Electric Air Taxis Soon to Take Over the French Riviera

Lilium and UrbanV are bringing air taxi flights to the French Riviera 7 photos
Photo: Lilium
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Saint Tropez is one of the most famous millionaire playgrounds when it comes to luxury superyachts. In the near future, celebrities on vacation may have a different kind of luxury toy to show off, one that flies quietly and without emissions. A German eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) manufacturer is ready to bring air taxi transportation to some of the fanciest places in Europe.
After years of looking at all sorts of eVTOL designs, each claiming to boast some unique feature or capability, we're finally getting closer to the final stage of commercial service. Manufacturers are now working with infrastructure developers to create an initial framework for air taxi operations. One of these collaborations brought together Lilium and UrbanV.

Lilium brings to the table an aircraft designed claiming to be the world's first eVTOL jet, based on a proprietary DEVT (Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust) technology, coupled with 36 propellers on the front and rear.

The German builder hasn't revealed too much in terms of specifications so far but has selected technology partners among the top in the industry. Collins Aerospace is developing a custom-designed pilot interface for the future eVTOL jet, GKN Aerospace will provide a dedicated EWIS (electric wiring interconnection system), and Customcells (a battery technology company) has developed specific batteries for Lilium's aircraft.

UrbanV is linked to the first vertiport in Italy, at Fiumicino. In 2022, a public eVTOL flight test confirmed the potential of this pioneering vertiport, which is set to become the starting point for a wide transportation network across Italy.

Lilium is the latest partner to join this ambitious infrastructure project. Once the first vertiports are ready for operations, the electric VTOL jet will be flying above Rome, Venice, and Bologna, connecting them to the main location on the French Riviera. Italy and France are both competing in the AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) race in Europe, hoping to become the first ones to introduce commercial air taxi flights. Still, neither would be able to achieve that without the proper infrastructure network.

While this project focuses on shared transportation, Lilium is also preparing a special treat for those who want luxury flights. Last year, it announced the launch of a special-edition aircraft called the Lilium Pioneer Edition Jet. It will boast the same performance as the standard version but take things to the next level regarding interior cabin style, focusing on customization and high-end materials.

Private customers will be able to buy this special-edition electric air taxi through eVolare, starting in 2025. Sadly, it will only be available in the UK and limited to 50 units. When vertiports show up across the French Riviera, perhaps things will change, giving wider access to this electric version of a private jet.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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