Air taxis will offer services in a number of cities over the next six years, according to Oliver Walker-Jones, head of communications of German aviation startup Lilium.
“We plan to start operations in several cities around the world by 2025, although in some locations the service will be launched earlier. There is a huge interest in our project from the city authorities, but we have not yet decided exactly where to begin providing our services,” he told RIA Novosti.
Last week, the company revealed the design of its five-seat Lilium Jet electric aircraft. The vertical take-off and landing jet completed its maiden flight earlier this month.
The price of “flights will be competitive compared to travel by means of other vehicles,” according to Walker-Jones.
“Our aircrafts are completely electric and do not produce CO2 emissions. When starting, there is noise, like from the engine start of a truck, but you will not hear it during flight,” he said.
According to the representative, the air taxis are currently undergoing various certifications. Everything will be organized in such a way as to “not create obstacles for regular air traffic,” Walker-Jones said, noting that at first the jets will be controlled by pilots, but later switched to the unmanned mode.
“Lilium jets will practically become an alternative to long-distance trains and intercity buses. They are faster and more environmentally friendly than these types of transport and must be available ‘on-demand,” said Walker-Jones.
The Lilium Jet has no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox, and only a single moving part in the electric motors. The full-size prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines. It is capable of traveling up to 300 kilometers per hour.