to raise around $1.2 billion for Lilium.