The Lilium aircraft change from VTOL to forward flight by swiveling its engines, It take off and lands like a helicopter. The Lilium Jet, an aircraft currently being developed in Germany under the auspices of the European Space Agency’s business incubation center that boasts fly-by-wire joystick controls, retractable landing gear, gull-wing doors, and a claimed top speed of 400 km/h (250 mph). The creators claim that this personal e-jet could be made available to the public as early as 2018.
Combining the vertical take-off capabilities of helicopters and the cruising abilities of fixed-wing aircraft, the Lilium Jet aims to be significantly quieter than other VTOL vehicles such as helicopters, thanks to its 320 kW (435 hp) rechargeable-battery-powered ducted fan engines.
Designed for recreational flying use during daylight hours, the Lilium Jet should be classed as a Light Sport Aircraft in Europe, with a pilot’s license requiring just a minimum of 20 hours training.
“Our goal is to develop an aircraft for use in everyday life,” says Daniel Wiegand, CEO and one of the company’s four founders.
“We are going for a plane that can take off and land vertically and does not need the complex and expensive infrastructure of an airport.”