The latest iteration, with room for a pilot and four passengers, will be the template for Lilium's mass production model. With sufficient economy of scale, Lilium believes fares would be around $70 per head for a cross-city hop from, for example, JFK airport to Manhattan. According to Lilium, the relatively simple design, beyond the 36 electric jet engines needed for vertical take-off and landing, make it more safe and affordable than other planes. Once in the air, the power needed in cruise is little more than that of an electric car, Lilium says. The fixed wing design gives a longer range than competitors with drone-based aircraft, which consume much more energy keeping airborne. Lilium will now seek certification for its new plane through rigorous flight testing, the next landmark being to move the jet seamlessly from vertical to horizontal flight.
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