The Future Is Here: Lilium Jet’s Electric Flying Car Completes First Test Flights

Flying cars are a cornerstone of futurism but most models have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Lilium Jet intends to be the company that turns fantasy into reality and the German firm is off to a good start as a prototype has successfully completed a series of test flights.

The two-seater prototype features an electric powertrain and 36 electric engines which are mounted to its wings via 12 moveable flaps. The flaps are pointed down during takeoff and gradually tilt into a horizontal position to provide forward thrust. When the flaps are fully horizontal, the prototype operates the same way as a conventional airplane.

This setup allows the Lilium Jet to takeoff and land like a helicopter but travel as fast as an airplane. In this particular application, the prototype has a maximum cruising speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) and a range in excess of 300 km (186 miles).

The company says the jet will travel five times faster than a car even though the “power consumption per km” will be comparable to an electric vehicle. Of course, when an EV runs out of juice it doesn’t fall from the sky. Lilium Jet has taken this into consideration and has designed the power cells so they will continue to deliver “sufficient power for continued flight and a safe landing in the unlikely event that part of the battery configuration fails.”

Lilium Jet eventually intents to build a five-seat model that can be used in urban environments. The company also envisions an Uber-style on-demand air transportation service where you can easily book a flight from a smartphone app.

Of course, Lilium Jet isn’t alone as everyone from Airbus to PAL-V are showing flying cars this year.

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H/T to The Verge

  • kachuks

    Flying car…check. All we need now is colonies on the moon, our food in rehydratable pill form, and a robot that pulls maid/hooker duty.

    • Six Thousand Times

      That last part makes me worry about you…

      • kachuks

        Why do you think Mrs. Jetson never got rid of the clunky old robomaid. She knew what would happen.

        • Six Thousand Times

          Well, that was a cartoon….

  • Status

    The future that the boomers never had the balls to embrace.

  • Astonman

    Very cool! Don’t see the car part though. Pictures shows tricycle landing gears with tiny wheels that won’t allow it to travel on roads.

    • Big Black Duck

      well road travel becomes obsolete..

      • Astonman

        True that –
        Then you can’t call it a car then…

        • Big Black Duck

          that’s carscoops mistake … their website describes it as a VTOL jet

          • Astonman

            ahh… good point. Thanks

  • Nice!!! But what about the noise? Some of these things keep a lot of noise…

  • Tydogg123 .

    I want tech like this to take off more than anyone, however they need to ditch the “car” aspect altogether. Simplify it and make autonomous electric helicopters that can shuttle folks in and out of the city or across difficult spans (like Martha’s Vineyard). That in itself would be something that would fill a real demand and make product design much easier. This whole idea that rich people want to drive a crappy heli-car around town after they land is a dead end.

  • john1168

    It’s not a car (as in flying car) and unless there’s a jet engine in it that generates electricity, it’s not a jet either. It appears to be an electric ducted fan VTOL aircraft. So my question is this. How does this VTOL aircraft charge its batteries? Is it a “plug in” or is there a jet engine driven generator that charges the battery that in turn powers the electric motors?

    It is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    It is a fantastic neat idea.

  • Six Thousand Times

    OK, very cool but not really a car.

  • brn

    I smell BS. With those wings, it’d take a lot of force to keep that thing flying, which would consume a lot of power. That much power would need to be provided by batteries that would make it too heavy. If it works, it couldn’t fly for more than a few minutes.

    • Mehmet Ali Özgündüz

      I just came here to say rhe same thing. What we see and what they claim does not add up.

  • BlackPegasus

    I didn’t see any cup holders. This idea will fail without cup holders.

  • LeStori

    It is dated April 2017. Probably April the first…

  • Enter Ranting

    It gives range anxiety a whole new meaning…

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    Ah….Car?? I think we all can see this is clearly just an aircraft and doesn’t even remotely resemble or function like a car. But nice tag in the headline to get people here…

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