The German company Lilium Aviation, endorsed by the European Space Agency (ESA), today develops the first vertical-takeoff and landing plane of the world for personal use. According to the company, the two-seat electric device, called Lilium, can travel at a 400 kilometers per hour speed and it will be available in the year 2018. In the words of one of the four founders of the organization, it is an aircraft that can take off and land vertically and does not require the complex and expensive infrastructure of an airport.
To reduce noise and pollution, we are using electric motors so it can also be driven near the urban areas, Daniel Wiegand added. It was known that in order to take off vertically, the plane will need a flat surface of only 15 by 15 meters, so it can take off from gardens and patios. Founded in February 2015 by four engineers and PhD students from the Technical University of Munich in Germany, Lilium has already demonstrated the concept with several prototypes on a 25 kilograms scale.
This new aircraft will open a door to a new class of simpler, more silent and ecological aircrafts, the company pointed out. The ESA reported that to drive the aircraft, classified as a light sport airplane for two passengers, a pilot's license with a minimum training of 20 hours is required, almost as a driving license. This is an aircraft for everyday life use, and does not present a particular challenge handling it, the agency explained. Lilium is intended for recreational flying during the day in good weather conditions and with an uncongested airspace at an altitude of 3,000 meters.