A two-seater prototype, as seen in the video below, executed a range of complex manoeuvres, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode into wing-borne forward flight.
Lilium is now developing a larger, five-seater version — designed for on-demand air taxi and ride-sharing services. Celebrating the landmark moment, Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said: "Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated manoeuvres with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our amazing team.
We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point. We can now turn our focus to designing the five-seater production aircraft. It is also the only electric aircraft capable of both VTOL and jet-powered flight, using wings for lift, similar to a conventional plane.
In flight, the Jet's power consumption per kilometre will be comparable to an electric car. Take-off and landing requires only a small open space or landing pad on a building, alleviating pressure on congested roads.
In the future, Lilium claims that this combination of energy-efficient flight and minimal ground infrastructure will enable passenger flights to be made with pricing comparable to normal car taxis over the same distance. A typical journey by Lilium Jet will be at least 5x faster than by car, with even greater efficiencies in busy cities. The ability of the Lilium Jet to travel long distances, quickly and at low cost, will also open new opportunities for people to live much further away from their place of work.
Lilium describes this new phenomenon as "increasing the radius of living by 5x. Credit: Lilium. The Lilium Jet is a lightweight aircraft powered by 36 electric jet engines mounted to its wings via 12 moveable flaps. It is unique in combining the benefits of VTOL offered by helicopters and drones, with the speed and range of a jet aircraft. At take-off, the Lilium Jet's flaps are pointed downwards to provide vertical lift.
Once airborne, the flaps gradually tilt in to a horizontal position, providing forward thrust. When the wing flaps are horizontal, all of the lift required to keep the Lilium Jet in the air is provided by air passing over the wings — as with a conventional airplane.
Safety is of primary concern with Lilium, and the Jet is designed along the principle of "ultra-redundancy": the aircraft's engines are individually shielded, so the failure of a single unit cannot affect adjacent engines. Similarly, the Lilium Jet's power cells are designed to continue delivering sufficient power for continued flight and a safe landing in the unlikely event that part of the battery configuration fails.
Lilium's Flight Envelope Protection System also prevents the pilot from performing manoeuvres that would take the aircraft beyond safe flight parameters. Lilium's development team brings together more than 40 international world-class engineers and designers.
The group shares the vision of a completely new type of individual transportation system. The company's mission statement is "to enable a world where everybody can fly anywhere, anytime. Latest predictions Latest blogs Latest features Press releases.
Electric air taxi startup Lilium completes first test of its new five-seater aircraft
There is no tail, rudder, propellers, or gearbox. The company has conducted test flights before. Back inLilium announced the first test flight of its all-electric two-seater vertical take-off and landing VTOL prototype. But while the prototype was able to demonstrate the shift from vertical to forward flight, the full-scale Lilium jet did not. The power-to-weight ratio is a huge consideration for electric flight. Unlike some of its competitors, Lilium plans to keep a human pilot on board its aircraft.
This will enable an easier certification process, Gerber said.
Lilium is in the process of securing certification for the five-seat air taxi from the European Aviation Safety Agency, and it will also seek an application with the US Federal Aviation Administration. There are more than different electric aircraft programs in development worldwide, with big names including Joby Aviation and Kitty Hawkwhose models are electric rotor rather than jet powered as well as planned offerings from AirbusBoeingand Bellwhich is partnered with Uber.
Phones Laptops Headphones Cameras. Tablets Smartwatches Speakers Drones. Accessories Buying Guides How-tos Deals. Health Energy Environment.The Jet uses swiveling ducted fans to provide vertical thrust for takeoff and landing. These same fans then slowly rotate towards rear facing as the Jet accelerates and converts to its forward flight mode. Propeller Configuration: 36 ducted fans. Autonomy Level: Semi- Autonomous, Autonomy function built in.
While vertical take-off and landing VTOL itself is not new — after all, quadcopters, tilt rotors and tilt wings are well-known concepts — we did not want to accept the compromises inherent to these configurations. Quadcopters excel with their simplicity but are highly inefficient in cruise flight.
Transition aircraft can fly three times faster and ten times further with an equally sized battery, but system complexity is usually much higher. So, the goal was set: defining a transition aircraft concept with better performance in safety, noise, speed, range and payload than existing concepts, while cutting complexity to one third. We challenged physical limitations, mechanical complexity and energy laws, until we came up with something new and unique.
Something simple and efficient. The Lilium Jet consists of a rigid winged body with 12 flaps. Each one carries three electric jet engines. Depending on the flight mode, the flaps tilt from a vertical into a horizontal position.World's first passenger drone Ehang 184 delivers holiday gifts
At take-off, all flaps are tilted vertical, so that the engines can lift the aircraft. Once airborne, the flaps gradually tilt into a horizontal position, leading the aircraft to accelerate. When they have reached complete horizontal position, all lift necessary to stay aloft is provided by the wings as on a conventional airplane.
