It was all done autonomously, but the first manned flight is coming soon.
The sad reality of it is, we don’t live in the futuristic utopia the Jetson’s lead us to believe would be true. But it feels like we’re getting closer to it everyday. This new video shows a Lilium "flying car" taking its inaugural flight – and it leaves us pretty excited about the possibilities of personal flight.
The Munich, Germany-based Lilium Aviation released the video showing its new, electric two-seater in action. The craft is powered by 36 jet engines mounted on its wings, and uses a set of special "flaps" that allow vertical take-off and landing capabilities. Once in the air, the flaps are then used to provide forward thrust.
The company says that its electric batteries "consume around 90 percent less energy than drone-style aircraft," and that allows it to achieve a range of 186 miles (300 kilometers) per charge with a maximum crusing speed of 183 miles per hour (300 kilometers per hour). The jet was remotely piloted in the video, but the company promises that the first manned flight isn’t that far off.
In an interview with The Verge, Co-Founder Patrick Nathen said that the battery technology found on the craft is "the same battery that you can find in any Tesla." And that, "The concept is that we are lifting with our wings as soon as we progress into the air with velocity, which makes our airplane very efficient."
When completed, the aircraft will be fully autonomous, and come with a number of safety features, inclining parachutes and a “Flight Envelope Protection System,” which will prevent pilots from performing maneuvers beyond the safe flight perimeters. For now, it remains a concept, but an interesting one nonetheless.
Source: The Verge