Watch Lilium’s electric air taxi soar in test flight

By Robert Scammell

Electric air taxi startup Lilium has successfully completed its first phase of test flights, bringing it one step closer to flying customers across cities.

According to the Munich-based firm, its five-seater air taxi, the Lilium Jet, can complete journeys of up to 300km in one hour and on a single charge. It aims to begin commercial flights in 2025.

The all-electric vehicle has been put through its paces for the past six months at an airfield in Germany, following its reveal to the world in May.

During the test flights, the emissions-free aircraft was flown at speeds exceeding 100km per hour and Lilium says it has carried out “increasingly complex manoeuvres”.

Key to this is the vertical take-off and landing, which rids the need for a runway. Instead, air taxis will likely depart from landing pads on the top of buildings or other designated areas.

Lilium test flight key milestone for air mobility

Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, said: “It’s been thrilling to watch the Lilium Jet progress so rapidly and to see our first flying taxi manufacturing facility. We are taking tangible and concrete steps towards making our vision of regional air mobility a reality and we’re doing it on time.

“We believe that regional air mobility has the potential to be a remarkable force for good in society and we can’t wait for what comes next.”

The air mobility sector includes competitors such as Uber Air and Volocopter. Lilium also announced that it has brought Yves Yemsi on as chief program officer from Airbus to help bolster its efforts. It follows key hires from Airbus and Audi last November.

In a sign that Lilium is pushing towards its 2025 target, the startup opened a new 3,000 square metre manufacturing facility at its headquarters. It is already constructing a second, larger site where it plans to build “hundreds of aircraft a year” by the time commercial services begin.


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