The beauty of this system is its simplicity. In comparison to existing concepts, Lilium Jets require no gearboxes, no foldable or variable pitch propellers, no water-cooling, and no aerodynamic steering flaps. Just tiltable electric engines. As we can provide differential thrust from the engines in cruise flight, no stabilizing tail is necessary. The design of the electric engines ensures a very low drag coefficient in cruise flight, leading to a higher speed and range.
The energy consumption per seat and kilometer thereby becomes comparable to an electric car — but the jet is 3 times faster. The Lilium Jet uses an integrated high-lift system.
The objective is to increase the lift of the wings even at low speeds to save energy. While hovering is very energy-consuming, as an aircraft must provide thrust equal to its own weight, dynamic lift of wings consumes much less energy to stay aloft. So, it is important to create as much dynamic lift from the wings as possible, even at very low speeds.
The electric jet engines work like turbofan jet engines in a regular passenger jet. They suck in air, compress it and push it out the back. However, the compressor fan in the front is not turned by a gas turbine, but by a high performance electric motor.
Therefore, they run much quieter and completely emission-free. The Lilium Jet is sleek, fast, and successful thus far in flight testing. Lilium has produced in under 5 years a very viable prototype eVTOL with a target entry to market ofand a target first manned flight in early Given their past timeline and rate of progress, both of these goals seem achievable by the German team. Furthermore, the company has gone to great lengths to ensure that their entire experience matches the design paradigms of their eVTOL, and that they make no compromises in safety or the operation of their eVTOL.
While keeping relatively quiet in terms of public demonstration flights, the videos depicting flight testing of the Jet are impressive enough on their own and should be a good indicator for future success of the company. Quick Summary.Nicolas Zart. It will be replaced by the only one left in the flight-test program.
Update: Lilium says its last Lilium jet prototype flight testing could be delayed by several weeks. It is working on what caused the fire. Safety is our key concern. Lilium suffered a terrible set back on February The company says it is damaged beyond repair. Lilium will have to rely on its only other prototype. Thankfully, the second aircraft was not damaged in the fire that took place at Oberpfaffenhofen Airport in Germany.
Lilium says no one was injured in the fire. The story broke on AIN where a spokesperson said it could take a few weeks to get to the root cause of the fire.
Luckily, the company planned to use the second prototype for flight testing. The first prototype was to be retired shortly. Lilium says it will introduce its urban air mobility UAM service in It sports 36 ducted fans for vectored thrust flight. They are in the main wing and forward canard. Its projected range is up to miles with speeds of knots Eviation Alice.
The electric Eviation Alice prototype was also destroyed in a fire over a month ago on January Eviation says the fire started in a ground-based battery system. He explained how the Prescott, Arizona based Eviation designed the Alice. The electric three variable-pitch propeller aircraft will carry nine passengers and two crew. It uses a kWh battery pack for a combined power of kW kW each. Recharging is 70 minutes with 30 minutes enough for a minute flight.The Lilium Jet was designed with regional mobility in mind.
The four wings contribute significantly to the overall efficiency, providing lift to support the weight of the aircraft during horizontal flight, while the ducted design of the 36 electric motors provides a significant efficiency advantage over open rotors by blocking the formation of tip vortices.
The Lilium Jet has an intrinsically simple design. With 36 single-stage electric motors providing near-instantaneous thrust in almost any direction, control surfaces, such as rudders, ailerons or a tail, aren't required. Neither are the oil circuits and gearboxes you would find in a typical aircraft. This contributes to the Lilium Jet having around the same number of individual parts as a family car, or 1, times fewer than a traditional jetliner.
As well as making the aircraft simpler and faster to design, it also means less maintenance and less cost once in operation. The Lilium Jet engine has been fully developed in our in-house sound lab where we have used proprietary acoustic modelling software, simulated on high-performance computing clusters, to optimize its design.
As well as a customized electric motor, it contains innovative liner technology which means the aircraft will be inaudible from the ground when flying above m and will only be as loud as a passing truck while taking off.
On the ground, the aircraft will move to and from parking bays using separate electric motors, allowing it to be as quiet as a typical electric car. Our current test aircraft is a full-scale technology demonstrator that seeks to prove the design of the Lilium Jet and its technologies.
We are using data from its flight test campaign to inform the design of the serial aircraft, which is happening simultaneously, in accordance with the strict aerospace processes and guidelines established by the relevant regulatory authorities, and as followed in all major aerospace OEMs Original Equipment Manufacturers. Designed for regional mobility.
