UAM Snapshot – Lilium Jet

Source: Lilium

In June 2023, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded the eVTOL platform of German startup Lilium with a G-1 Certification Basis. This milestone award ¬built upon Lilium’s previous success in attaining certification basis from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2020 and signaled Lilium’s prominent position amongst the first raft of major eVTOL platforms destined for entry onto the market.

The eponymous Lilium Jet is a battery-powered, fixed-wing aircraft that carries four to six passengers and one pilot at speeds of up to 250kmh (155 mph) within an operating range of 175km (108mi). The jet’s fully electric propulsion configuration is designed to leverage the capabilities of the company’s propriety Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (DEVT) suite. During takeoff, the electric jet engines work like turbofan jet engines as the flaps tilt from a vertical position. The aircraft is equipped with 36 all-electric ducted fans powered by 36 electric motors. The electric ducted fans are in pairs of three in the wings, for a total of 12 fan units or flaps. There are two flaps on each forward wing and four flaps on each rear wing. Each flap can tilt independently of the other and operate at different speeds based on wind conditions during vertical flight when transitioning between vertical and forward flight. The initial launch aircraft will be piloted, with an autonomous option to become available once the regulatory environment allows.

Through 2023, Lilium attained a string of milestones in addition to the FAA G-1 Certification Basis award. In April, Lilium successfully conducted maximum speed flight tests with jet prototypes and by September the company had begun production assembly of the Lilium Jet’s fuselage and electric propulsion system, with the latter being executed at the company’s dedicated propulsion facility located next to its headquarters in Wessling, Germany. Over the first half of 2024, Lilium has unveiled its planned customer service network, dubbed Lilium POWER-ON, attained a 20 unit order from U.S operator UrbanLink, established a partnership with Atlantic Aviation and outlined infrastructural goals for the development of the Orlando vertiport.

Senior Aerospace & Defense Analyst at Forecast International | + posts