Flying taxi startup Lilium raises $90 mln

Lilium, a German start-up with Silicon Valley-scale ambitions to develop a 5-passenger “flying taxi”, has raised a second, $90 million round of financing from top tech investors, as the race to to make electric-powered flying an every day event, hots up. Kate King reports.

(AIRBUS POOL/ LILIUM) – Hovering in the skies above Munich,

this airplane looks the stuff of science fiction.

Yet, German start-up Lilium says this is very much reality.

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, DAINEL WIEGAND,

“We want to establish a new means of transportation.”

It’s two-seater electric powered jet is only the start of it.

The company, founded by four graduates in 2015,

has just raised a second $90 million to develop its next project.

A 5-passenger ‘flying taxi’,

capable of both vertical take-off and jet flight.

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, DANIEL WIEGAND,

“So you have an airplane that takes off vertically like a helicopter, but once it is in the air it accelerates into forward flight and flies with wing-borne lift.”

The funding is led by Chinese internet giant Tencent,

and a raft of other European investment firms.

The electric powered race is hotting up.

Two years ago Airbus debuted its E-plane and is said to be working on

testing a self-piloted flying car sometime this year.

Uber is also said to be spreading its wings –

But it’s Lilium which is attracting all the attention.

A manned test-flight of the five-seater is expected around 2019 – with roll-out sometime in the next decade.

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