German aviation firm Lilium is set to develop at least 10 hubs in Florida to house a fleet of jet-powered air taxis that will whisk passengers and travel over highway traffic to cut commutes down to 15 minutes or less.
The so-called ‘vertiports’ will be built by Ferrovial SE, a Spanish transportation infrastructure company, which will support high speed, zero emissions and affordable air transportation services.
The team plans to break ground for the first vertiport in South Florida, with an exact location being announced as early as spring 2021.
The companies have signed a framework agreement to develop a network of vertiports in other locations, and Lilium plans to operate a regional air mobility service by 2025.
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Dr. Remo Gerber, Chief Operating Officer, Lilium continues: ‘Our strategy to bring high-speed transportation networks to an entire region is being brought to life in Florida, and Ferrovial is the ideal partner with their unrivaled expertise in airport construction and operations around the globe.’
‘Nearly all 20 million Floridians will live within 30 minutes of our vertiports and the 140 million annual visitors to the Sunshine State will have a high-speed option available to travel to their destinations.’
Lilium first conceived its eVTOL air tax in 2013, but officially unveiled a working flying vehicle in 2019.
It boasts two fix wings and one main wing at the rear, along with a ‘canard’ wing at the front that has been compared to a duck.
The craft can fit four passenger and a pilot, tops speeds of 186 miles per hour and has a range of 186 miles.
Lilium notes that the vehicle is capable of changing the revolutions per minute (rmp) and angle the three sets engines to hit a precise trajectory – there are 36 engines in total.
The jet is also quieter than a helicopter, making it ideal for traveling over populate areas because it will not disturb residents below.
And the quiet electric engines also deliver a more comfortable experience for passengers, the company said.
‘Nearly all 20 million Floridians will live within 30 minutes of our vertiports and the 140 million annual visitors to the Sunshine State will have a high-speed option available to travel to their destinations,’ said Dr. Gerber.
‘Our strategy to bring high-speed transportation networks to an entire region is being brought to life in Florida, and Ferrovial is the ideal partner with their unrivaled expertise in airport construction and operations around the globe.’
Ferrovial is well known in the transportation infrastructure business – the firm owns 25 percent of London’s Heathrow Airport and manages three other terminals in the UK.
Rafael Fernandez, Ferrovial innovation director, said ‘At Ferrovial, we are determined to conceptualize, design and build the future of transport and mobility infrastructures.’
‘In this case, we partner with Lilium, one of the leading companies in this nascent urban air mobility ecosystem to deliver an innovative mode of transport that will shorten distances and improve quality of life for citizens.’
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