German startup expects to launch an electric flying taxi service by 2025

World's first all-electric vertical flying taxi completes maiden test; take a look

With all of them working, the flying taxi should reach speeds of up to 300 kph (186 mph), for a maximum flying range of 300 km.

As part of the announcement, the company showcased the vehicle it'll use to cart around passengers: the five-seat Lilium Jet, which completed its maiden flight earlier this month in Germany.

"Lilium expects to be fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025, although trial services will start earlier than this in several locations", the company said.

The 36 engines also mean that there's plenty of redundancy if one happens to fail, and there's a triple-redundant flight control too, and the jet is being built to standards set by the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the US Federal Aviation Authority.

The aircraft, which has a top speed of 300 km and range of almost 320 km, takes off vertically like a helicopter but has wings for horizontal flight. In crowded metropolitan areas, that could facilitate transportation four times faster than cars.

Both Airbus and Boeing's models can only travel up to roughly one-third of that distance.

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Lilium said the aircraft will be accessible via an app that allows customers to locate the nearest "landing pad" among a network across "cities and regions".

The Lilium Jet took flight for the first time on May 4, after completing extensive ground testing at Lilium's headquarters in Munich, Germany, the company said.

The five-seater jet follows on the heels of the firm's two-seater prototype, which successfully flew in 2017.

In Texas, the chief executive of LIFT Aircraft says his start-up's electric-powered vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft, the Hexa, plans to begin offering 15-minute flights across a lake outside Austin this year for $249 a pop.

Head of flight testing Leandro Bigarella said: 'While a maiden flight is always a moment of truth for a business, the jet performed exactly as expected and responded well'.

Lillium was founded in 2015 by Wiegand and three friends from the Technical University of Munich.

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