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Check out this amazing video of an all-electric flying car's test flight

By midian182 · 19 replies
Apr 21, 2017
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  1. After waiting decades for flying cars to become a reality, an increasing number of companies are now developing what was once the stuff of sci-fi shows and movies. Yesterday, AeroMobil unveiled its flying vehicle at the Top Marques Monaco supercar event, while Lilium Aviation released a video showing the successful test flight of its all-electric flying car.

    Munich-based Lilium's vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) prototype can rise straight up into the skies like a helicopter using the force from 36 electric jets mounted on its 10-meter wings via 12 movable flaps. Once the craft is airborne, they provide forward thrust by tilting horizontally. Returning the flaps to the original position allows a slow descent.

    As noted by The Verge, the jet was piloted remotely during the test, but the first manned flight isn’t far away. Lilium says the aircraft has a range of 183 miles and can reach a maximum cruising speed of 183 mph, thanks to its electric battery that “consumes around 90 percent less energy than drone-style aircraft.”

    Like Ehang's flying taxi drone, Lilium’s ultimate goal is for its vehicle to provide an autonomous, on-demand service in urban areas. And for those worried about safety, the jets will come with parachutes on board.

    As reported last week, Slovakian flying car startup AeroMobil also revealed its vehicle this week. The company said it can switch from driving to flying mode in 3 minutes and comes with a maximum ground speed of 99 mph and an air speed of 69 to 224 mph, depending on the mode. Its range is around 466 miles.

    AeroMobil’s hybrid is going into production this year, with the first models set to arrive in 2020. If you want one, best get saving; they’ll cost between $1.3 million and $1.6 million.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,618   +2,352

    Why do people keep saying its a jet? It doesn't have a single jet engine.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,354   +2,850

    Technical issues aside, no person should be allowed into the airspace without a pilot license, which along with the cost as is will strip the market off consumers in a big way.
    Reehahs and drjekelmrhyde like this.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,754   +1,148

    No way, you mean not everyone will have a flying car?? That's a bummer...

    That it doesn't use fuel to heat the air doesn't mean it's not a jet engine.
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,134   +3,556

    My guess is probably because there is no "external prop", but a more appropriate term might be an "induction fan jet". In any case, it is impressive but I think they will have to increase the range to around 300 mi to be successful and the price point ..... well you can get a good twin engine beach with roughly 8,000 hours on it for half a million dollars. A lot greater range, refueling at a fraction of the time, but no STOL or vertical take off capabilities.

    This one will never sell the masses in the aviation community until they get it under a million and extend that range, but it's their first attempt so let's see where they are in 5-10 years .....
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I wouldn't mind one of those VTOL jobs myself. It operates on the same principles as the Hawker Siddeley Harrier jump jet which is now as old as the hills but that aside, when I order mine I'll want a delta wing shape and a afterburner. 300 Kph is not very fast and I want to break the sound barrier. Oh yes, and if they become as commonplace as the motorcar, then I also want mine fitted with a 30mm cannon just like the Warthog's in case I run into traffic jams up there, I can blast my way through them. It's bad enough having to waste hours on land in them and I suspect it'll only be far worse up there.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,134   +3,556

    LOL .... only problem with that 30 mm cannon is that it fires depleted uranium rounds, which I don't think you'll find on the open market these days .......
  8. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 559   +199

    Unpiloted aircraft being controlled remotely. Something tells me this pet project doesn't have what it takes at all yet. That minimal speed/range is probably based on the vehicle without added weight. This is a publicity stunt probably. Otherwise they would have waited to go public until after they could put a pilot in there.
    JIgou and drjekelmrhyde like this.
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,134   +3,556

    You could certainly be right, but let's not forget that they sent dogs and monkeys into space before they risk a man. Trying to whip up interest and excitement is just good business .... a publicity stunt would be landing the think on the white house lawn, and that's already been done a lot of times! On the roof ... not yet so there is an opportunity!!!
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    Open market??? Who deals with that? There's far too many rules and regulations governing it. ;)
  11. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,354   +2,850

    The word jet simply refers to a streamlined propulsion system, as opposed to a volumetric one like with traditional propellers.
  12. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,134   +3,556

    Brave soul .... by the way, be sure to wear thick gloves, an air mask with the purple cartridges and don't lick your fingers afterwards! We used to machine the warheads in Fernald, Ohio many, many years ago and despite the title "Depleted" I wouldn't bet my life on that! Yours maybe, but not mine! :)
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  13. comicsgod53

    comicsgod53 TS Rookie

    Not one jet anywhere.Ducted fans yes,Jets no.Huge difference.Will not be affordable to the mainstream public.Nice effort though.
  14. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Evangelist Posts: 319   +106

    The first isn't a car
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,694   +2,064

    Either there is a mistake in this quote from the guy, or he is a sheister betting that people will not recognize that this is a meaningless statement.
  16. JIgou

    JIgou TS Rookie

    Yes, obviously the weight of a pilot probably would prevent this from leaving the ground, so it IS all a bit silly.
  17. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,438   +427

    That's technically true, because "jet propulsion" is a very broadly defined mechanism. Even a rocket is considered a "jet propulsion" system. But, almost nobody today would call a rocket engine a jet engine. By the same token, modern convention tends to categorize jets as fuel-burning engines, which is why drones with enclosed fans (not too different from this craft's designs) aren't called jets.

    This vehicle would be better described as a "turbofan" or "ducted fan" aircraft.
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    Same basic design in one of these.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  19. pdxmc

    pdxmc TS Rookie

    As a pilot myself, I LOVE this stuff! However, as many have already pointed out, the "air traffic"---and the control of it all--would be a nightmare if more than a very, very few of us really had one of these at their disposal. Many years ago (in the fifties, I believe) magazines like Mechanics Illustrated and others predicted that "everyone would be flying back and forth to work" in one of those Molt Taylor designed "Aero Cars" (like the one Bob Cummings drove/flew in his TV show). Those were made up the street from where I live here in Western Washington.

    Anyway, the very idea of having "everyone" fluttering around the sky" in one of these is very scary given how the freeways seem to work out for many folks. Instead of a fiery crash into a guard rail, this could be in your living room!

    We are already (Google just announced they are beginning to operate their electric, self-driving vehicles in Arizona) moving quickly toward driverless ground transport in various forms and, if this mode of transport is to succeed en mass it MUST be operated by something other than humans--whether that's built into the vehicle or a central system (or combination of the two, which seems safest!).

    Anyway, I love the technology and they can call it a reverse vacuum cleaner powered aircraft if they want. Marketers will be marketers. Do you watch cell phone commercials??
  20. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,754   +1,148

    Does it really need to be pointed out the -millionare- price tag?

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