China’s Flying Car

Kristina Sanantonio, Reporter

Lilium, a German company, tested a prototype of a two-seater jet in April which was funded with $90 million from a China based company (TECHY). The foundation continues to hold fundraisers in hopes of continuing their research. Lilium states that they will use that funding towards building a bigger team of seventy to construct their next goal, a five-seat jet that is able to take off and land vertically. The team includes many professional engineers from top universities across the globe. The next design project that the company will tackle is an air taxi that is able to travel at speeds of up to 186 mph. The taxi will be powered by thirty-six engines, and will be able to carry five passengers. CEO Daniel Wiegand stated, “This is the next stage in our rapid evolution from an idea to the production of a commercially successful aircraft that will revolutionize the way we travel in and around the world’s cities”. Many firms are designing vehicles that appear more as tiny planes than cars. Some of the firms that are responsible for this are Aerombil and Terrafugia. In doing so the “flying cars” resemble and function like planes more than actual cars. They are looking to follow this design because many rely on the technology of drones and taking off and landing vertically, and also eliminating the need for a runway. Eliminating a runway would allow the aircrafts to function more as cars, and not require as much space and time to take off as any other aircraft would. A startup backed by Google, Kitty Hawk, unveiled the prototype they created by the name of “ultralight” aircraft in April. The invention of these flying cars is revolutionary, are a huge step forward for the technological industry.