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Imagine bypassing commuter traffic daily with the ease of a bird in flight, or “as the crow flies.” Think of time saved and no aggravation while en route to work or anywhere, even great distances.
All of this seems futuristic, but, West Chester’s American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (AHMEC) knows that the future is now, as its Board of Directors bestows its ninth annual Achievement Award on Germany’s Lilium GmbH.
The coveted trophy recognizes the Lilium Jet and its successful maiden flight in April 2017, and will be awarded at AHMEC’s Gala fundraiser on Saturday, April 21.
“We are pleased to present the 2018 AHMEC Achievement Award to Lilium for its successful flight testing of an all-electric jet capable of vertical take-off and landing and cruise speeds up to 300 km/hr,” said Marc Sheffler, AHMEC’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Thirty-six electric jet engines mounted to its wings via 12 moveable flaps power the lightweight, two-seater Lilium Jet, which requires only a small open space or landing pad atop a building to take off and land.
“The innovative design already demonstrated transition from hover to forward flight, as well as complex maneuvers,” continued Sheffler. “The technologies that this prototype aircraft is maturing have the potential to result in an aircraft that can fly from London to Paris in under an hour with low noise and zero emissions.”
This year’s Gala’s theme is “Copters in the Caribbean” featuring entertainment from Captain Jack Sparrow (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) impersonator, Steven Dapcevich. It begins at 5 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner from the Desmond Hotel, dancing, music and a raffle with items like restaurant gift certificates and a basket of various wines.
Contact AHMEC at 610-436-9600 or see the website at www.americanhelicopter.museum for more information.
The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center is the nation’s premier aviation museum devoted exclusively to helicopters. Established in 1996, the nonprofit organization collects, restores and displays rotary-wing aircraft, including over 35 civilian and military helicopters, autogiros and convertiplanes.