Lilium Jet, a mini jet plane startup backed by Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström, has completed its first series of flight tests.
The two-seater planes are the first zero-emission jets capable of doing a vertical take off and landing. A video of the tests (watch it in full below) showcases the plane’s ability to switch from the hovering take off into full forward flight.
In a statement provided to Business Insider, Lilium CEO Daniel Wiegand said: “The successful test flight programme shows that our ground-breaking technical design works exactly as we envisioned. We can now turn our focus to designing the five seater production aircraft.”
Lilium’s larger five-seater model is designed to serve on-demand air taxi and ride-sharing services, the company explained in the statement.
The small aircraft can achieve speeds of up to 300 km/h with electricity consumption comparable to that of an electric car. It has a range of up to 300 kilometers.
Lilium sees its jets as an alternative to cars for inner city transportation, giving the example that a trip from New York City’s JFK airport into Manhattan will only take five minutes, compared to 55 minutes when driving.
Powering the small jet are 36 small engines mounted inside the wings. Zennström backed the German startup in December 2016 through his investment fund Atomico.
Watch the full video here:
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