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From Electrek: Lilium shows maiden flight of world’s first working prototype of an electric...

Discussion in 'News from Electrek.co' started by RSSFeed, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. RSSFeed

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    Lilium shows maiden flight of world’s first working prototype of an electric VTOL jet

    [​IMG]

    Last year, we reported on Lilium Aviation when they secured a €10 million investment from Atomico, an important global venture capital firm based in London. The Germany-based startup founded in 2015 by four aerospace engineers and product designers is developing the Lilium Jet, an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

    Today, Lilium announced that their full-scale prototype had its maiden flight and they released some impressive footage of the achievement. more…

    [​IMG][​IMG]

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    • Badback

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      If it's electric, how is it a jet?
       
    • garsh

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      OK, that question got me wondering... what exactly is a jet?

      Jet Propulsion
      Jet propulsion is thrust produced by passing a jet of matter (typically air or water) in the opposite direction to the direction of motion.

      That seems rather generic. Doesn't a propeller count as "jet propulsion" then?
      So now I'm really confused.
       
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      • RickDeckard

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        maybe it does, in a generic way, if the propeller is in a tube?
         
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        #5 Safe Daddy Driver, Apr 20, 2017
        Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
        That's the closest thing to sci-fi spaceships that I've seen to date. I will take a VTOL such as this over the Model 3 if it can leverage the SC network. Imagine the freedom!

        This video of Elon's several mentions of his VTOL idea makes me wonder whether a Tesla/SpaceX version is already in the planning stages.

         
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          So, this is awesome. But, we haven't seen this thing flying in airplane mode yet, and we haven't seen it flying at speed yet. Additionally, we don't know how long it can stay in the air.

          We all know that current battery technology results in really heavy batteries. I don't think Lilium is going to be able to take off (pun intended) unless there are some huge breakthroughs in battery weight.
           
        • Dan Detweiler

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          They have an actual flying prototype. That's a HUGE step! VTOL and hovering flight is the hard part. Level flight is a piece of cake by comparison...just ask any helicopter pilot. As far as range/payload/cruise and top speed...all of that remains to be seen. This is a remarkable step forward however.

          Dan
           
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          • RickDeckard

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            "
            just ask any helicopter pilot
            "
            LOL Ive been in Helicopter flight simulator, the large ones with an exact cockpit replica etc, and indeed when the simulation starts in mid flight its not too bad, but when I tried to land I found out its really hard to control and you cant just control it "about" right but you have to control it "exactly" right, which is already hard to nail just right and gets exponentially harder when you start loosing control, and so I crashed and crashed. Although one of the aspects that makes a helicopter hard to control is the rotor/pivot which is a challenge/flaw that doesn't exist with a vehicle like the Lilium. I like the Lilium's design with its dozen propellers that are enclosed (more than vehicle designs with a few exposed propellers).

            If the Lilium gets to be the Leaf of VTOL, it would be interesting if an Elon Musk startup(or Tesla+SpaceX joint venture) or simply Tesla could make a Model S of VTOL, that is one like the Lilium but with improved range and performance(supersonic?).
             
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              But an aircraft that can transition between the two - *and* provide the efficiency of an airplane in level flight - is damn hard.
              Accidents and incidents involving the V-22 Osprey
              [​IMG]
               
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