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.