Watch the full film. How we fly. Simplicity in design The Lilium Jet has an intrinsically simple design. Designing for low noise The Lilium Jet engine has been fully developed in our in-house sound lab where we have used proprietary acoustic modelling software, simulated on high-performance computing clusters, to optimize its design.
Progress Our current test aircraft is a full-scale technology demonstrator that seeks to prove the design of the Lilium Jet and its technologies.The all-electric Lilium Jet takes off and lands vertically, enabling it to deliver connections from city center to city center with direct flights of up to one hour. Shuttle flights between high-demand locations will keep aircraft load factors high.
The Lilium Jet balances high levels of efficiency with a noise footprint that is low enough to allow inner city operations. Distributed vectored thrust, delivered by 36 electric engines positioned across the airframe, allows for precision control of the aircraft during the most aerodynamically challenging phase of flight, when it transitions from hover flight to forward, wing-borne flight.
We are developing a digital ecosystem that will connect customer bookings and operations, ensuring aircraft are kept highly utilized and are deployed to match customer demand. We will integrate operational partners through our digital platform to provide a seamless service.
Your browser does not support the video tag. All-electric regional air mobility. Watch our flight film. Connecting cities and regions, emissions-free The all-electric Lilium Jet takes off and lands vertically, enabling it to deliver connections from city center to city center with direct flights of up to one hour. Engineered for Regional Air Mobility The Lilium Jet balances high levels of efficiency with a noise footprint that is low enough to allow inner city operations.
Low-noise electric ducted fans. Learn more about the Lilium Jet. Our five-seater technology demonstrator aircraft. Digital platform We are developing a digital ecosystem that will connect customer bookings and operations, ensuring aircraft are kept highly utilized and are deployed to match customer demand.
Join our team. Recent news. Visit our Newsroom.By Sep. There were four 4 sub-scale prototypes named the Gleiter, Hexa, Dragon and Falcon. Then a full-scale two 2 seat "Eagle" prototype was created and completed a series of unmanned test flights in April Following the successful test flights of the Eagle proptotype, Lilium moved forward with a five 5 seat full-scale production model.
On May 16,Lilium revealed they had announced its first flight of an untethered and unmanned five 5 seater Lilium Jet which took place on May 4, at the Special Airport Oberpfaffenhofen airport in Munich, Germany. Extensive ground testing took place before its maiden flight. The full-scale prototype is powered by 36 all-electric ducted fans which allows for a vertical take-off and landing with an efficient horizontal flight.
Lilium 5-seater all-electric jet unmanned untethered first flight May 4, Munich, Germany. Lilium 5-seater all electric jet unmanned untethered first flight May 4, Munich, Germany.
In its Oct. The company will not be selling these aircraft. In cruise mode, the power consumption per km is comparable to an electric car. It produces zero emissions in flight and the aircraft is being certified as a fixed-wing aircraft.
The aircraft is six 6 to seven 7 times quieter than a helicopter at take-off. Not only are their electric motors quieter than combustion engines but Lilium has developed a duct to adsorb as much noise as possible from the electric motors.
Each engine is individually shielded so the failure of a single unit cannot affect the adjacent engines. The foreward canard will not be retractable. The company at first, plans on having their aircraft piloted for aerial ride-sharing and in the future their aircraft will fly in autonomous mode.
Having 36 engines makes the Lilium Jet more efficient, safer and more maneuverable. The increase in efficiency stems from integrating the engines into the wings. The engine nacelles are part of the wing and help create lift. This means we can reduce the surface of the wing and the associated drag, which is the friction generated when moving through air.
Having more engines also allows you to distribute the power along the wing, generating further efficiency. The increase in safety comes from redundancy. Last but not least the manoeuvrability of an aircraft increases if you use smaller engines.
Since its maiden flight, featuring a simple vertical take-off and landing, the aircraft has been undertaking increasingly complex maneuvers and longer flights. During the first phase of testing, the aircraft also successfully completed a range of safety tests, including engine failures and flap failures, as well as fuse-blow-tests on the ground and in the air. Following a test flight, the aircraft returns to the hangar for charging while their engineering teams analyze the significant amount of data that is generated from more than 9, parameters on each flight.
The Lilium Jet has three all-electric jet engines on each flap, allowing them to pivot and change the direction of the thrust they create. The flaps can each move independently. Lilium has four 4 teams who work together on flight testing - flight test engineers, pilots, a flight test instrumentation team and flight test maintenance engineers. They are supported by their systems engineering and software development teams.