Aviation history was made in April 2017, when a full-scale prototype of the world’s first entirely electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet took its maiden flight over the Bavarian countryside. The personal air vehicle (PAV) is the achievement of 40-plus international designers and engineers based at Lilium, a Munich-based startup which aims to “enable a world where everybody can fly anywhere, anytime.”
With €10m from a leading European venture capital firm, the team is now working on a five-seater air taxi with a 10-meter wingspan and 36 engines to provide maneuverability and safety through layered security. With an estimated range of 300km and a top speed of 300km/h, the jet will take customers from urban landing pads to wherever they need to go, while creating no emissions and minimal noise. Lilium plans to have its first manned flight in 2019 and to offer on-demand services by 2025.