Germany Tests Flying Taxi

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September 24, 2017

Germany has launched itself into the flying taxi market. 

The Munich-based Lilium Aviation is working on a winged car-for-hire and has already completed an unmanned test.  A manned test flight is planned for 2019.

The company hopes to offer, beginning in 2025, a two-seat and five-seat plane, both capable of reaching a maximum speed of 186 mph. That's the same number of miles that the plane's electric battery can go on a single charge.

Each wing of a Lilium plane has 12 flaps; each flap has three electric jet engines. The flaps tilt vertically, pushing air to the ground and creating lift for the plane. The flaps then tilt to a horizontal position for flight.

Lilium joins China's EHang and American company Terrafugia in the flying car sweepstakes. Other countries planning to enter the market include France (Airbus) and Slovakia (Aeromobil).

It's not all carlike taxis, though. Germany also has a company, based in Frankfurt, called Volocopter, which is working on an electric helicopter-like vehicle for transporting people and cargo.

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