Watch: The Lilium flying car takes off like a helicopter then flies like a plane after perfecting electric VTOL technology

Lynsey Barber
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The Lilium Jet is a flying car
Flying cars are becoming a reality (Source: Lilium)

Flying cars are ready for take off.

The first test flight of one of the first crops of flying cars to make it off the ground shows it taking off from the ground just like a helicopter and then zooming through the air like a plane.

The Lilium jet claims to be the first electric vehicle to use VTOL (vertical take off and landing) technology and the namesake company believes it's ushering a new era of on-demand air transport.

Read more: Aeromobil's futuristic but very real flying car is about to be revealed

Lilium's flying car, which it thinks is likely to have legs (or wings) as a taxi service, can fly at 300kmh and across a 300km range. That could get you from Manhattan to JFK airport in just five minutes, compared to a 55 minute car ride.

The firm, backed with around £9m in cash from venture capital investors including Atomico, said the two seater pod-like vehicle has been put through "rigorous" testing over the skies of Germany.

The success of the prototype is making way for a larger five-seater design better suited for ride (or should that be sky?) hailing.

“Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated maneuvers with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our amazing team," said co-founder and chief executive Daniel Wiegand.

Read more: It's lift off for Uber's flying cars with a major hire from Nasa

"We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point. The successful test flight programme shows that our ground-breaking technical design works exactly as we envisioned."

The car/plane is low emission and can land almost anywhere there is a small open space, needing minimal infrastructure, and it consumes 90 per cent less energy than drone-style flying cars, such as the Ehang.

WATCH: The Lilium Jet take off like a helicopter and fly like a plane

Lilium is not the only company working on flying cars.

Just today pre-orders opened for the Aeromobil, a vehicle which can be driven on the road and take off down a runway into the skies, though it has yet to go into production.

Chinese firm Ehang last year demonstrated its driverless personal drones which are being tested in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile Uber made a major hire from Nasa to lead its own flying car plans.

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