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Germans Test Flying Car
Germans Test Flying Car

Germans Test Flying Car

Germans Test Flying Car

Flying cars, that perennial dream for futurists that always seem to be at least five years away, may be a little closer to reality than we realize. A lot of prototypes have been showcased recently, and a lot of money is being tossed around. More people than ever seem to buy into the notion that in the near future we will be buzzing between rooftops in private, autonomous drones.
On April 20, Munich-based Lilium Aviation announced an important milestone: the first test flight of its all-electric, two-seater, vertical take-off and landing prototype.
In a video provided by the Munich-based startup, the aircraft can be seen taking off vertically like a helicopter, and then accelerating into forward flight using wing-borne lift, the Verge reported.
The craft is powered by 36 separate jet engines mounted on its 10-meter long wings via 12 movable flaps. At take-off, the flaps are pointed downwards to provide vertical lift. And once airborne, the flaps gradually tilt into a horizontal position, providing forward thrust.
During the tests, the jet was piloted remotely, but its operators say their first manned flight is close-at-hand. And Lilium claims that its electric battery “consumes around 90% less energy than drone-style aircraft,” enabling the aircraft to achieve a range of 300 kilometers with a maximum cruising speed of 300 kph.
In many ways, electric-powered aviation is still in its infancy. Electric cars with thousand-pound batteries generally max out at 480 kilometers per charge. The most sophisticated electric aircraft today can barely muster an hour aloft at 99 mph — and that’s without vertical take-off and landing. But Patrick Nathen, co-founder of Lilium Jet and the startup’s head of calculation and design, said their battery technology will get the job done.
The plan is to eventually build a 5-passenger version of the jet.

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