Can't face the drive to the airport? Why not bypass the whole circus and jump in your two-seat, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) all electric engine jet aircraft? That's the vision for the Lilium Jet, an aircraft currently being developed in Germany under the auspices of the European Space Agency's business incubation centre that boats fly-by-wire joystick controls, retractable landing gear, gull-wing doors, and a claimed to speed of 400Km/h (250mph). The creators claim that this personal e-jet that this personal e-jet could be made available to the public as early as 2018.
Combining the vertical take-off capabilities of helicopters and the crusing abilities of fixed wing aircraft, the Lilium Jet aims to be significantly quieter than other VTOL vehicle such as helicopters, thanks to its 320 KW (435 hp) rechargeable battery powered ducted fan engines (arranged in a not-too-dissimilar from to that adorning Darpa's X-plane prototype ).
Designed for recreational flying use during daylight hours, the Lilium Jet should be classed as a Light Sport Aircraft in Europe, with a pilot's license requiring just a minimum of 20 hours training.
Lilium has an ambitious game plan, with its first manned experimental flight of a full-sized prototype slated for 2017. After that, the company expects to launch a fully-airworthy for flight certification by 2018, in preparation for full-scale production. There's no exact detail on a projected price, but according to Lilium it should be " far less " than similar sized aircraft and with typically lower running costs.