Germany’s Lilium Aviation Conducts First Test Flight of Electric VTOL Aircraft

The aircraft can allegedly travel 185 miles on a single charge, and reach speeds up to 185 mph.

Germany-based Lilium Aviation has just completed test flights of its vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) electric aircraft. The compact aircraft is designed to be a zero-emission personal transportation aircraft for civilian use.

Powered by 36 individual engines, the VTOL is an ultra-redundant aircraft where one, two, or even three engine failures won’t result in devastating loss of thrust. The aircraft was tested at a private airfield and the pilot controlled the concept via remote control. The test included a vertical takeoff, a transition to forward movement, and some good old-fashioned flying around. Though CEO Daniel Wiegand has stated the two-seater will be able to go 185 mph and travel for a range of 185 miles, testing limitations prevented Lilium for hitting the aircraft’s limits.

Now that Lilium has had a successful test flight, the company intend to start building a five-seater for taxi services and other forms of paid transportation. Lilium believes their product will reduce transportation pollution as well as road infrastructure needs, as the VTOL does not require a large amount of surface to takeoff and land.