Berlin: How would it be if you could simply take-off in a plane to your favourite destinations from your backyard itself?
Would be a dream come true, isn't it? Well, thanks to a Germany start-up company, this dream may actually be fulfilled and that too in an eco-friendly way!
Yes, you heard it right! A German start-up has begun to develop the world's first ever ultralight personal electric plane that is eco-friendly, take-off as well as land vertically and can also be powered from a wall-socket!
Could things get any better than that?
The plane will be an entirely electric, two-seater ride and will use a ducted fan, which assures better safety and will also be quieter as compared to conventional helicopters.
"Our goal is to develop an aircraft for use in everyday life. We are going for a plane that does not need the complex and expensive infrastructure of an airport," said Daniel Wiegand, CEO of Lilium, the company hosted in a European Space Agency (ESA) business incubator.
"To reduce noise and pollution, we are using electric engines so it can also be used close to urban areas," said Daniel, one of the four Munich University graduates who founded the company.
Clocking up a range of 500 kilometres, the highly efficient plane will be ready to see the light of day by the year 2018.
Its features include a touchscreen and fly-by-wire joystick controls, retractable landing gear, wing doors, large storage, panoramic windows and a battery that can be recharged from any wall plug.
"The half-size prototype is already flying and now under test. The full-size unmanned prototype is planned for this summer," said Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of AZO, which runs the incubator, one of many in ESA's Technology Transfer Programme throughout Europe .
"We are helping the Lilium team to turn their idea into a viable business. They are the aircraft experts, and we provide the expertise on how to make a business out of their dream," Rudolph said.
The retail cost will be far less than similar-sized aircraft of today and with much lower running costs, the ESA said in a statement.
"In the longer term, our target is to build an aircraft that not only the super-rich can afford, and that can make private air transportation possible for a much wider number of people," Daniel said.
"With the concept of taking off and landing almost everywhere, we could see that one day our plane will be used for quick and daily transportation almost like a car," Daniel added.
We can hardly wait to see it!
(With PTI inputs)