Lilium Aviation’s in Germany introduced an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet. A zero emission electric Eagle prototype has completed its first flight, controlled from the ground. The unmanned two-seater was tested with a mid-air transition from hovering to horizontal flight. Jet uses 36 ducted fans run by electric motors that are set on the wings and canards with 12 movable flaps that direct the airflow downwards for taking off and landing, then directing it over the wings to provide a forward flight.
The company is aiming for a manned flight in 2019 and is planning to build a five-seater for on-demand air taxi services. The new five-seater is claimed to use only 10 percent of the energy of a quadcopter-style aircraft and has a range of over 300 km at a speed of 300 km/h. Its small takeoff and landing footprint could lead to less and cheaper infrastructure and is anticipated to cost the same as a regular taxi. The video below shows the Eagle taking to the air for the first time.