Tags: lilium vtol | aircraft | european space agency

Lilium VTOL Aircraft Aims to Capture Market for Personal Planes in 2018

Image: Lilium VTOL Aircraft Aims to Capture Market for Personal Planes in 2018
(Lilium Aviation)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 May 2016 01:36 PM

The Lilium VTOL, or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, aims to become the first consumer vertical liftoff plane for personal use when it debuts in 2018.

According to a statement from the European Space Agency made last week, Lilium, a German-based startup company from the agency's business incubator, is developing a two-seat electric aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like a fixed-wing aircraft.

"Our goal is to develop an aircraft for use in everyday life," said Daniel Wiegand, chief executive officer and one of Lilium's founders. "We are going for a plane that can take off and land vertically and does not need the complex and expensive infrastructure of an airport."

"To reduce noise and pollution, we are using electric engines so it can also be used close to urban areas," Wiegand's statement continued.

While the aircraft touts the environmental advantages of operating on electricity, the company did not list a price on its website or in the European Space Agency release, according to The Daily Mail.

"Conventional aircraft are efficient, fast and available in many sizes but require airports often 20–50 (kilometer) from city centers because of their space-hungry runways and the high noise levels," Lilium's ESA statement said. "… This is not a problem for helicopters, which can take off almost anywhere and are therefore often used for short shuttle flights and special applications.

"However, helicopters are very noisy and difficult to fly – which requires expensive licenses. … The Lilium vehicle combines the benefits of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft while avoiding their drawbacks," the statement continues.

According to Gizmag.com, the Lilium VTOL can cruise at 180 miles per hour with a top speed of 250 MPH, and can fly up to 300 miles on a single charge.

"Lilium has an ambitious game plan, with its first manned experimental flight of a full-sized prototype slated for 2017," wrote Gizmag.com. "After that, the company expects to launch a fully-airworthy for flight certification by 2018, in preparation for full-scale production."

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The Lilium VTOL, or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, aims to become the first consumer vertical liftoff plane for personal use when it debuts in 2018.
lilium vtol, aircraft, european space agency
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2016-36-10
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 01:36 PM
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