Flying cars have been the objects of fantasy for as long as I can remember. I grew up reading magazines with images of concept flying cars. Everyone was sure that cars would fly in the future. I have kept on looking forward to the day too. And now, with the successful first flight of an electric flying car, the world is much closer to this dream of commuting by air.
This electric flying car is a vertical take-off craft, meaning it can take off and land like a helicopter, yet fly like a plane. Of course, it can also be driven around on the ground like a car. And because it is powered by electricity, it is much more silent than modern automobiles. Plus, there are no emissions. This is as green as it gets.
Before now, we had seen VTOL (vertical take off and landing) aircraft deployed mostly in military circles. Not that they ever became mainstream. The Royal Armed Forces’ Hawker Siddeley Harrier is my fondest memories of VTOL aircraft. The jet was developed in the 1960s and finally retired some years ago.
But inventors have come up with various concepts for VTOL aircraft, including the autogyro and quadcopter, among others. Till date, the most mainstream VTOL aircraft in the history of man has been the helicopter, something that everyone is familiar with. That may just change as soon as cars fashioned after Lilium’s model go mainstream.
Lilium says this car can fly from London to Paris on a full charge and can reach a maximum speed of 300 kilometre per hour. That is as fast as a Formula One race car.
Watch This Video of the maiden flight of the electric flying car
The prototype that successfully flew is a two-seater craft. Lilium say they are working to build a 5-seater model next designed for on-demand air taxi and ride-sharing services. Air taxis, here we come. And if you are rich enough, you can own and use one privately.