One of the great disappointments of 1950s-style retro-future conjecture is that we still don’t have a genuine flying car, ala The Jetsons, parked in the driveway. Well, by the year 2018, we might have several models to choose from. Germany’s Lilium Aviation is promising that its lightweight model will be the most advanced personal aircraft ever developed.
|The Lilium needs just 50ft of room to take off. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1aBmRV)|
The Lilium aircraft’s super-compact design will allow the aircraft to lift off vertically from any 50-foot-square flat area. That small footprint -- plus the vehicle’s quiet all-electric engine -- means the Lilium could be a genuine park-in-the-driveway kind of flying car for urban and suburban commuting, according to developers.
The Lilium also features a computer-assisted piloting system that will require only 20 hours of training, designers say -- although presumably aviation authorities will have something to say about that.
|The aircraft fits two people and can travel at speeds of up to 250mh. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1aBmRV)|
As qouted of The Telegraph, the Lilium would be classified as a Light Sport Aircraft, designated to fly in uncongested airspace to a maximum altitude of three kilometers, or just under two miles.
|The aircraft couples the convenience of a helicopter with the speed of a plane. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1aBmRV)|
More details from the Lilium’s online spec sheet: The aircraft will have a maximum velocity of 250 mph, with a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kg, or just over 1,300 lbs. Designers are aiming for a range of about 500 km, or around 300 miles.
|Pilots would only need 20 hours of training before being allowed to fly the small plane. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1aBmRV)|
The Telegraph article notes that, in Europe at least, flying the Lilium would require clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which would also need to grant permission over any landing site. So while you couldn’t take off from your front yard, you could use your friendly neighborhood helipad facility. Or, naturally, an airport.
Lilium Aviation is run by a team of designers from the Technical University of Munich and has received funding and support from both the European Union and the European Space Agency. Oh, and they’re hiring. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LILIUM AVIATION | THE TELEGRAPH]
Note: This blog can be accessed via your smart phone