Long before the flintstones came to TV screens, the concept of flying cars was making rounds in consumers’ minds. Who would want to make tedious trips and lines to airports, just step out of your house and take your personal homecraft wherever you want. European Space Agency (ESA) business incubator, a startup organization, is one of the latest organizations that is planning to turn this imagination into reality. The Lilium electric plane has been designed to accommodate two people and take quite flights all across the sky.
The CEO of this company, Daniel Wiegand, likes to say, “We are going for a plane that can take off and land vertically and does not need the complex and expensive infrastructure of an airport. To reduce noise and pollution, we are using electric engines so it can also be used close to urban areas.”
This concept has been proved again and again with numerous 25-kilogram prototypes, the company is now moving on to next phase. It is now developing a full-size ultralight vertical landing and takeoff aircraft.
Manufacturing a conventional aircraft that can work within urban environment for personal uses is a tough task. The biggest challenge is their unbearable noise and very long runways. Need for expensive and expanded runways is a huge obstacle in this path. Also, the landing and takeoff time from airports almost doubles the travel time. You can reply to this by saying that helicopters are a viable solution, but they are only convenient in terms of takeoff and landing, it is not easy to fly them with their noise quotient. There cannot be any backup safety plan in case the rotor fails to work. Helicopter operation and maintenance is an expensive and complicated task.
The homecraft prepared by Lilium needs a takeoff area of about 15 x 15 meters and it can attain a flight speed of about 400 kilometers per hour. This can be accomplished by fusing the fixed-wing aircraft design with the helicopter. This helps the plane in taking a break from restrictions and take off easily from the air-crafts. The ducted fan of these aircrafts will also play a huge role in quiet takeoffs. The engines, controllers, and batteries of these planes are far more safer than the helicopters adding one more point in favor of these new-age planes.
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