Will Lilium Aviation Revolutionize the Private Flight World?

May 23, 2016

9:49 am

Lilium is a brand new vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) private airplane. Or rather, it will be when the craft is debuted in 2018. The self-titled: “future of aviation” will be the world’s first electric VTOL jet, capable of speeds of up to 400km/h.

But how does Lilium Aviation think it will change the air travel game?

Kickstarting an Automotive Revolution in the Skies

Lilium operates with a fully computer-assisted control system. While we are only now seeing moves towards self-driving smart cars, a reality still pending, the creators of this jet are planning ahead. They want to be the forefront for autonomous vehicles, and they very well could be.

Speculation has already begun within the private jet charter sector about whether Lilium will change private travel, combining the best of small jets and helicopters, into a personal transport vehicle. The VTOL capabilities of Lilium could easily make the use of these planes in cities and towns more commonplace, essentially “kickstarting an automotive revolution in the skies. Doing for air travel what Karl Benz did for cars.”

Limitations of Lilium

Like with every new piece of technology, there are limitations. For example, you’ll be require to have a Sport Pilot Licence (LSA) to fly Lilium, to practical, and you’ll only be able to travel as a maximum of twopassengers.

Additionally, the Lilium private jet has a max weight of 600kg and a range of around 300km / 300 miles so it won’t be an international vehicle for families or long trips. Interstate in the US or across country borders in tightly packed regions of Europe or Asia would be reasonable – the expectation being that it will be used for traveling the same distances that we’d drive in a single session.

Whether or not Lilium comes to fruition as planned remains to be see; in just under 600 days according to the team’s rollout countdown, but its potential impact could be monumental.

Image via Lilium Aviation


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Simon Davies is a London based freelance writer with an interest in startup culture, issues and solutions.

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