Flying cars in Orlando? The first U.S. 'air taxi' hub is coming to Lake Nona by 2025

click to enlarge Photo courtesy Liliumclick to enlarge Photo courtesy LlilumMove over, I-4 Ultimate – the skies over Orlando may very well look likein a few years.A new partnership between Tavistock Development Company, the city of Orlando and Lillium Aviation, Inc. is moving forward with a plan to bring a "high-speed, electric air mobility network" to Orlando by 2025.Lilium, a German aviation company, got a big ol' green light to construct a 56,000-square-foot air taxi facility ("vertiport") in Orlando, with our City Council approving over $800,000 in tax breaks to the Munich-based Lilum on Monday, as reported by the Orlando Business Journal This vertiport, collaboratively designed by Tavistock and Lilium, will serve Orlando, Tampa and nearby areas.Lilium has designed an all-electric, five-seat vertical takeoff aircraft that it plans to have in the skies by 2025. The aircraft will be able to fly up to 186 miles within one hour of charging up.The planned vertiport – named for the vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet aircraft – will be built in the Lake Nona area, the first of its kind in the United States.And Lilium isn't stopping there. The aviation company plans to make this Lake Nona vertiport a hub for a futuristic transportation network all around the country in the years to come.“Lilium’s establishment of its first U.S. air service in Lake Nona is a groundbreaking addition to the travel options for our residents and visitors,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership, in a press statement. “The company’s revolutionary air transportation technology positions Orlando to lead the nation in regional air mobility.”

Orlando gets $400,000 for art projects to beautify I-4

click to enlarge Photo via Florida Department of Transportation / I-4 UltimateA rendering of I-4 in its massive finished formPhoto via Florida Department of TransportationI-4 under construction during I-4 UltimateRemember when Interstate 4 was named the deadliest highway in the nation in 2017, even beforethe treacherous,-style "I-4 Ultimate" construction began?Now Orlando is receiving $400,000 to create art installations along I-4. It's part of a beautification project to help drivers forget about the "old I-4" once construction (eventually) ends.The money comes from an I-4 Project art endowment set up by I-4 Mobility Partners, the Florida Department of Transportation and SGL Constructors. They are awarding other cities along the I-4 corridor with art installment funds, but Orlando gets the biggest piece of the pie.Maitland received $200,000, Winter Park got $150,000, Altamonte Springs was awarded $200,000, Eatonville got $225,000 and Orange County also received $225,000. Each municipality will be in charge of coming up with their own criteria and application process for artists who seek to hop on the project.The announcement for the beautification project comes at a time when I-4 Ultimate doesn't exactly look pretty. There have been four reported deaths and dozens of injuries amid the reconstruction and widening of the 21-mile stretch of interstate, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis The project is still nearly a year overdue from its projected early 2021 completion date, and at least $100 million over budget.