TechLilium Jet: A step closer to reality with EU's flying taxi approval

Lilium Jet: A step closer to reality with EU's flying taxi approval

Concept of a passenger flying drone
Concept of a passenger flying drone
Images source: © Lilium

11:08 AM EST, November 28, 2023

A German firm specializing in passenger drones has been given the go-ahead by European Union authorities to establish and run a flying taxi service. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has issued this company a license under special criteria, which grants permission to manufacture its own aircraft.

The German company Lilium has secured approval from the relevant European Union Agency to design and operate vertical takeoff and landing electric vehicles. Essentially, this is their "business license," as they could not have moved forward with their plans without this approval. Alastair McIntosh, the technology director for Lilium, said that this approval "further motivates the team to work towards the commercialization of the groundbreaking passenger drone Lilium Jet".

With the Union's approval, are we ready for flying taxis?

Luca Tytgat, the director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, has said that the license granted "lays down the correct operating principles and ensures the safety of the natural environment. It also sets noise restrictions while providing Lilium vehicles with an appropriate level of safety." Tytgat further noted that they don't want to impose artificial barriers on companies in this industry aiming to enter the market.

The aviation industry has been working for several years to bring this kind of solution to life, and it appears to be about to achieve this milestone. Lilium's licensure is a significant landmark in the field of electric aviation for the whole industry.

What will these flying taxis look like?

In recent years, technologists and investors have poured billions of dollars into ventures aimed at developing functional flying taxis. So far, however, success in this arena has been limited. Intercity flights using Lilium's vehicles might be the first step towards wider application of this technology.

The Lilium Jet utilizes several small propellers, powered by electric motors, which provide lift during take-off and landing, as well as thrust during flight. The company anticipates that the vehicle will be ready for its first commercial flights once it can travel about 186 miles on a single charge.

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